Surprise names in Ecuador squad for WCup warm-up
QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Defender Cristian Ramirez of Fortuna Duesseldorf and midfielder Carlos Gruezo of Stuttgart were some of the surprise names in Ecuador’s squad for its World Cup warm-up against the Netherlands on May 17 in Amsterdam.
Coach Reinaldo Rueda also called up midfielder Fernando Saritama, who has played sparingly in the local league, and Jaime Ayovi of Mexico’s Tijuana.
Manchester United midfielder, Antonio Valencia, was included in the squad as expected.
Ecuador’s final warm-up is against England in the United States in June.
The 24-man squad announced Tuesday exposes Rueda’s concern with the defense, which has struggled with regular starters Jorge Guagua, Walter Ayovi and Gabriel Achilier.
Ecuador is Group Eat the World Cup along with Switzerland, France and Honduras. It opens its campaign against Switzerland on June 15 in Brasilia.
Goalkeepers: Maximo Banguera (Barcelona of Ecuador), Alexander Dominguez (Liga de Quito), Adrian Bone (El Nacional).
Defenders: Oscar Bagui (Emelec), Gabriel Achilier (Emelec), Frickson Erazo (Flamengo), Walter Ayovi (Pachuca), Jorge Guagua (Emelec), Juan Carlos Paredes (Barcelona of Ecuador), Cristian Ramirez (Fortuna Duesseldorf).
Midfielders: Segundo Castillo (Al Hilal), Carlos Gruezo (Stuttgart), Renato Ibarra (Vitesse), Fidel Martinez (Tijuana), Cristian Noboa (Moscow Dynamo), Pedro Quinonez (Emelec), Luis Saritama (Barcelona of Ecuador), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).
Forwards: Felipe Caicedo (Al Jazira), Jefferson Montero (Morelia), Joao Rojas (Cruz Azul), Armando Wila (Universidad Catolica), Enner Valencia (Pachuca), Jaime Ayovi (Tijuana).