Serber’s Say: Argentine teams always seem to play at their ultimate level in this tournament. Arsenal will provide a strong test, but U de Chile will be too much for them.
U de Chile striker, Eduardo Vargas is the tournament’s top scorer with 5 goals (14 in all competitions). The 21 year old is already a full international and his performances this season has both Milan clubs tracking his progress.
One such player is Miguel Samudio. An outside back with blistering pace who is very dangerous when he joins the attack. Often Libertad look either strong or pedestrian based on whether or not the opposition lets Samudio venture forward.
If you don't watch this game you'll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
LDU are led by Argentine goal scoring sensation Hernan Barcos (20 goals in all competitions). Behind him lie the creative talents of Ecuadorian International Luis Bolanos,Mike Wallace Youth Jersey. Despite being shot twice in an attempted robbery in late February, Bolanos is back in the lineup, inflicting wounds on opposing defenses.
Universitario will have its hands full against the depth of Vasco, but the Peruvians have done well to reach this stage. In the Round of 16, La “U” squeaked by a quality Godoy Cruz side on penalties.
Undefeated in domestic play and cantering towards its 15th league title, The Owls are always a tough team to face. But, no one expected them to dismantle Ronaldinho’s Flamengo with such ease in the previous round. Especially in Rio where U de Chile ran out 4-0 winners.
In midfield, Victor Caceres started his professional career with Libertad in 2004 and represented Paraguay at both the 2010 World Cup and this summer’s Copa America. He is just one of many academy players who have featured for the national side.
The Copa Sudamericana is down to its final eight contestants. The last 8 features CONMEBOL’s diverse array of talents as seven different countries are represented in the quarter finals.
Outside backs Jorge Guagua and Norberto Araujo like to get forward. They especially make their presence felt on set pieces.
Velez eased passed an ailing Universidad Catolica side 3-1 on aggregate on the strength of a 2-0 away win in the first leg.
Marc Serber is a regular contributor on South American soccer to Soccer365.com. He is one of the English language voice on Copa Libertadores matches on Fox Deportes and FOX SPORTS WORLD CANADA.
Rodas is the primary goal scorer,Cam Newton Panthers Jersey, defenders must also be wary of Jonathan Copete. The 23-year-old is always busy up top and most dangerous when he gets the ball out wide with the option to cut inside,Eli Manning Youth Jersey.
Finally,Dustin Keller Jersey, If you can only watch one game from the Copa Sudamericana this week, make it this one.
That doesn’t seem to matter though. In the last round against an in form Aurora side from Bolivia, Vasco wilted in the altitude losing 3-1. Back at home in the return leg, Borges again fielded a mixed side of starters and reserves, but Vasco put on an exhibition with a thumping 8-3 victory.
The side was spearheaded by the vision of former Lyon star and Brazilian International Juninho Pernambucano,Jerod Mayo Youth Jersey, but Bernardo also put on a master class performance, with two exquisite finishes.
Libertad is a club that European teams should be studying. The Asuncion based club has won five titles in the last five years and always features in the later rounds of COMNEBOL competitions (knockout stages in the last three Copa Libertadores’). What is really impressive, however, is that the club has done it mainly with players developed in its own academy.
Arsenal’s strength is in its collective unit. Against Paraguay’s Olimpia in the Round of 16 it was obvious they were playing for a draw away from home with 10 man packed into the final 25 yards of the field. This time around,Doug Baldwin Jersey, Arsenal will be at home first and must get the result. If not, the men from Sarandi will be forced to attack on the road.
Serber’s Say: If LDU Quito is on top of their game, they should be able to overpower Libertad, but the Paraguayans always seem to be the underdogs and somehow often come out on top. This one is too close to call, but if you HAVE to make a bet, don’t take too big of a risk and put your money on the Ecuadorian giants.
In captain John Galliquio, the club is led by an outside back with credible European experience. Center-back Carlos Alberto Galvan is a defender in the traditional Argentine mold known as “los cuervos” or the cavemen for their uncompromising style. The 37-year-old has experience playing in Brazil with the likes of Atletico Mineiro and Santos back at the turn of the century.
On Wednesday, Peru’s Universitario de Deportes hosts Brazilian giants, Vasco da Gama.
by Marc Serber
Serber’s Say: With Universitario putting much more stock into this competition than Vasco, anything can happen. The depth in the Brazilian squad, however, will eventually be the deciding factor.
The Santa Fe’s midfield is run by Perez. If the Argentine is on his game, then Santa Fe will play with a strict metronome rhythm. While Perez is the general in midfield, Colombian international Yulian Anchico does the dirty work, providing the platform for Perez to do his stuff.
Vasco are second in the Campeonato Brasileiro (level on points and goal difference with 1st place Corinthians) and interim head coach Cristovao Borges has not hidden the fact that his club’s top priority is the domestic title.
Thursday’s and the quarter final’s last first leg may be the best. LDU Quito (the reigning Ecuadorian champions and 2009 Copa Sudamericana winners) will host Libertad (the best club in Paraguay over the last five years) at the Estadio Casablanca.
Velez’s talent’s have been well documented in this space. The Argentine Clausura champions were a penalty miss away from featuring in the finals of the Copa Libertadores and are looking for redemption on the international stage.
With seven different countries represented in the last eight, the parody of South American soccer at the moment is to the fore. The skill, passion, and drama of CONMEBOL will be on display. Here is hoping that these first legs set the table nicely for the return matches giving us 180 minutes worth watching in each of the four ties.
Tonight, Colombia’s Independiente Santa Fe takes on Argentina’s Velez Sarsfield.
Serber’s Say: If Santa Fe is to have any chance of reaching the final four, they must get the job done tonight in the altitude of Bogota.
The recent Copa America was evidence that the other nations are beginning to show their true quality. The club game is continuing with this theme in the tenth edition of South America’s version of the Europa League.
This has been a theme of CONMEBOL over the last few Copa Libertadores’ and Copa Suds’. Argentine and Brazilian teams tend to end up lifting the trophy, but the later rounds are not swollen with teams from just those two countries.
Santa Fe scrapped through the second stage of the tournament, beating compatriots Deportivo Cali on penalties. Surly the Bogota club was just extending its stay in which it could enjoy two high profile matches against Brazil’s Botafogo, but after a credible 1-1 draw in Rio de Janeiro, the capital club ran riot in front of its home fans. Oscar Rodas (2 goals) and Omar Perez (1 goal and complete domination of the midfield) took the return leg by the scruff of the neck in a performance that the Colombians dominated from start to finish.
On Thursday, Argentina’s Arsenal de Sarandi will take on a thriving Universidad de Chile side.
Related articles Universidad de Chile win Copa Sudamericana Copa Sudamericana Final - 2nd Leg Preview Copa SudAmerica Final Preview