Copa America appetizers. Venezuela on a rebuilding stage
June 5, 2016
After Copa America 2007 in Venezuela, the Vinotinto lived a stage of success. Semifinalists in the 201 Copa America and qualification for the 2009 World Cup in Egypt. Venezuela had begun to experience success after 2001, under Richard Páez. The local tournament was increased to 18 teams. Stadiums were built.
Then reality struck. Stadiums were empty. The 18 team league is not profitable in terms of money and the talent pool is short. The national team began to drop points and lose games. The national coach quit and was replaced by Noel San Vicente a successful coach in Venezuela. The came Copa America 2015 and they were eliminated in the first round. Juan Arango retired. With the start of the qualifying campaign for Russia 2018, there was a mutiny on the team. 15 players signed a petition to remove the coach and the board of the Federation. The manager quit but not the board.
Now Venezuela has officially started a rebuilding process. Rafael Dudamel a former goalie and current trainer has kept the core of the team and added young players. The team has been preparing for this tournament during 2 weeks. It remains to be seen what will be Venezuela's identity. Under Richard Páez it was possession and short passing; with Cesar Farías, defense and counterattacks.
Tomás Rincón. The Central midfielder, a powerhouse. The heart and soul. A tireless midfielder who covers a lot of space. Needs to learn to use his stamina to avoid getting tired.
Salomón Rondón. Centre forward. Venezuela's most expensive player who has played in Spain, Russia and England. Has to raise his level and be a factor.
Osvaldo Vizcarrondo. Central defender. Has slowed through the years and lives on positioning. Has had a disastrous qualifying campaign.Roberto Rosales. Right wing-back who plays in Spain. Better attacking than defending. A very regular player who can run up and down his wing the entire game.
Roberto Rosales. Right wing-back who plays in Spain. Better attacking than defending. A very regular player who can run up and down his wing the entire game.
Luis Manuel Seijas. Came under fire for his horrendous game against Chile. Very successful at club level, the national team expects him to be one of its main assets.
Juanpi Añor. Left footed wonder kid from Malaga. Son of a former international. His brother plays in the MLS. Great vision and an exquisite left touch. The closest there is to Juan Arango.
Adalberto Peñaranda. The striker from Granada CF. This season he arrived at the first division and consolidated himself in his club. Should partner Rondón in the attack. A powerful and quick attacker who has scored great goals in counterattacks.
Arquímedes Figuera. The defensive midfielder from the local tournament. Has relieved Tomás Rincón from some responsibilities and should partner with him in central midfield. Comes to his first international tournament.
Rafael Dudamel. Former national team goalkeeper. Very respected as a player because he was always demanding good conditions for the team. Understood that a professional player needs to have good conditions to perform on the field. Got to be the National coach ahead of time. Found a team in turmoil and this Cup will show if there is calm after the storm. His first task will be to make the team competitive again.