WINNING MENTALITY

Goalkeeper of Olimpia Edrick Menjivar #1 during the final match between Alajuelense and Olimpia as part of the 2022 Concacaf League held at the Alejandro Morera Soto stadium in Alajuela, Costa Rica.
ALAJUELA, COSTA RICA. NOV. 2: Goalkeeper of Olimpia Edrick Menjivar #1 during the final match between Alajuelense and Olimpia as part of the 2022 Concacaf League held at the Alejandro Morera Soto stadium in Alajuela, Costa Rica.
Photo by Miguel Gutierrez/CONCACAF/STRAFFON IMAGES

Honduran CD Olimpia will always be known as the only two-time champions of the Scotiabank CONCACAF League (SCL), and they will also go down in history as the first champions and the last champions, according to CONCACAF.
It said the significance of all of that is certainly not lost on the Olimpia players, who say it was the club’s “winning mentality” that carried them to a hard-fought 5-4 aggregate victory over Alajuelense of Costa Rica in the 2022 SCL Final on Nov. 2.
“This team has a winning mentality in its history. The team has won many trophies in the past and each player here when they are in the reserve team, the first thing they tell you is that you have to win wherever you go and that was our mentality coming into today,” said Olimpia GK Edrick Menjivar in an exclusive interview with CONCACAF following Wednesday night’s second leg in Costa Rica.
“Being the first and last champions means a lot. Before the season started, our president said that he wanted to be the first and the last to win it, so we had that pressure on our shoulders, but this team has a lot of personality and we were able to deliver it to him,” added Menjivar.
CONCACAF said Jose Pinto scored in the first half to give Olimpia a 4-2 lead on aggregate, only for Alajuelense to fire back with a pair of goals before halftime to even the series, 4-4.
“The second half saw Alajuelense create the bulk of chances, but some excellent saves from Menjivar kept the home side from taking the lead on aggregate and allowed for Gabriel Araujo to score the late series-winning goal,” CONCACAF said.
For Menjivar, it was his team’s character that made the difference, CONCACAF said.
“The environment here was difficult, we came with a one goal lead and we conceded two goals back-to-back. It really set us back, but the team showed a lot of personality, a lot of strength and we were able to pull this off,” said Menjivar.
CONCACAF said one of the players who most savored Olimpia’s triumph was veteran MF Boniek Garcia, who started his career at Olimpia before signing with the Houston Dynamo of MLS, where he played through the 2021 season.
Garcia then returned to Olimpia with the motivation to win a CONCACAF title, CONCACAF said.
“Needless to say, it was mission accomplished for the 38-year-old,” it said.
“Olimpia opened their doors to me to start my career and from the start of the year I came in with the hope of obtaining a title and today it came with this cup,” said Garcia told CONCACAF.
“I put this title in a very important place, it was a title that I had been lacking in the trophy case. I had never won it. Today it was able to happen for me and I’m just so happy,” he added.

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