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Atuesta, Segura lead Colombia to win in Olympic qualifying

Plus, a possible injury to Cifuentes and more LAFC news.

Japan U-22 v Colombia U-22 - International Friendly Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images

Three Los Angeles Football Club players featured in the same South American Olympics qualifier on Tuesday, as Eduard Atuesta and Eddie Segura started and went the full 90 in Colombia’s 4-0 rout of Jose Cifuentes’ Ecuador in matchday two on Tuesday.

The result was obviously positive for Los Cafeteros, with Atuesta bouncing back from the narrow matchday one loss to Argentina with a win this time around, while Segura made his debut in the tournament. The game the defender didn’t play? A loss. The game he played? A win. Any questions?

Meanwhile, perhaps the longer-lasting consequence of the game could be Cifuentes being subbed out in the 72nd minute, on a stretcher. Journalist John Rojas, a straight shooter, said he thought it looked like a quad injury, but obviously we’ll have to see if he plays again in the Olympic qualifying tournament and if not, what LAFC sees when he joins the club in preseason.

Meanwhile, Uruguay lost 3-1 to defending Olympic champ Brazil on Wednesday. Diego Rossi played the full match up top, while Francisco Ginella started and was subbed out at the half, Uruguay down 2-0 at that point. The loss is a setback, but Uruguay have now played the toughest team in their group and have games coming up against Bolivia and Peru to try and secure a Top 2 finish to advance in the tournament.

Here’s more news for your Thursday morning:

  • Bob Bradley is LA’s top coach: That’s the word from the Los Angeles Sports Council, who named Bradley the top coach in 2019. He’ll be honored at a televised awards ceremony Feb. 20 at the Beverly Hills Hilton. Bradley is the second LAFC figured to win an LA Sports Council award in two years, after Tom Penn won Sports Executive of the Year for 2018. Congrats, Bob!
  • Forlan has message for The 3252: Time was, Diego Forlan was the star linked to numerous MLS clubs every transfer window. Now, he’s the manager of Peñarol, who will play LAFC in a friendly at The Banc on Saturday. Forlan had a message for the North End ahead of the game
  • Speaking of Peñarol in the USA: They played the Seattle Sounders in a preseason scrimmage on Wednesday, with the Uruguayans winning 1-0 courtesy of a first-half Jonathan Urretaviscaya set piece goal. Given the Uruguayans’ famous garra charrua (basically, a legendary will to fight for your aims, no matter what), don’t expect them to roll over on Saturday.
  • Ejimadu highly regarded in GK ranks: Phillip Ejimadu’s status remains a bit hazy, but the young goalkeeper is back at preseason camp for LAFC and one of the best writers who specialize in covering goalkeepers, Bill Reno, ranks Ejimadu as a Top 5 prospect in his age group and says he’s one to watch.

Today’s question: What are you most excited about for Saturday’s preseason opener against Peñarol? Let’s chat in the comments!