Sudamericano 2015: Paraguay Squad Preview

Victor Genes has named his 23-man squad for the 2015 Sudamericano in Uruguay that starts next week. Genes guided the previous group of players to the runners-up spot in 2013 and the World Cup. This year not only a place in the 2015 World Cup is up for grabs but a spot at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Here we look at six key players who will be crucial to the Albirrojita’s chances, they kick off on 14th January against Bolivia, full list of fixtures at the bottom of the post.

DEFENCE 

Iván Cañete

Iván Cañete

Club: Atlético Madrid

D.o.B: 22 April 1995

Place of Birth: Luque

Height: 185 cm

Weight: 78 kg

Position: Central defender

The defender moved to Spain aged 12 and was at Rayo Vallecano at U-14 level and the first half of the U-15 season before moving to the Colchoneros. He describes himself as good on the ball and an excellent communicator so he will be expected to organize the defence and try to bring some stability while under pressure. Having been learning from Miranda and Godín over the last couple of years he should be one of the most accomplished defenders on show in Uruguay.

MIDFIELD

Jesús Medina

JesusMedina

Club: Libertad

D.o.B: 30 April 1997

Place of Birth: Limpio

Height: 179 cm

Weight: 67 kg

Position: Attacking midfielder

 

The 17-year-old has been fast-tracked into the U20s because of his enormous talent, the midfielder made his debut in Primera in 2012 aged just 15 and his performances during the U17s Sudamericano in 2013 even saw him linked with a move to PSG. He’s great on the ball, quick feet and a great left foot that can create and score goals. He is likely to be used as an impact sub but expect that impact to be felt.

Jeremías Bogado

JeremiasBogado

Club: Olimpia

D.o.B: 04 July 1995

Place of Birth: Limpio

Height: 172 cm

Weight: 66 kg

Position: Attacking midfielder

 

Bogado broke through into the senior side during the 2014 Apertura making his debut in March but he really came to the fore during the Clausura making 14 appearances and scoring his first senior goal against 3 de Febrero. He makes good runs into the box and will be looking to support his strikers at every opportunity.

Danilo Santacruz

DaniloSantacruzClub: Libertad

D.o.B: 12 June 1995

Place of Birth: Caaguazú

Height: 178 cm

Weight: 75 kg

Position: Attacking midfielder

Another product of the Libertad youth system he has made his presence felt at senior level already including a match winning performance against 12 de Octubre in the Clausura. He can run at players and get into the box and is likely to be one of key scoring threats alongside Díaz and Sanabria (see below)

ATTACK

Tonny Sanabria

Sanabria

Club: AS Roma, Italy

D.o.B: 04 March 1996

 Place of Birth: San Lorenzo 

Height: 180 cm

 Weight: 72 kg

 Position: Striker

 

The former La Masia man has had a stellar rise through the Paraguay ranks, in 2013 he played the U17s Sudamericano, the U20s World Cup that same year and weeks afterwards made his senior debut against Germany in Kaiserslautern. He’s yet to get much game time for the Roma senior side but is often in the matchday squad. That kind of experience should suit him at this level and expect him to be one of the stars of the tournament.

Sergio Díaz


SergioDiaz

Club: Cerro Porteño

D.o.B: 05 March 1998

Place of Birth: Itauguá

Height: 172 cm

Weight: 66 kg

Position: Forward

The diminuitive attacker is the youngest member of the squad but has more senior experience than most having played most of the Clausura in 2014. He managed 8 goals in the league as he formed a partnership with European Champion and Pichichi winner Dani Guiza. Díaz’s low centre of gravity and weaving runs in and around the box has drawn comparisons with Kun Aguero of Manchester City. Expect good things from one of the most exciting players to emerge from Paraguay in the last decade.

FIXTURE LIST

14 JAN vs Bolivia

16 JAN vs Argentina

20 JAN vs Ecuador

22 JAN vs Peru

Should Paraguay finish in the top 3 of this group (they are expected to) they’ll play the Hexagonal final from 26 Jan to 7 Feb with the Top 4 qualifying for the 2015 U20s World Cup, the winner also qualifies for the Olympics and the runner-up has a playoff for the Summer Games.

FULL SQUAD LIST

Goalkeepers: José Colmán (3 de Febrero), Miguel Mereles (Libertad), Tomás Echague (Sportivo Luqueño).

