Copa Sudamericana 2014: Paraguayan club-by-club guide

As ever there are four Paraguayan sides in the Copa Sudamericana, the champion with the most points earned during 2013 (Cerro Porteño) and the three non-champions with the highest points total that didn’t qualify for the Libertadores. Last year’s semi-finalists Libertad return for their tenth appearance while General Díaz and Capiatá will play continental football for the first time in their history just one year after being promoted to Primera.

Libertad

 

ClubLibertadLogoFounded: 30 July 1905

Previous participation: 2013 (SF)

Best finish: Semi Final (2013)

Opponents: Nacional Potosí (Bolivia) and should they progress Barcelona (Ecuador) or Alianza Lima (Peru)

 

All-time record: 

Pld W D L F A
38 17 6 15 43 38


Strengths:
 Experience; many of the players have played in continental competition many times so know what it is to be travelling midweek. Pace; there is plenty of it in the team with players like right back Moreira, midfielders Antonio Bareiro and Jorge Gonzalez and “Pollo” Recalde up front. Focus; having won the Apertura they have qualified for the 2015 Libertadores so can treat this competition as a priority.

Weaknesses: Goalscoring has been an issue in the games Rodrigo López hasn’t played in, hopefully the veteran Uruguayan can stay fit to play a part in the campaign. Central midfield is solid with the presence of Molinas and Aquino but it isn’t dynamic, if they come up against a team that plays at a high tempo they could struggle.

One to watch: Antonio Bareiro is an exciting right winger who enjoys running with the ball and taking on his full back. Don’t be surprised to see his 5 ft 5 in frame rising above defenders to win headers, he has an incredible leap.

Prediction: Last 16

============================

General Díaz

 

GeneralDiazLogoFounded: 22 November 1917

Previous participation: None

Best finish: N/a

All-time record: N/a

Opponents: Cobresal (Chile) and should they progress Dep. La Guaira (Venezuela) or Atletico Nacional (Colombia)

Strengths: Organization, stability and team spirit which all come from the portly Humberto Garcia who has been coach of the Luque-based club since 2011 overseeing the 2012 Intermedia title win that put them in Primera last year. They are solid in defense with

Weaknesses: A relatively small squad and inexperience at this level. They are also on a rotten run of form in the league.

One to watch: Blas Cáceres had spells and Olimpia and Guaraní and never fails to impress with his pace and crossing down the left, his strike against Cerro Porteño this season is an indication of how talented he is.

Prediction: First Round

============================

Cerro Porteño

 

Founded: 1 October 1912

Previous participation: 2013 (1st round)

Best finish: Semi-Finals (2009)

Opponents: Rentistas (Uruguay), potentially Trujillanos (Venezuela) or Independiente del Valle (Ecuador) in next round

 

 

All-time record:

Pld W D L F A
36 14 9 13 54 48

Strengths: Great going forward with Oscar Romero, Dani Guiza, José Ortigoza and Rodolfo Gamarra capable of testing the continent’s very best defenders. They had a good Libertadores campaign earlier in the year, going out to Cruzeiro, so this set of players knows what is expected of them.

Weaknesses: For whatever reason they can’t seem to win the big games in continental competition, maybe it is the pressure of knowing they’ve never reached a final or maybe bad luck but they always seem to fall short when it matters.

One to watch: Oscar Romero, I’ve mentioned him many times on this blog but he’s such an exciting player and surely on his way abroad in January. Great movement, excellent technique, pinpoint finishing the kid has got it all!

Prediction: Last 16

============================

Capiata

 

Deportivo_Capiatá_logo

 

Founded: 4 September 2008

Previous participation: None

Best finish: First time

Opponents: Daubio (Uruguay) potentially Inti Gas (Peru) or Caracas FC (Venezuela) in next round

All-time record: N/a

 

Strengths: They can usually find a goal, either through veteran striker Fabio Escobar or a well-organized set piece. Hector Marecos is a smart coach who works well within his limitations.

Weaknesses: It looks like they won’t be able to play at their home stadium after it failed the CONMEBOL inspection. Like General Díaz they are inexperienced at this level with many some players set to leave Paraguay for the first time. They aren’t tight at the back conceding 37 goals in the Apertura and even in the excellent 2013 Clausura campaign they conceded 32, they could find it hard to avoid letting in an away goal.

One to watch: Oscar Ruiz is only 23 but has already been at several clubs including Libertad and Guarani – but he seems to have settled at Capiatá and the left-sided midfielder has great technique and a knack of arriving in the box at the right time. He scored 9 goals in 2013 and has 4 already this year from midfield.

Prediction: 1st round

 

By Ralph Hannah

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One response to “Copa Sudamericana 2014: Paraguayan club-by-club guide

  1. Pingback: Copa Sudamericana 2014: Confirmed Squad Lists | The Paraguay Football Blog

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