Rivas Set to Take Pitch for El Salvador Against United States on Thursday
TULSA – One of the most prominent players in FC Tulsa history is returning to the club next season. Forward Joaquín Rivas has been extended with a new contract by FC Tulsa to bring him back in 2022, pending league and federation approval.
A decorated Tulsa veteran ranking first all-time in club appearances (85), Rivas is tied for the club lead in goals scored with teammate Rodrigo da Costa (24). The Salvadoran international is also second on the all-time franchise list in starts (72) and minutes played (6,561), trailing da Costa in both categories. Rivas also owns a bit of single-season FC Tulsa history in addition to the franchise benchmarks – his 12 goals scored in the 2018 season are the most ever in a single season in Tulsa history.
On some of the biggest stages the world has to offer, Rivas has represented FC Tulsa on the El Salvador National Team, nicknamed “La Selecta.” Rivas has capped 24 times in his career for El Salvador, 12 of which have come during 2022 World Cup Qualifying. In total, Rivas has found the back of the net four times for his country, three of which came in the 2021 Gold Cup. Not only does he score for “La Selecta,” but he distributes as well, totaling three assists to go along with his goal tally. In one of the biggest matches of its history, Rivas and El Salvador will match up against the United States in World Cup Qualifying on Thursday, January 27 in Columbus, Ohio, airing nationally on ESPN2.
“Joaquin is coming off a great year for both club and country,” said head coach Michael Nsien. “He has had some special years for our club and I’m sure he looks forward to building upon his legacy in Tulsa. I can’t wait to see what 2022 brings for him and FC Tulsa. I’m sure it will be full of great moments.”
After graduating from UNLV, Rivas spent one season with Kitsap Pumas in USL League Two in 2014 before beginning his career in the USL Championship the following season with Sacramento Republic FC. Rivas joined the then-named Tulsa Roughnecks FC in 2017 and went on to have his historic 2018 season the next year. Rivas would spend the following two seasons with Saint Louis FC before signing back with FC Tulsa in 2021. He scored seven goals last season despite missing significant time on international duty, including one of Tulsa’s two goals in its Eastern Conference Quarterfinal playoff match. In addition to his seven tallies, Rivas set a single-season career high in assists with three.
Although rivals OKC Energy FC are on hiatus for the 2022 season, Joaquín Rivas still holds the title of the all-time leading goal scorer in the Black Gold Derby, the title given to the match between the two Oklahoma-based USL Championship clubs. Rivas extended his goal lead in the 2021 regular-season finale against OKC Energy FC, scoring the fifth Derby goal against Energy FC of his career.
Both Rivas and newly-signed FC Tulsa center-back Ronald Rodríguez have been called into the El Salvador squad for its next three CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers and are likely to feature against the United States on Thursday night. El Salvador will also play at Honduras on Sunday night before hosting Canada next Wednesday, February 2.
2022 FC Tulsa Roster
Keepers: Sean Lewis, Austin Wormell
Defenders: Bradley Bourgeois, Jorge Corrales, Johnny Fenwick, Ronald Rodríguez, Matheus Silva, Gabriel Torres
Midfielders: Eric Bird, Petar Čuić, Kembo Kibato, Lebo Moloto, Abuchi Obinwa, Joaquín Rivas, Ciaran Winters,
Forwards: Rodrigo da Costa, Machuca, Darío Suárez