Defenders: Ariel Benítez (Guaraní), Iván Cañete (Atlético Madrid, Spain), Marcos González (Olimpia), Omar Alderete (Cerro Porteño), José Sanabria (Libertad), Juan Escobar (Sportivo Luqueño) & Saúl Salcedo (Olimpia).

Midfielders: Gustavo Viera (Corinthians, Brazil) Jesús Medina (Libertad), Jeremías Bogado (Olimpia), Roque Guachire (Libertad), Walter Araújo (Sol de América), Ángel Benítez (Libertad), Enrique Araújo (Nacional) & Danilo Santacruz (Libertad).

Forwards: Tonny Sanabria (Roma, Italy), Luis Amarilla (Libertad), Brahian Ayala (Rubio Ñu), Sergio Díaz (Cerro Porteño) & Walter González (Olimpia).

By Ralph Hannah

Sudamericano 2013: Paraguay vs Colombia preview

The 2013 Sudamericano or South American U20s Championship begins in Mendoza, Argentina on January 9th with the Paraguay vs Colombia game, followed by Argentina vs Chile. Here we assess the albirrojitos chances of a victory in their opening match.

Paraguay vs Colombia
Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza
09/01/2013, 20:00 (23:00 GMT)

Paraguay take part in their 26th Sudamericano with a tough game against Colombia who may have missed out on the U17s World Cup in 2011 (the bulk of the current team represented the Cafeteros two years ago) but now have a new coach in Carlos Restrepo. The manager has won the Colombian title with Junior Barranquilla in 2005 and more recently with Olimpia of Honduras in 2009.

Rojas and Alborno (L-R) will be the creative forces in midfield - Photo: Prensa Selección Paraguaya de Fútbol

Rojas and Alborno (L-R) will be the creative forces in midfield – Photo: Prensa Selección Paraguaya de Fútbol

Paraguay’s coach, Víctor Genes, has an eleven in his head isn’t going to name his side until the day of the game (tomorrow) and says there is quality throughout the squad and sees little difference between the starters and the bench. In all likelihood we will see a 4-4-2, after all at this level you want to keep it simple and this is what Genes has used in previous games. The main question mark is over what kind of defence will line up. Cerro Porteño’s Paredes and Alonso can both play as centre-backs so could be used in what would be a very physical and aerially strong back four. Alternatively he may opt to move Alonso into the middle at the expense of Perez and bring in Manuel Balbuena a more traditional left-back. The key attacking forces will be Jorge Rojas on the right wing who will bring plenty of pace as he supports another pacey player in Benfica striker Derlis Gonzalez. Cecilio Dominguez will be relied on to hold up the ball and get on the end of crosses, moving into the space made by Gonzalez’s runs.

Gustavo Gomez captains the side from central defence - Photo: Prensa Selección Paraguaya de Fútbol

Gustavo Gomez captains the side from central defence – Photo: Prensa Selección Paraguaya de Fútbol

Unfortunately I know little about Paraguay’s rivals and I wouldn’t want to speculate too much at this stage, the below ‘possible XIs’ have been taken from Pablo Pedrero’s blog (in Spanish), a Paraguayan journalist currently in Mendoza following the side.

Paraguay XI (possible): Diego Morel; Teodoro Paredes, Gustavo Gómez, Matías Pérez,  Junior Alonso; Jorge Rojas, Ángel Lucena, Iván Ramírez, Rodrigo Alborno; Derlis González, Cecilio Domínguez

Colombia XI (possible): Cristian Bonilla; Andres Correa Valencia (or Helibelton Palacios Zapata), Felipe Aguilar Mendoza, Julian Alonso Figueroa Rentería, Yair Andres Ibarguen Murillo; Jose David Leudo Romaña, Sebastian Perez Cardona, Cristian Palomeque (or Cristian Higuita), Juan Quintero; Jhon Cordoba,  Brayan Perea (or Luis Mena)

Prediction: I am confident that the preparation of this Paraguay team and the individual quality will bring a win, 2-1

CORRECTION: In the preview to the tournament here I incorrectly mentioned that Junior Alonso will captain the U20s, in fact it is Libertad’s Gustavo Gómez.

By Ralph Hannah