In the Venezuela preview, we look ahead to this summer’s Copa America Centenario to feature the team’s roster and schedule, as well as to predict how far they’ll advance in the Copa and which players to watch out for.

Venezuela preview:

Manager: Rafael Dudamel

Captain: Tomas Rincon

Venezuela preview: Squad:

GOALKEEPERS (3): José Contreras (Tachira, VEN), Wuilker Faríñez (Caracas, VEN), Dani Hernández (Tenerife, ESP)

DEFENDERS (7): Wilker Ángel (Tachira, VEN), Rolf Feltscher (MSV Duisburg, GER), Alexander González (Huesca, ESP), Roberto Rosales (Málaga, ESP), Jose Manuel Velazquez (Arouca, POR), Mikel Villanueva (Atlético Malagueño, ESP), Oswaldo Vizcarrondo (Nantes, FRA)

MIDFIELDERS (9):
Juan Pablo Añor (Málaga, ESP), Arquímedes Figuera (La Guaira, VEN), Alejandro Guerra (Atlético Nacional, COL), Yangel Herrera (Atlético Venezuela, VEN), Rómulo Otero (Huachipato, CHI), Adalberto Peñaranda (Granada, ESP), Tomás Rincón (Genoa, ITA), Luis Manuel Seijas (Santa Fe, COL), Carlos Suárez (Carabobo, VEN)

FORWARDS (4): Yonathan Del Valle (Kasimpasa, TUR), Josef Martínez (Torino, ITA), Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion, ENG), Christian Santos (NEC Nijmegen, NED)

Venezuela preview

Venezuela preview: Overview:

Of all the South American teams involved in the Centenario, it’s Venezuela who find themselves in the worst run of form. Dudamel’s men desperately need to discover some kind of impetus if they’re going to be competitive in the United States.

In 2015 La Vinotinto began their tournament with a bang, beating a Colombia side which looked lost with key men out of form. They were unable to build on that triumph, though, and since have found form very difficult to come by; they lost seven of their next eight games following their victory over Los Cafeteros.

The result of this poor form is a World Cup qualifying campaign which already looks to set to be a fruitless exercise. Venezuela have only mustered one point from six games so far, trailing fifth placed Colombia by nine points. It means they’re unfancied as they gear up for this centenary edition of the Copa.

Finding cause for optimism is difficult. Longstanding creative crux Juan Arango—the all-time record appearance-maker and goalscorer—is not longer available to call upon; it means there will be more expectation placed on Salomon Rondon, after a mixed season with West Bromwich Albion, and Josef Martinez from Torino to do damage in the attacking areas.

Strong defending has been a huge problem and having only been appointed in April, it’s tough to see how the new manager, previously in charge of the Under 20s, can stem the flow of goals before the tournament. Indeed, the Venezuelan Football Federation itself admitted in a statement upon appointing their former goalkeeper a lack of funding prevented them from chasing a “world-class coach,” per Reuters.

Adversity can often breed resistance and having represented the national team 56 times between the sticks, Dudamel knows what it’s all about. Even so, in an extremely difficult group, there would have to be a seismic shift in fortunes if they’re to pick up any positive results.

venezuela

Venezuela preview: Group Fixtures:

Sunday, June 5

Jamaica vs. Venezuela, Chicago, IL, 5pm ET; FOX, Univision, Univision Deportes, FOX Sports Go, FOX Soccer 2GO and fuboTV (free trial)

Thursday, June 9

Uruguay vs. Venezuela, Philadelphia, PA, 7:30pm ET; FOX Sports 1, UniMas, Univision Deportes, FOX Sports Go, FOX Soccer 2GO and fuboTV (free trial)

Monday, June 13

Mexico vs. Venezuela, Houston, TX, 8pm ET; FOX Sports 1, Univision, Univision Deportes, FOX Sports Go, FOX Soccer 2GO and fuboTV (free trial)

SEE MORE: Schedule of all Copa America games on US TV and streaming

Venezuela preview: Key Player:

Salomon Rondon – In his first season in the Premier League we’ve seen glimpses of exactly what Rondon can offer at his best. He’s a brutish centre-forward, capable of winning individual battles, dominating in the air and bringing others into the game.

We’ve also seen why elite clubs may have held off on making a move for the Venezuela star. For all the attributes aforementioned Rondon can go through spells in matches without making any impact and can be a little hit-and-miss in front of goal. Even so, he’s the most important figure in Dudamel’s squad.

Rondon will need to savvy in his hold-up play, help take the pressure off the defense and be ruthless in terms of taking chances. It’s a lot to ask, but he’ll need to turn in a superhuman showing if Venezuela are to haul themselves out of this recent rut.

Venezuela preview: Verdict:

Group Stage Elimination – Preparations couldn’t have been less ideal for Venezuela, with a new, inexperienced manager taking over a group of players so short of confidence. Even at their absolute best the team would struggle against the likes of Uruguay, Mexico and Jamaica; given the predicament they’re currently in, qualifying for the quarter-finals looks well beyond them.

Venezuela home jersey

venezuela-home-jersey-copa-america

New Venezuela home jersey has embroidered adidas logo and sewn on team badge. Look for The Burgundy in the 2016 Copa America.

Find out how to order the Venezuela home jersey today.

Venezuela away jersey

venezuela-away-jersey-copa-america

Find out how to order the Venezuela away jersey today.

Read all of the Copa America team previews

• Argentina team preview
• Bolivia team preview
• Brazil team preview
• Chile team preview
• Colombia team preview
• Costa Rica team preview
• Ecuador team preview
• Haiti team preview
• Jamaica team preview
• Mexico team preview
• Panama team preview
• Paraguay team preview
• Peru team preview
• United States team preview
• Uruguay team preview
• Venezuela team preview

If you have any questions about the Venezuela preview, let us know in the comments section below.

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