Copa America appetizers. Colombia, time to rebound.
June 3, 2016
A year after a wonderful World Cup in Brazil 2014, Colombia couldn't do what they did in Brazil when they were the sensation of the tournament. The offensive gameplay, the possession of the ball and the fun the players showed after scoring a goal, were all missing.
A year after that failure, Jose Pekerman has rejuvenated the squad. The old guard took a step back and now it's time for some players to make a point. James Rodríguez, Juan Cuadrado, Carlos Bacca or Jeison Murillo and the cornerstones upon which the team will have to grow.
Now the team is deeper, the absence of legends like Falcao has allowed young players to arrive on the scene.
NEWCOMERS: Sebastián Pérez, a complete midfielder from Atlético Nacional, adds depth and quality to midfield.
Marlos Moreno, a 19-year-old forward, also from Atlético Nacional, has taken the Copa Libertadores by storm and that has earned him a spot on the national team. With Falcao out of contention, and Jackson Martínez languishing in China, time is on his side, starting now.
Santiago Arias, a right fullback who plays for PSV in Holland is a very good attacking defender who has some problems with coverage. He has appeared on the left side of the national team. The future looks bright for him but only if he improves his defending.
THE LEADER: James Rodríguez. The attacking midfielder from Real Madrid, started the season strongly but quietly disappeared from the starting XI. He needs to come back to his World Cup shape, where he introduced himself to the world.
THE COACH: José Pekerman did brilliantly in developing talent for his native Argentina. His Under 20 National Teams won everything and through his hands, many great Argentinian players blossomed.
He surprised the world in Brazil 2014 with an offensive style, possession gameplay despite Falcao's absence. When nobody believed in Colombia they surprised everybody. A year later, Colombia was the disappointment of the Cup. Now they have to regain that shape if they want to advance in this tournament and then secure a place in the next World Cup.