With the South American Under-20 Championships approaching, Goal.com previews one of the contenders, Ecuador...
The Tricolor have only ever qualified once for the World Championships at this level, and this generation has bad memories of being left out of the Under-17 event back in 2007, despite hosting it.
However, Julio César Rosero has an experienced side that knows what it means to win, as shown by the fact that ten of the twenty players were part of the gold winning team in 2007. Add that to the fact that the majority of the players are first-team choices at their respective teams, and it is easy to see why this Ecuador team is well respected in this CONMEBOL event.
19/1 vs. Perú
21/1 vs. Venezuela
23/1 vs. Colombia
27/1 vs. Argentina
Israel Chango - Liga de Quito (ECU) - 20 years old
One of the revelations of 2007, Chango, despite being only 20, is an experienced attacking midfielder, who has become an important player for Quito lately. Won the gold medal in the Panamerican Games and also the Copa Libertadores with his side, before finishing runner-up at the Club World Cup.
Fidel Martínez - Cruzeiro (BRA) - 18 years old
Considered one of the most talented players of this generation, Martínez was part of the team that won gold in 2007, and is a skilful midfielder. Has already played, and scored, for the full national side.
Deison Méndez - Liga de Quito (ECU) - 18 years old
A versatile defender, who is strong in the air, Méndez has big hopes on his shoulders and already has plenty of experience. Is at Quito, but without a contract, and recently went on trial at Inter Milan, but did not join because of passport troubles.
Joao Rojas - Técnico Universitario (ECU) - 18 years old
Won the best young player award in his local championship and was one of the star of Ecuadorian football in 2008. A forward with quick feet and some skills, he has already played for the full national team and should be a handful in his tournament.
Wilson Folleco - Deportivo Cuenca (ECU) - 19 years old
A right-winger with plenty of pace and versatility, Folleco has already played over 50 games in the First Division, and has played both on the left-wing and also up front, where he can score goals.
Marlon de Jesús - El Nacional (ECU) - 17 years old
The main attacking threat for Ecuador, Jesús might be young but he is big and physically strong. Has attracted interest from River Plate and, like his team-mates, has plenty of first-team experience.
Jefferson Pinto - Emelec (ECU) - 18 years old
A tough midfielder who has been called up to the full national team, but has not yet played. Pinto is strong and fast, and should be key in the middle of the pitch.
Jefferson Montero - Dorados de Sinaloa (MEX) - 19 years old
Montero is a midfielder who is renowned for his goals, as seen as the Panamerican Games. He has plenty of skill and pace to go with his eye for goal and has played for the full national team already.
Former player of Nacional, Deportivo Quito and Barcelona, Julio César Rosero arrived as an assistant to the full team, and has been entrusted with this task. This will be his first test in charge of the team and there is no doubt 'The Emperor' has a good squad to work with.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Mendoza (Liga de Portoviejo) and Jonathan Bonilla (Rocafuerte FC).
Defenders: Wilson Folleco (Imbabura SC), Michel Castro (Deportivo Quito), Deison Méndez (Liga de Quito), Hamilton Chasi (Deportivo Cuenca), Juan Anangonó (El Nacional), Harrison Gómez (Rocafuerte FC) and Marcos Caicedo (Emelec).
Midfielders: Israel Chango (Liga de Quito), Jefferson Pinto (Emelec), Jefferson Montero (Independiente José Terán), Fidel Martínez (Cruzeiro-Brasil), Mike Rodríguez (Barcelona), Fernando Guerrero (Independiente José Terán), Steven Zamora (Deportivo Azogues) and Fabricio Guevara (El Nacional).
Forwards: Marlon De Jesús (El Nacional), Joao Rojas (Técnico Universitario) and Juan Anangonó (Barcelona).
James Walker-Roberts, Goal.com