Ecuador Placing Hope In Valencia

Ecuador will be placing a lot of hope upon Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia at the World Cup 2014. The winger has been included in the provisional squad by manager Reinaldo Rueda. However, it is almost certain that he will be part of the 23 man squad that will be playing at this prestigious tournament. Ecuador have been moving up the table in the last few years and they have become one of the surprise packages from the South American qualifying for this World Cup. They have relatively easy group stage with the likes of France, Switzerland, and Honduras being their opponents.

France are almost certain to qualify comfortably from the group, which would leave Switzerland and Ecuador fighting for the final qualification spot. In such a position, the manager will be hoping to get as much top-level experience as he can in the squad. Being one of the few Ecuadorian players currently plying their trade in Europe, Valencia will be one of the first names on the team sheet. Further, he is also one of the players with a lot of big-game experience. Ecuador will be starting the World Cup campaign with a match against Switzerland on June 15.

This will be followed by matches against France and Honduras. One of the surprises has come in the form of Stuttgart’s Carlos Gruezo. At just 19 years old, he is one of the youngest players in the squad and he is yet to make his international debut. Segundo Castillo, who represented the likes of Wolves and Everton, has also been included in the squad. Ecuador will be taking on Netherlands in a tough friendly match just before the World Cup. Former city striker Felipe Caicedo is expected to be named as part of the starting line-up for this friendly match.