The spoils continue to fall for Hard Rock Stadium and the Miami soccer community. With Relevent Sports partnering with CMN Sports, the Magic City will be in the spotlight again tonight as two national rivals take the pitch in Colombia and Venezuela. Two of the biggest immigrant populations in South Florida will get a chance to see their colors represented in a match for bragging rights.
Colombia comes into the match coming off a loss in penalties to England in the round of 16 of the 2018 World Cup. Many of the familiar faces from the World Cup have not been called up for the pair of friendlies taking place in the states. The Cafeteros’ will be led by David Ospina, Cuadrado, Davinson Sanchez, Santiago Arias, Carlos Bacca, and Falcao with the majority of the rest of the roster coming from Liga MX and South America. Unfortunately, the match comes with a bit of turbulence for Colombia as long-time manager Jose Pekerman has stepped down just days ago after seven years at the helm.
Give credit to Venezuela for keeping this rivalry competitive despite poor showings in recent qualifications and competitions. Venezuela finished dead last in world cup qualifying, managing to only win two matches over 18 qualifying fixtures. However, has kept the series between the two nations at 2-2-2 over the past 6 meetings. The “VinoTinto” haven’t had a great showing in tournament play since exiting the 2011 Copa America in the semi-final. Yet the upswing for the Venezuelan faithful might have just arrived.
Josef Martinez has put the world on notice with his brilliant 2018 MLS campaign with Atlanta United. The MLS leading goal-scorer (28), and record holder for most goals in a season, has brought terror to MLS backlines everywhere. With the “Vinotinto” a pairing up front between Martinez and Salomon Rondon (Newcastle Utd) could be the long-term answer up top for Venezuela. Unfortunately for Venezuela, their recent woes have come from the back. Venezuela will have to find a cohesive defensive unit if they look to hold the Colombian attack at bay and make a challenge at the 2019 Copa America.
Keepers: David Ospina (Napoli – Italy) and Ivan Arboleda (Banfield – Argentina)
Defenders: Santiago Arias (Atl. Madrid – Spain), Jeison Murillo (Valencia – Spain), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham Hotspur – England), William Tesillo (Leon – Mexico), Helibelton Palacios (Atletico Nacional – Colombia), Cristian Borja (Toluca – Mexico), Jhon Lucumi (Genk – Belgium), and Deiver Machado (Atletico Nacional – Colombia).
Midfielders: Juan Cuadrado (Juventus – Italy), Juan Quintero (River Plate – Argentina), Wilmar Barrios (Boca Juniors – Argentina), Mateus Uribe (Club America – Mexico), Gustavo Cuellar (Flamengo – Brazil), Nicolas Benedetti (Deportivo Cali – Colombia), Jorman Campuzano (Atletico Nacional – Colombia), and Sebastian Villa (Boca Juniors – Argentina).
Forwards: Radamel Falcao (Monaco – France), Carlos Bacca (Villarreal – Spain), Luis Muriel (Sevilla – Spain), Yimmi Chara (Atletico Mineiro – Brazil), Luis Diaz (Atletico Junior – Colombia), and Alfredo Morelos (Rangers – Scotland).
Keepers: Wuilker Faríñez (Millonarios FC – Colombia) and Rafael Romo (Apoel Nicosia – Cyprus).
Defenders: Jhon Chancellor (Anzhi Majachkala – Russia), Wilker Ángel (Akhmat Grozny – Russia), Nahuel Ferraresi (CF Peralada – Spain), Yordan Osorio (Vitoria Guimaraes – Portugal), Pablo Camacho (Deportivo Tachira), Alexander Gonzalez (Elche CF) – Spain), Luis Mago (Carabobo FC) and Rolf Feltscher (LA Galaxy – USA).
Midfielders: Junior Moreno (DC United – USA), Tomás Rincón (Torino – Italy), Agnel Flores (Monagas SC), Ronaldo Lucena (Deportivo Tachira), Sergio Cordova (Augsburg – Germany), Darwin Machis (Udinese – Italy), Jefferson Savarino (Real Salt Lake – MLS), Rómulo Otero (Al Wahda FC – Saudi Arabia), Eduard Bello (Antofagasta – Chile) and Luis González (Deportes Tolima – Colombia).
Forwards: Christian Santos (Deportivo La Coruña – Spain), Fernando Aristeguieta (América de Cali – Colombia), Salomón Rondón (Newcastle United – England) and Josef Martínez (Atlanta United – USA).
Tickets are still available for the match scheduled to kickoff at 8PM from Hard Rock Stadium.