The Ecuador national team will participate in Copa América for 17th time in a row and 28th time in history! The Tricolor aim to finish in the first two places of the group to qualify in the next round but they will have to overcome Uruguay’s, Chile’s and Japan’s barriers to qualify in the quarterfinals. This tactical analysis previews team Ecuador and their chances at the Copa América.
Ecuador is a team that has participated 27 times in Copa América but have not had any success except from two highlights. The Ecuadorians have managed to get the fourth position in the competition, in 1959 and 1993. A team without much talent in the past years and they are still so. A team that was likely playing in defensive style and tried to hit in the counter or from static phases.
The style of the team all those years is similar. Players who can play in many positions and give their everything for their country, but not so talented. They are distinguished for their passion and their hard style of play. They are playing old school football. Full defensive and try to hit in the counter.
For example, Ecuador national team players seem like the soldiers in the war. They will obey the instruction of the coach and will do whatever he will ask them for. They will faithfully apply the coaches’ course!
The characteristics of Ecuador and the style of play
Ecuador is a country which there are cities of high altitude (average 2.500 meters). So, when the players of the national team are training in these conditions, they are more athletic and their physical condition is better from their opponents. And that’s the explanation for the style of play of the team. They are playing the matches in high rate but they don’t have the quality as a team to control the rhythm.
They play full defensively, the lines are close the one to the other and all the players are trying to defend. When they get the ball in their feet, the try to hit in the counter with the fast players in the offensive line! Generally, Ecuador is a team with fast players and this helps the transition game. They do not score many goals in set game but they score a lot in the counter or from static phases like in the last friendly match against Mexico. It is an old school type of football that was used by many teams in the past years like Greece in Euro 2004 and Portugal in some matches of Euro 2016.
Hernan Gomez: A coach who loves the defensive tactics
Hernan Gomez is an experienced coach, who has managed to get Panama’s national team to the World Cup in Russia (2018). The Ecuadorian confederation convinced him to get the team’s coaching and in the first matches we have seen some progress. The 63-year-old loves to play defensively and suits perfectly the team’s mentality. He will provide a team in Copa America that is hard to beat and score against! A team that plays full defensively, with players who play hard and don’t care if they will get a yellow card. In the previous friendly matches, Gomez tried three systems. His favourite system is 4-4-2 with double «6» and the lines are close one to the other, as it seems in the photo! I think, that this will also be the tactic of Gomez in the first match of Copa America against Uruguay.
He often plays a 4-4-2 tactics with a diamond in the midfield and if he wants to change it in the match and play more offensive, he turns it into 4-1-4-1. but those tactics are similar and it is easy to do it! Generally, Hernan Gomez is a coach who doesn’t want to take risks and try tactics or players in the matches.
The team stars and the notable players
As we have told, Ecuador is not a talented team like Brazil, Uruguay or Argentina but there are some notable players! There are some footballers that we can call them like the stars of the team. Antonio Valencia, who is the captain of Manchester United is one of them and also Ener Valencia and Angel Mena!
At the same time, there some players in a good age that you can notice them. Cristian Ramirez, 24, is a player you need to watch! He is a left back, good defensively and one of the most valuable players of the Russian team, Krasnodar. Carlos Gruezo, 24, is another player to watch because he is a very strong defensive midfielder! He is very strong and passionate, good at marking and… addicted at yellow cards! We also need to talk about Ayrton Preciado! The 24-years-old winger plays in Santos Laguna. He is very fast as a winger, with good skills who likes to score or making assist for his teammates! If he takes his opportunity from his coach, I am sure that will impress you.
Here is Ecuador’s 23-man squad called up and handpicked by Gomez:
Goalkeepers: Alexander Dominguez, Pedro Ortiz, Maximo Banguera
Defenders: Arturo Mina, Roberto Arboleda, Pedro Pablo Velasco, Cristian Ramirez, Xavier Arreaga, Jose Quintero, Beder Caicedo, Gabriel Achilier
Midfielders: Romario Ibarra, Renato Ibarra, Carlos Gruezo, Jefferson Intriago, Antonio Valencia, Ayrton Preciado, Jefferson Orejuela, Andres Chicaiza, Jhegson Mendez
Forwards: Carlos Garces, Angel Mena, Enner Valencia
Ecuador has gone to Brazil for Copa América and aim to get as far as it can! They have an experienced coach, who knows how to make a strong team. The Tricolor will be a tough opponent for every team and they will try to pass in the quarterfinals. But the road to the quarter final is difficult! They will participate in Group C of Copa America and they have to compete against Uruguay (17/06), Chile (22/06) and Japan (25/06).
Ecuador has to take advantage of the inexperience of Japan in that tournament and try not to lose against Chile who will be the team that will fight for the second place. The most difficult match is against Uruguay but those matches in the first day of the tournament, are always tough for the better teams when they play against weak sides!