Carlos Llamosa recalls World Trade Center attacks

Chivas USA Asst Coach close to both attacks in '93 & '01

Carlos Llamosa 9/11 memories

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CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, September 7, 2011) - “It’s almost noon, guys. Let’s go to lunch, it’s Friday!” said Carlos Llamosa to his co-workers as they prepared to take a break that Friday of February 26 in 1993. They left the twin towers and started walking. Carlos never imagined what would come next.

Approximately seventeen minutes past noon, an explosion rocked the World Trade Center underground parking garage. Flames, smoke, a nearly 100-foot crater, six dead bodies, and more than a thousand injured people were the initial result of the terrorist attack. Carlos and his colleagues were lucky and grateful they were not in the towers at the time of the explosion. While watching the sadness of Manhattan’s heart bleeding, some tears started running down their faces, some of them drew a cross on their chest, and thanked their superior being individually that it was a Friday, a day in which they usually took their break earlier.

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“I actually worked in the twin towers [New York] for six years, and the day of the bombing attack I was working. Fortunately, I was on my lunch and out of the building when this all occurred.” commented Carlos. “I was with a couple of colleagues about one block and half away from my work place when it happened – thankfully none of my friends or co-workers were hurt.” said Llamosa.

September 11, 2001

For Carlos Llamosa, Chivas USA’s own assistant coach, the unfortunate events that took place the morning of September 11, 2001, live vividly upon his memories. Now, 10 years after, Carlos remembers it like if it were yesterday. This is easy to explain for someone who is very familiar with the twin towers in New York.

Carlos Llamosa was caught in an incredible story, as he was supposed to land in New York for a game against the New York Metro stars, the day of the horrific attacks on September 11.

“I was part of the Miami franchise at that time, the Fusion, and coincidently the day of the terrorist attacks [Tuesday], we [Miami Fusion team] where scheduled to fly to New York for a match against the New York Metro Stars.” said the ex-United States international. Carlos had woken up early that morning to take his car to the shop, where on a television set, he first learned of what was happening. “I was at the shop and one of the guys was telling me about what had happened, when suddenly I watched a second air plane crashing on the other tower, I couldn’t believe my eyes - I couldn’t digest what was going on.” commented the ex-defender.

Carlos lived in New York for six years; his oldest son was born there, and had many family members living there. “The first thing I did when I got home, I grabbed my cell phone and called my brothers and sisters in New York to make sure they were okay.” Llamosa said. “I was very nervous because the call(s) would not go through. I needed to know that my family was okay, and to top it off, my family in Colombia were very worried about me, specially knowing that I was supposed to be on a flight on my way to New York for a game, when this was all happening.” said the ex-Miami Fusion defender.

Llamosa’s next move was to rendezvous with his team, the Miami Fusion, where his teammates and him awaited instructions in their locker room, whether  they were still going to travel to New York or not. However this was doubtful as all of the airports were shut down immediately after the initial attacks and would remain closed until further notice.

“It was really sad to sit there [locker rooms] and watch the news, my teammates, myself included, couldn’t believe when we saw the twin towers just go down.” Carlos said.

“After many failed attempts, eventually the coaching staff was able to communicate themselves with the league [MLS], at which point in time they communicated to us, that all of the remaining games of the regular season would be canceled.” confirmed Chivas USA’s assistant coach. The Major League Soccer playoffs would eventually jump start the league once again.

In Carlos Llamosa’s most sincere opinion, the terrorist attacks that morning of September 11 in 2001, were not only for the United States of America, but for humanity itself unexplainable and horrific.

“Many innocent people died that day; it was an act of inexplicable horror and without any reason that left me very hurt. For all those innocent people that suffered such ignorant cruelty.” said Carlos Llamosa.

Carlos Llamosa sees life differently and certainly with more prospective, after his experiences relating to these unfortunate, but factual events. “One needs to live life differently, be more grateful, enjoy your family and never take them for granted; you don’t know where you’ll be tomorrow.” finalized the Colombian-American.

Ramses V. Sandoval covers C.D Chivas USA for cdchivasusa.com and writes for the sports section of the newspaper, “La Opinión”. He can be reached at ramses.v.sandoval@gmail.com as well as on his Twitter account: @RamsesSandoval