Hispanic Heritage Month (Day 29): Years later, La Musa counts his blessings, recounts how he survived the World Trade Center bombing (2014)


Nobody ought to remind Carlos La Musa how beneficial life is. He’d all the time identified that, however he was reminded of how a lot people took issues without any consideration twenty years in the past.

Carlos Lamosa: “For me it was one other likelihood. I attempted to dwell day-after-day of my life, each minute of my life with my household. That second modified my life. It might have been totally different.” (Picture by way of Cosmos)

This story was initially revealed on BigAppleSoccer.com on February 26, 2014.

By Michael Lewis

Nobody ought to remind Carlos La Musa how beneficial life is. He’d all the time identified that, however he was reminded of how a lot people took issues without any consideration twenty years in the past.

A New York Cosmos assistant coach may have died within the first terrorist bombing on the World Commerce Heart.

“For me, it was one other alternative,” he mentioned. “I attempted to dwell day-after-day of my life, each minute of my life with my household. That second modified my life. It might have been totally different.”

La Musa, 43, tried to dwell life to the fullest, first as a participant with a number of MLS groups and the US nationwide staff, then as an assistant coach at Chivas USA and as a household man.

Twenty-one years in the past Tuesday, La Musa will definitely always remember the occasions that affected his life and altered the lives of so many different individuals in Manhattan.

He is aware of that if he did not exit for some Chinese language meals for lunch, he would not be right here as we speak.

On Friday, February 26, 1993, terrorists tried to destroy the World Commerce Heart. They detonated a bomb underneath the North Tower, hoping it will kill 1000’s. This didn’t occur, however six individuals died and greater than a thousand have been injured.

LaMosa, who was taking part in soccer for the Brooklyn Italians on the time, labored as a janitor on the World Commerce Heart and will have been a sufferer as a result of his firm’s locker space was near the place the bomb exploded within the basement.

“Fortunately we weren’t within the constructing,” he mentioned.

Fortunate for Lamosa, he had an hour-long lunch break on Fridays as an alternative of the same old half-hour. So, he and his colleagues went out to a Chinese language restaurant downtown.

“Monday by means of Thursday, most individuals have been there within the constructing,” he mentioned. “On Fridays, everybody would exit for lunch.”

Throughout lunch, La Musa and his colleagues heard an explosion.

“The very first thing I heard was that one of many trains underneath the constructing had crashed,” he mentioned. “We tried to get again into the constructing, however we could not.”

La Musa returned house, the place he discovered what had occurred on tv.

“I used to be in shock,” he mentioned. “I by no means thought somebody would assault the World Commerce Heart, particularly with all the safety measures they’d in place. I used to be in shock. The constructing was underneath assault, a terrorist assault.”

The Colombian native returned to work on the World Commerce Heart, a job he held till 1997, when he signed with D.C. United in Main League Soccer. There his soccer profession actually took off, as he turned among the finest defenders within the league and earned a spot on the US nationwide staff. La Musa, who additionally performed for the Miami Fusion, New England Revolution and Chivas USA, earned 29 caps and was a key issue within the People’ run to the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup.

In 1991, the 22-year-old La Musa got here to the USA from Barranquilla, Colombia, to not pursue knowledgeable soccer profession, however to get an schooling.

“Once I got here right here, I began taking part in within the native leagues,” La Musa mentioned. “I attempted to go to varsity, however it was too costly for me. I attempted to get a scholarship, however I used to be too outdated and could not get a scholarship. I used to be 22 in 1991. I needed to work and play. The very first thing was to go to varsity ”

However LaMosa made a powerful impression in Brooklyn and was finally signed to knowledgeable contract by the New York Centaurs within the outdated A-League. That wasn’t sufficient to pay the payments all year long, so he stored his day job on the World Commerce Heart.

La Musa performed for the New York Fever in 1996 earlier than signing for United the next yr. He admitted that his soccer profession in the USA shocked him. He made 19 appearances and performed within the 2002 World Cup, when the USA reached the quarterfinals. Germany managed to win 1-0, though historical past would have been totally different had it not been for a handball match that the officers didn’t name or watch.

“I by no means thought I might play skilled soccer, not even with the nationwide staff,” he mentioned. “It is humorous, earlier than I got here to the USA in 1991, one among my pals in Colombia instructed me that everybody knew 1994 was the World Cup. ‘Oh, you are going to the USA, so I will most likely see you play for the U.S. nationwide staff within the World Cup.’ “I did not even care. This was in ’94. It by no means occurred to me to play for the US nationwide staff.”

It most likely by no means occurred to La Musa or many different People that terrorists would attempt to assault the World Commerce Heart once more.

However 8 and a half years after the primary bombing of the World Commerce Heart, terrorists destroyed the North and South Towers. Because it seems, La Musa was residing in Miami on the time and was presupposed to journey to New York along with his Fusion teammates on September 11, 2001 to play towards the MetroStars at Giants Stadium.

“It was form of bizarre as a result of for no matter motive I used to be related to New York that day,” he mentioned. “We have been going to New York that day within the morning.”

Certainly one of his automobile’s lights was out, so Lamosa took him to an auto restore store the morning of the journey.

He was sitting within the ready room when a retailer employee turned on the tv; A small aircraft crashed into the Empire State Constructing.

La Musa turned on the TV and as an alternative noticed one of many towers on fireplace.

“Once I heard the information that it was a terrorist assault, I used to be shocked,” he mentioned. “I used to be anxious as a result of I’ve a sister who works in downtown Manhattan close to the World Commerce Heart.

LaMosa tried to contact his household in New York, however his mobile phone did not work.

“I used to be anxious,” he mentioned. “The night time earlier than I spoke to my mom and instructed her I used to be going to New York. So after they heard the information about me in Colombia, they have been anxious about me too.

It’s later found that Fusion’s flight to New Jersey has been canceled as a result of all planes in the USA have been ordered from the sky.

“I used to be damage. I used to be in shock as a human being.” “As somebody who labored in these buildings, I used to be in ache. I cried that day. That was a tragic day.

“That was my spouse’s birthday. September 11. So we’ll keep in mind that day without end.”

Life went on. Air journey returned and so did World Cup qualifying as La Musa and the USA reached the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup. Germany managed to safe a 1-0 victory over South Korea, though historical past would have been modified had it not been for a handball, because the match referee didn’t name or see .

La Musa described that World Cup as “the spotlight of my profession, not just for me, but in addition for my household.”

“To be a part of this staff, not just for the World Cup, but in addition through the years I spent with that group of gamers,” he added. “It was the very best factor that occurred in my profession. We had a fantastic efficiency there.”

If Carlos Lamosa had not taken an extended lunch break on February 26, 1993, he could not have had the chance to do that wonderful race and dwell a life along with his spouse and kids.

“I used to be fortunate, and my coworkers have been fortunate,” he mentioned. “Fortunate we weren’t within the constructing.”

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