Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Colombia says "No thanks, MLS"

Colombia released their roster for the two US-based friendlies they'll play in the coming weeks. Despite strong showing from all 3 this year, Juan Pablo Angel, David Ferreira and Fredy Montero all missed out on the callup.

Colombia's roster:

Breiner Castillo (Independiente Medellin)
Farid Mondragon (Cologne)
David Ospina (Nice)

Pablo Armero (Udinese)
Ivan Cordoba (Inter Milan)
Aquivaldo Mosquera (America)
Luis Amaranto Perea (Atletico Madrid)
Juan David Valencia (Independiente Medellin)
Mario Yepes (AC Milan)
Camilo Zuniga (Napoli)

Juan Cuadrado (Udinese)
Victor Ibarbo (Atletico Nacional)
John Javier Restrepo (Independiente Medellin)
John Valencia (Once Caldas)
John Viafara (La Equidad)

Falcao Garcia (Porto)
Teofilo Gutierrez (Trabzonspor)
Giovani Moreno (Racing Club)
Adrian Ramos (Hertha Berlin)
Darwin Quintero (Santos Laguna)

Now, Ferreira and JPA are not young. I get that. They've had their time with the Colombian national team and don't project to have any real impact in the future. However, they're both playing great right now, are based in the country where these friendlies are taking place, and, in JPA's case, live maybe 45 minutes away from the location of the game October 12th against the USA. I know that MLS isn't looked at as a top tier league, but shouldn't 58 goals in 98 appearances and living just down the road be worthy of a look?

The more interesting case is Fredy Montero. They 23 year old forward for Seattle Sounders has been playing out of his mind in his second season here, and will be a contender for the league MVP award. He's had 4 caps with the national team since 2007, most recently in August of 2009. However, if he's not getting noticed now, you have to wonder when he will be called in.

Look at the forwards Colombia chose instead:
Falcao Garcia - This 24 year old is a monster. 27 goals in 34 for games for Porto, he should be a fixture for some time to come.
Teofilo Gutierrez - 25 years old, recently moved from the Colombian league (where he was one of the leading scorers) to Turkey.
Giovani Moreno - 24 year old now playing for Racing in Argentina after 5 solid seasons in Colombia.
Adrian Ramos - 24 year old who has established himself as a regular with Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga.
Darwin Quintero - 23 year old with Santos Laguna who plays often, but doesn't have the best goal scoring record

That's 5 forwards, all under the age of 25, and all playing outside Colombia. It's going to be tough sledding for Montero to crack that group considering MLS's (undeservedly poor, in my opinion) reputation abroad.

Of course, it is always possible that the Colombian team didn't want to interupt MLS players at the end of their season when all of them are in the playoff race. It could have been a benevolent decision intended to curry favor with MLS coaches.

Somehow I don't think that's the case though.

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