LDU Quito Under 20 – Match Report vs. Internacional Under 20 (06/02/2022)

LDU Quito won their opening match in the Copa Libertadores U20 against Internacional. The Ecuadorians set up in a 4-4-2 and switched between a more patient and direct style of play. LDU Quito were lucky to not concede a penalty after Oscar Zambrano fouled an Internacional player in the box. The Brazilians created a few other big chances, but in the end it was LDU Quito who scored their first big chance. Angulo was the goal scorer. The Ecuadorians did well to defend after they scored the opening goal and did not concede any big chances anymore.

Youth Ratings

1 – Ready for the first team
2 – Good, potential to be first team
3 – Decent, could make first team squad
4 – Decent potential, unlikely to make it to first team
5 – Unlikely to make first team

Stalin Valencia

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Ecuadorian
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 10/10/2003
  • Club: LDU Quito
  • Career: LDU Quito
  • Position: Central Defender
  • Preferred foot: Left

Stalin Valencia played as a left central defender in the match against Internacional. The young Ecuadorian showed great potential throughout the match and made a really good impression on me. Valencia has good mobility, he looked agile in the defensive 1v1 duels and showed good footwork. The Ecuadorian is very strong in the ground duels. He has good decision-making in defence. Valencia did not make mistakes with stepping out of the defensive line. The 18-year-old closed gaps towards the wing well. He has a good leap in aerial duels too. There was one situation in which his teammate lost the ball which meant that Valencia was out of position. I thought it was really good how he sprinted back in position before trying to cut off the passing lane.

Standing at ~1.83m, Valencia looked really powerful in the duels and he made it seem like he was taller and stronger. The Ecuadorian defender proved to be quick on the first meters and showed a really good pace over a long distance. On the ball, Valencia looked composed but he occasionally made the wrong decision. He stepped into midfield with the ball confidently, sometimes getting past his opponents, but he should have released the ball sooner in some situations. On one occasion he was very sloppy with his short passing too. His crosspassing was inconsistent, but his passing technique is good and he pulled off some really good passes.

Rating – 2

Stalin Valencia is a really promising defender based on this performance. He has good mobility, is strong, is quick, is agile, has good decision-making, has a good leap in aerial duels, has good technique, but he needs to improve on his consistency on the ball.

Oscar Zambrano

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Ecuadorian
  • Age: 17
  • Date of birth: 20/04/2004
  • Club: LDU Quito
  • Career: LDU Quito
  • Position: Central Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Oscar Zambrano played as a central midfielder in the match against Internacional and formed a pairing with Denil Castillo. The young Ecuadorian main ability lies in the first phase of the build-up, in which he impressed with his movement for the majority of the match. Oscar Zambrano moved between the lines very elegantly and opened up passing lanes at the right times. However, he sometimes moved out wide at the wrong time. This was when one of the full-backs also played in a deeper position on the wing. Oscar Zambrano sometimes played as the third central defender in possession too. The midfielder was very good at receiving the ball and possesses great ball control under pressure.

He played with confidence and was comfortable on the ball. Zambrano often tried to play forward passes and these passes were accurate. The Ecuadorian was also capable of playing powerful passes to Castillo or the attack. Overall, in possession Zambrano did well to help LDU Quito progress the ball further up the pitch. Defensively, Zambrano gave away a penalty in the first half after he made a very clumsy foul. He did not look great defensively throughout the majority of the match, as he often played too high up the pitch or moved wide which opened up a big gap in central areas. Generally, he played with a low tempo and he seemed to not possess that much speed over longer distances. He also needed to be subbed off after 60 minutes because he had a cramp attack.

Rating – 3

Oscar Zambrano has good technical ability, but I am not too sure about his physical ability. His tactical ability in defence is questionable too. He could become a good defensive midfielder for LDU Quito though with the right guidance.

Daniel De La Cruz

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Ecuadorian
  • Age: 17
  • Date of birth: 06/03/2004
  • Club: LDU Quito
  • Career: LDU Quito
  • Position: Right-Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Daniel De La Cruz played as the right-back for LDU Quito in the match against Internacional. He showed mixed signs throughout the game, with some bad decision-making in defence but promising signs in attack. De La Cruz’s timing of stepping up was not good. The Ecuadorian should have stayed in position more often and been more cautious. His mobility was not great, he failed to change directions quickly and sometimes struggled with his footwork. On the ball, he showed that he possesses a decent amount of tactical intelligence, positioning himself smartly in the half-space and playing first-time through passes with his back heel to the right-winger.

