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The Other Valencia of Ecuador

The Other Valencia of Ecuador

Posted by Juan Gavasa on March 30, 2014

Ecuador reached the World Cup in 2002 and in 2006, and in both tournaments, La Tri has had a young player that had a breakout tournament. In 2002, it was Edison Méndez. In 2006, it was Antonio Valencia. Heading into Brazil, the name you may need to remember is another Valencia: midfielder-cum-forward Enner Valencia.

Enner Remberto Valencia Lastra was born April 11, 1989 in San Lorenzo, Esmeraldas, Ecuador. Enner is not related to Manchester United’s Valencia, but both Enner and Antonio came from the same youth club, Caribe Junior. Enner was transferred to Emelec in 2008. Valencia’s stock began to rise in 2010 as he finally got first-team playing time on a regular basis. Enner helped Emelec finish second in the Ecuadorian Serie A for three consecutive years. In 2013, Emelec finally reached the top of the mountain and were crowned champions. Valencia also impressed at the Copa Libertadores as well. In late 2013, Enner Valencia was transferred to Mexican club Pachuca. In Mexico, Valencia is teamed up with fellow countryman, Walter Ayovi, and is having a solid start to his Tuzos career. Enner is second in the top goalscorers table with eight goals in 11 starts this Clausura season.

Enner Valencia grew up playing mainly at right-winger, but is now playing at centre-forward more often both at Pachuca and with La Tri. In a recent interview with Area Deportiva (Ecuador), Enner said he is enjoying playing CF.

“I’ve always played down the right side and now they (Pachuca) put me in this position. I feel better, I stand best in the field and that's good for me. I feel more comfortable,” said the 24 year-old. Recently, Enner put on an impressive performance in the recent friendly match against Australia. Enner was taken down by Australian goalkeeper Mitchell Landgerak, which resulted in La Tri’s second goal of the game. Valencia grabbed Ecuador’s equaliser in the 77th minute. Ecuador got the match-winner in stoppage time, and Enner Valencia was a major reason La Tri where able to come back for 0-3 and defeat the Socceroos 4-3 in their friendly in London.

During a Pachuca press conference in February, Enner said he wants to go to Brazil. “I want to play in the World Cup. I want to be with my national team.”

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