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Rediff.com  » Sports » Penpix of Ecuador's World Cup squad

Penpix of Ecuador's World Cup squad

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May 26, 2006 16:07 IST
Ecuador's squad at the World Cup finals will comprise the following 23 players:

(Statistics up to and including May 22 2006)

GOALKEEPERS:

1-Edwin Villafuerte (Deportivo Quito) Born 12.3.79 Caps: 14 Goals: 0

Villafuerte was brought into the side after Luis Fernando Suarez took over as coach and has kept his place, playing in nine out of the last 11 World Cup qualifiers and claiming the goalkeeper's spot with his solid performances. Unspectacular, which is a relief to many Ecuadoreans used to the antics of his predecessors such as Jacinto Espinoza. One of 10 players who left Barcelona of Guayaquil last November for lack of effort. Has been involved in a car crash recently.

12-Cristian Mora (LDU Quito) Born 26.8.792 Caps: 7 Goals: 0  

Reserve goalkeeper who played in two qualifiers. Made his debut last year in the friendly against Italy.

22-Damian Lanza (Deportivo Cuenca) Born 10.4.82 Caps: 5 Goals: 0

Although he is a reserve at his club to Argentine Javier Klimowicz, Lanza will be the third-choice goalkeeper. Made his debut in the 2004 Copa America.

DEFENDERS

5-Jose Luis Perlaza (Olmedo) Born 6.10.81 Caps: 2 Goals: 0

An imposing central defender at 1.93 metres, Perlaza earned a late call-up as a reserve for Ivan Hurtado and Giovanny Espinoza despite a lack of experience at international level. Has spent all his career with provincial club Olmedo.

4-Ulises de la Cruz (Aston Villa, England) Born 8.2.74 Caps: 83 Goals: 5

Right-back whose penetrating runs provide one of Ecuador's most useful attacking options, he is especially dangerous when cutting inside to shoot or cross. Played in 17 out of Ecuador's 18 qualifiers. Won one Ecuadorean league title with Barcelona Guayaquil and two with LDU before joining Hibernians in Scotland, then Aston Villa.

17-Giovanny Espinoza (LDU Quito) Born 12.4.77 Caps: 55 Goals: 2

Ever-present in the 2006 qualifying campaign, Espinoza was in the 2002 squad but did not get a game. Strong in the air though sometimes vulnerable when trying to play his way out of defence.

3-Ivan Hurtado (Al Arabi, Qatar) Born 16.8.74 Caps: 128 Goals: 5

The most capped player in Ecuador's history, Hurtado is a composed central defence who has been a regular for the best part of a decade. Played at five Copa Americas -- in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2004 -- and the last World Cup. Played in 17 of Ecuador's 18 qualifiers, missing only the last game when they had already qualified. Began his club career at Emelec and has also played for clubs in Mexico and Spain.

4-Ulises de la Cruz (Aston Villa, England) Born 8.2.74 Caps: 83 Goals: 5

Right-back whose penetrating runs provide one of Ecuador's most useful attacking options, he is especially dangerous when cutting inside to shoot or cross. Played in 17 out of Ecuador's 18 qualifiers. Won one Ecuadorean league title with Barcelona Guayaquil and two with LDU before joining Hibernians in Scotland, then Aston Villa.

17-Giovanny Espinoza (LDU Quito) Born 12.4.77 Caps: 55 Goals: 2

Ever-present in the 2006 qualifying campaign, Espinoza was in the 2002 squad but did not get a game. Strong in the air though sometimes vulnerable when trying to play his way out of defence.

3-Ivan Hurtado (Al Arabi, Qatar) Born 16.8.74 Caps: 128 Goals: 5

The most capped player in Ecuador's history, Hurtado is a composed central defence who has been a regular for the best part of a decade. Played at five Copa Americas -- in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2004 -- and the last World Cup. Played in 17 of Ecuador's 18 qualifiers, missing only the last game when they had already qualified. Began his club career at Emelec and has also played for clubs in Mexico and Spain.

MIDFIELDERS

15-Marlon Ayovi (Deportivo Quito) Born 27.8.71 Caps: 73 Goals: 5

Defensive midfielder with excellent anticipation who played in 16 of the 18 qualifiers. Has spent all his career with Deportivo Quito. The team's penalty taker.