The Ecuadorian right-back had a lot of involvement in attack and linked up really well with his teammates in the final third. He had a lot of power when making runs and showed great confidence going forward. Daniel De La Cruz showed good feints to put his opponent on the wrong foot, but could not change directions quickly when sprinting. His stepovers in a 1v1 duel also did not look that quick. His shooting locations were questionable, he sometimes tried to shoot from a very tight angle and did this very wildly too. Physically, Daniel De La Cruz had good acceleration and pace. He is ~1.75m tall (I think) but should improve his footwork. He seemed strong in the ground duels.

Rating – 3

Daniel De La Cruz looked promising going forward, but his defensive positioning and footwork in defence are questionable. I maybe need to look more closely into his performances to further assess his potential and determine whether my observations were right.

Denil Castillo

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Ecuadorian
  • Age: 17
  • Date of birth: 24/03/2004
  • Club: LDU Quito
  • Career: LDU Quito
  • Position: Central Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Denil Castillo played as one of the two central midfielders in the match against Internacional and formed a pairing with Oscar Zambrano. The midfielder showed good energy and stamina throughout the match. Under pressure, Denil Castillo occasionally had a bad first touch as his footwork let him down in some situations. The young Ecuadorian played some good passes into the attack. He showed good vision to find the attackers in space between the lines. Denil Castillo’s long passes were inaccurate at times, but he proved to have a good kicking technique. Denil Castillo took a free-kick for LDU Quito and nearly hit the target, showing good shooting technique. In other situations, he was too wild and his shot went far over.

Defensively, he sometimes cut the passing lanes really well. However, in other situations he moved out wide out of possession which led to him being out of position. This opened up space in central areas as Oscar Zambrano also did not always stay in position. There was one situation in which Castillo stepped up, but he overcommitted which led to him getting nutmegged. This opened up space for Internacional in midfield. Physically, Castillo seemed to be quite tall (long legs) but in most situations, apart from the aforementioned moment, he seemed to have good mobility and was capable of doing quick feints in the attacking 1v1’s. He is quick on the first meters and had good pace over a long distance.

Rating – 4

Denil Castillo had an okay match, but he lacks tactical understanding out of possession and did not seem press-resistant. This will restrict him from playing for the first team, but based on this match he could definitely make it somewhere in the Ecuadorian league.

Yeltzin Erique

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Ecuadorian
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 27/03/2003
  • Club: LDU Quito
  • Career: LDU Quito
  • Position: Left-Back
  • Preferred foot: Left

Yeltzin Erique played as a left-back for LDU Quito in this match. The Ecuadorian showed good athleticism throughout the match and I thought he looked quite promising. The left-back did well to stay close to left central defender Stalin Valencia when dealing with crosses from the opponent’s left wing and provided cover very well. The youngster showed good anticipation and decision-making in defence. During this match, I did not see any situation in which he made the wrong decision about stepping up or not stepping up. In the last few minutes he gave Bernardo of Internacional too much space to put in a cross. He also should have stayed on his feet more often instead of going in for the slide tackle.

On the ball, Erique made the assist for Angulo’s 1-0. Yeltzin Erique made a good overlapping run and did not get reached in the first attempt, but he received the ball after the second attempt and did well to look over the ball. Erique stayed calm in the final third and put in a very good cross twice in five seconds. The second attempt was scored by Angulo. Yeltzin Erique did well to spot his teammates in space in other situations as well, especially later in the game when LDU Quito were hitting Internacional on the counter. He sometimes took up a very high position when LDU Quito were in possession and provided width for the Ecuadorian side. Erique once tried to shoot from a very long distance, which was the wrong decision.

Yeltzin Erique did well to stay focused for 90 minutes even though he seemed really tired in the later stage of the game.

Rating – 3

He has an interesting profile, but I am not too sure yet where his career will take him. Erique has a good build, showed good athleticism, good decision-making in defence and good composure under pressure and in the final third.

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