The Five Weapons of Uruguayan Soccer in Toronto 2015
The Five Weapons of Uruguayan Soccer in Toronto 2015
Once again, the Uruguayan Soccer Team was defeated right at the gates of the Olympic Games. The “gurises”, as they are called in this region, did their best on the field, but Argentina prevailed in the final stage of the Sub 20 South American Championship held in Uruguay.
The positive aspect of this type of tournament is that you notice the change of intensity between acclaimed athletes and this group of young soccer players that are taking their first steps into the soccer realm and this was the first time that many of them wore the uniform of the national team.
They run more and go after all balls. Protecting their legs is not a requirement because, unlike older players, they have to prove their worth. And they actually did it: the Uruguayan team ranked third in the South American tournament and it qualified for the World Championship of that category and Toronto Pan-American Games.
So, the Uruguayan boys hold their head up and await the opportunity to shine again, first in the Sub 20 World Championship (May-June) and later in Toronto Pan-American Games (July) where they stand among the favorite teams to play at Hamilton’s field.
Although they could be called to Chile’s America Cup, Fabian Coito’s boys know for sure that those two showcases will give them the opportunity to let the world see their talent.
Gaston Pereiro. Perhaps he is the best player in this young team. He is an attacking midfielder that already plays for one of the most important teams of Uruguay (Nacional) and many people describe him as one of the possible substitutes of Diego Forlan.
Pereiro features several characteristics of the typical Latin American 10: powerful kick, goals, feints, perfect control of the ball and accurate passes. He made his debut on the first professional division in January 2014. Pereiro scored his first goal on the fourth day.
His participation in the South American Championship reasserted his winning streak: he scored five goals in 8 games.
Mauro Arambarri. Another amazing revelation. Arambarri is also 19 years old and plays as a winger for Defensor Sporting, another team of Uruguay’s First Division.
During the past season he played in 12 of the 15 games in the Opening Tournament. The Sub 20 South American Championship put him on the international scene: he is presently been asked by Spain’s Malaga and Italy’s Juventus.
Besides the great control of the ball, Arambarri is very skillful when it comes to marking rivals and recovering balls, so he’s an excellent marking midfielder. Speed and pace change are some of his pillars.
If he keeps this level, he will be a headache for rival defenses and attacks.
Rodrigo Amaral. He’s barely 17 years old, but he seems to be a veteran on the field. The forward of the Uruguayan sub 20 team and player with the National Soccer Team is another promise for the near future.
Amaral is not afraid of being the fireman in risk situations: he made his debut in 2014 in a friendly game with Paraguay in Asuncion, which was a tie. Two days later he scored his first two goals and defeated the local team 2 - 1.
Months later, in Panama, he joined the game in the second half and scored the tying goal in the finals against the local team, and he later shot one of the penalties that gave Uruguay the cup. Amaral was labeled best player of the tournament.
This young player is praised by his teammates, who highlight his virtues, intensity when it comes to fighting for the ball, and they recognized that he has a promising future.
They are not wrong. The same happens with judges and fans. The organization named him revelation player of the tournament.
Gaston Guruceaga. Always shedding light on midfielders or forwards, sports journalists have few opportunities to take a closer look at the back area.
But experts know that effective attacks and fast midfielders are as important as having good goalkeepers, as they are the last barrier.
Guruceaga came from Peñarol First Division and showed he was one of those goalkeepers with iron hands: he has saved the team in several situations, ordered the defense and alerted on the movements of rival forwards… all in all, a first-class goalkeeper.
He is 19 years old and 1.91 meters tall. Guruceaga is a sure candidate to substitute Fernando Muslera when the time comes, if he keeps this level.
Guruceaga was one of the awarded Uruguayan players during the South American Championship: he was given the Gold Glove for being the less-scored goalkeeper of the championship. Rival forward will have to do wonders to score when he is on the field.
Naitan Nandez. The leader of the Team won the ribbon. The midfielder that plays in Peñarol is 19 years old, but he looks like a veteran when directing the group.
Nandez didn’t score a goal in this championship, but he contributed with similar elements: order and excellent game at the midfield. With extensive mark and fine passes, as well as incredible physical condition that had him running throughout the game with the same speed, the midfielder established a game style that caught the eye of everybody.
The captain will have to keep his performance in upcoming events, but with this style that encourages his teammates, he has become a key element in this team.