Lizandro Claros, Quince Orchard Alumnus Who Was Deported From The United States in 2017, Played Against the USMNT On Tuesday Night

by MCS Staff

On Tuesday night, the United States came from behind to tie El Salvador 1-1 in the CONCACAF Nations League at Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador, El Salvador. Lizandro Claros entered the game in the 87th minute, to play against the USMNT for the first time. Claros came to the United States with his brother Diego in 2009, after fleeing violence in their native El Salvador. He attended Roberto Clemente Middle School in Germantown and then Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, where he graduated in 2017. Lizandro’s athletic ability earned him a scholarship to Louisberg College in North Carolina, where he planned to attend in the fall of 2017.

According to a report on Elfaro.net, “In August 2017, Claros was deported alongside Diego, one of his three siblings. They entered the U.S. in 2009, at the ages of 10 and 12, respectively, to reunite with their parents. Their relatives provided fake passports, and immigration officers had their sights on their case ever since, mandating routine check-ins with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It was during one of these visits that Claros informed authorities he had earned a sports scholarship to go to college. That tipped the scale. ICE concluded that he had no intention of leaving the country, even though they had been issued final removal orders in 2012. “I never thought they were going to deport me for wanting to go to college,” Claros said.”

Through perseverance and good fortune has allowed the brothers to pursue their college degrees and continue playing soccer thousands of miles away from their family, who remain in the United States. CBS News highlighted Lizandro and Diego’s path. In 2020, they wrote “Lizandro is now one of the most promising soccer talents in El Salvador and part of a young generation of players many expect will ultimately bolster the ranks of the national team.” In addition to being on El Salvadro’s national team, Lizandro currently plays professionally for Club Deportivo Águila, commonly known as Águila. The club plays in the Primera División, the top tier of the El Salvador football league system.

 

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