In our Ecuador preview, we predict how far the team will go in the Copa America Centenario tournament, what their squad roster looks like, their schedule of games and their star player.
Manager: Gustavo Quinteros
Captain: Walter Ayovi
Ecuador preview: Squad:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Máximo Banguera (Barcelona, ECU), Alexander Domínguez (LDU Quito, ECU), Esteban Dreer (Emelec, ECU)
DEFENDERS (7): Gabriel Achilier (Emelec, ECU), Robert Arboleda (Universidad Católica, ECU), Walter Ayoví (Monterrey, MEX), Frickson Erazo (Atlético Mineiro, BRA), Arturo Mina (Independiente del Valle, ECU), Juan Carlos Paredes (Watford, ENG), Cristian Ramírez (Ferencváros, HUN)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Michael Arroyo (Club América, MEX), Fernando Gaibor (Emelec, ECU), Carlos Gruezo (FC Dallas, USA), Pedro Larrea (El Nacional, ECU), Fidel Martínez (Pumas UNAM, MEX), Ángel Mena (Emelec, ECU), Jefferson Montero (Swansea, WAL), Christian Noboa (Rostov, RUS), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United, ENG)
FORWARDS (4): Jaime Ayoví (Godoy Cruz, ARG), Miler Bolaños (Grêmio, BRA), Juan Cazares (Atlético Mineiro, BRA), Enner Valencia (West Ham United, ENG)
Ecuador preview: Overview:
Ecuador have impressed plenty with their blistering beginning to World Cup qualifying and have the potential to be a wildcard outfit in the United States at the Centenario.
The previous edition was hugely disappointing for La Tri. Losing 3-2 to Bolivia in the tournament was a major embarrassment for the team, as they failed to make it beyond the group. Yet despite these tribulations, the association decided to stick with Quinteros, who only took the job on in January 2015.
It’s a decision which has been vindicated. Since a 2-1 win in in a meaningless clash with Mexico at the previous Copa, Ecuador have been in wonderful form; that victory was the first of six in succession, including wins over the likes of Argentina and Uruguay. Suddenly, this is a team performing with panache.
There are some extremely talented players at Quinteros’ disposal too. After missing out on the last tournament, Antonio Valencia is fit once again. The Manchester United man along with Swansea City’s Jefferson Montero can dazzled defenders on the flanks, while the forward pairing of Enner Valencia and Felipe Caicedo are awkward for any defence.
La Tri will be quietly confident of topping their group here too. Brazil’s squad selection suggests they have one eye on the Olympics, while there should be few issues up against Peru and minnows Haiti. If they can scale the summit, a pathway could easily be paved into the final four of this competition.