The big news for Los Angeles Football Club is a continent away, as Eduard Atuesta was the surprise man up top who scored the winner for Colombia in South American Olympic qualifying on Monday, a 2-1 victory over Venezuela.
Atuesta has been the captain of the Colombia U-23s, with the tournament being held in his home country, so you better believe all eyes are on him. Eddie Segura also started and went the full 90 for Los Cafeteros, who are now in second place in their group, with one more match to go, against their main competition for advancement in Chile. Keep up the good work, Colombian Eds of LAFC!
More news for your Tuesday:
- No Cifuentes as Ecuador wrap tourney: No surprise, LAFC newcomer Jose Cifuentes did not feature in Ecuador’s final game of the Olympic qualifying tournament, a 1-0 loss to Argentina on Monday. Ecuador were already eliminated from advancing and Cifuentes is nursing an injury. Expect he’ll be joining LAFC (if his visa situation is in good shape, etc.) in the coming days.
- Zim eulogizes Kobe: It’s been fairly quiet for Walker Zimmerman so far this preseason, mostly because he’s been off working with the U.S. Men’s National Team most of the month. But the LAFC defender spoke about the loss of Kobe Bryant and offered an encapsulation of the NBA legend’s legacy as an athlete.
Upon hearing the news following today's training session of Kobe Bryant's passing, #USMNT defender @TheWalkerZim spoke of the inspiration the basketball legend gave to those around the world. pic.twitter.com/WZW1ffuDdu— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) January 27, 2020
- GK breakdown: If you want to find out more about Kenneth Vermeer’s game, The Athletic has a breakdown of it, alongside departed GK Tyler Miller. One surprise for me was their noting that Vermeer is more conservative in his line than Miller, when the Peñarol friendly at the weekend showed the opposite, he came out much further than Miller. But with more game tape at his new home we’ll see how that shakes out.
- Top MLS free agents: Over at The Athletic, Paul Tenorio has a good list of the top veterans still without a team around MLS. A few of these guys may be truly past it, but there’s some intriguing names (including Steven Beitashour) who are still looking for a new contract.
- Intriguing CSL targets? And a little more speculative, but MLSsoccer.com’s Greg Seltzer identifies some Chinese Super League imports who could be on MLS radars with changes coming in the foreigners rules in that league. Anyone strike your fancy? There’s been a small stream of players coming from China to MLS the last few years.
Today’s question: Would you rather see Colombia (Atuesta, Segura) and Uruguay (Rossi, Ginella) make the Olympics or not qualify, and why? Leave a comment below, let’s chat.