14-Segundo Castillo (El Nacional) Born 15.5.82 Caps: 9 Goals: 0

Former under-20 international who can play in the centre of defence or in midfield but likely to be used only in an emergency during the finals.

20-Edwin Tenorio (Barcelona Guayaquil) Born 16.6.76 Caps: 67 Goals: 0

Hard-tackling defensive midfielder who picks up too many red and yellow cards for comfort. Tenorio was another regular in the qualifiers, missing only four games, and played in the 2002 finals. Began his career with Aucas, joining Barcelona in 2002. Ever-present in the 2002 finals.  

8-Edison Mendez (LDU Quito) Born 16.3.79 Caps: 62 Goals: 10

Ecuador's key player, Mendez shares the midfield playmaker's role with Luis Antonio Valencia. Possesses an excellent long-range shot and scored the winner against Brazil in November 2004. Took part in all but two of Ecuador's 16 qualifiers, scoring five goals. Raised at Deportivo Cuenca, he has also played for Mexican clubs Irapuato and Santos Laguna.

19-Luis Saritama (Deportivo Quito) Born 20.10.83 Caps: 12 Goals: 0

Creative midfielder who prefers to play on the left. A former under-20 international, he played in the 2004 Copa America and made one appearance in the qualifiers.

16-Luis Antonio Valencia (Recreativo Huelva, Spain) Born 4.8.85 Caps: 15 Goals: 3

One of most promising revelations, Valencia has kept his place in the side since scoring twice in the 5-2 win over Paraguay last March. Can attack down either flank and has a good long-range shot. He joined Villarreal last year but did not get a look-in and has been on loan at Huelva since January. Raised at El Nacional.

6-Patrico Urrutia (LDU Quito) Born 15.10.78 Caps: 4 Goals: 0

An aggressive, attacking midfielder who scores plenty of goals at club level. He is strong in the air and dangerous at free-kicks.

7-Cristian Lara (El Nacional) Born 27.4.80 Caps: 18 Goals: 3

One of the players brought into the team by coach Luis Fernando Suarez. Fast and skilful, he scored a superb goal in the 2-0 win over Argentina in June last year. Has spent most of his career with army club El Nacional.

FORWARDS

23-Cristian Benitez (El Nacional) Born 1.5.86 Caps: 4 Goals: 0

Raised at army club El Nacional, where his father Ermer Benitez also played as a centre-forward. Made his debut in a friendly against Venezuela in 2005. Helped his team to win the Clausura championship last year, scoring seven goals, and has had an excellent season in 2006.

10-Ivan Kaviedes (Argentinos Juniors, Agentina) Born 24.10.77 Caps: 42 Goals: 13

Burst on to the scene in 1998 by scoring 42 goals in 37 games for Emelec but has since played at Perugia, Celta Vigo, Porto, Crystal Palace, Puebla, Deportivo Quito, Ecuador's Barcelona and Argentinos Juniors without settling at any of them. Disciplinary problems have blighted his career and he has made only a handful of appearances under coach Luis Fernando Suarez, who has nevertheless gambled that an in-form Kaviedes can give the team some much-needed striking power.

11-Agustin Delgado (LDU Quito) Born 23.12.74 Caps: 67 Goals: 29

Veteran striker who is back in the team after a bout of knee and back injuries, which curtailed his English premiership career with Southampton. He is an excellent header of the ball a and Ecuador often try to exploit his strength in the air. Began his career with El Nacional and has also played for Mexican clubs Cruz Azul, Necaxa and UNAM. Scored five goals in the qualifiers. Left Barcelona of Guayaquil under a cloud last year and eventually joined LDU after Barcelona initially contested the move.

9-Felix Borja (El Nacional) Born 2.4.83 Caps: 5 Goals: 1

Penalty area specialist who has been called into the squad after his performances in the 2005 Clausura championship. Although not particularly tall, he is good in the air and has earned the nickname the Kangaroo. Can also run at defenders.

21-Carlos Tenorio (Al Sadd, Qatar) Born 14.5.79 Caps: 28 Goals: 4

Played in the 2002 World Cup. A fast, strong and skilful striker whose international career has suffered from his decision to move to Qatar's Al Sadd, missing a number of games -- including World Cup qualifiers -- after his club refused to release him in apparent defiance of FIFA rules.

Source:
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