Alianza FC huffed and puffed their way to a 1-1 draw with Alajuelense in CONCACAF League Action. Alajuelense won the first leg 5-0 and, though it was clear they had a lot more technical quality, mostly seemed content to jog around until the match was over. Alianza played with a bit more intensity, they did have 5 goals to make up after all, but they did not have the technical nous to create high danger scoring chances against this level of opposition.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Panamanian
- Age: 21
- Date of Birth: 01/03/2001
- Current Club: Alianza Panama
- Career: Alianza (Y)
- Position: Centre-Back
- Preferred Foot: Right
Eduardo Anderson played in the middle of a back-five in this match and had an extremely strong performance. Anderson is very good at managing space and defending in 1v1 situations. Alajuelense had a lot more technical quality than Alianza (as evidenced by the fact that they won the first leg 5-0) so Anderson was under a lot of pressure. But, even when isolated 1v1 with space in behind he never looked like he was in trouble. He did not bite on feints and he had good body shape when defending against dribblers.
He was also generally well positioned to cut out long balls and head away crosses. Anderson stands 6’2 and has quite a narrow frame which helps him to be decent in the air and mobile. He did sometimes struggle for power on headed clearances and I wonder how he would adapt against a more powerful centre-forward. But he was quite good at sweeping up loose balls and being in a good position to make interventions. He played quite a lot of progressive passes but these were mostly to wide positions and not necessarily line-breaking passes. He also gave the ball away a few times attempting longer-range passes but it was difficult to say to what extent this was down to his teammates being bad at receiving the ball. He made a lot of passes that did get to his teammates but said teammate was then tackled almost instantly. To a certain extent this is the fault of the pass receiver for not moving quickly and not being strong enough to hold off pressure (something pretty much nobody on Alianza could do). But I think Anderson also could have been more discerning when selecting his passes. There was one slightly odd moment where he overran the ball but other than that his first touch and control were quite good.
Rating – A1
On a not very good team, Anderson stood out. He is a strong 1v1 defender, has decent physical traits and he has some degree of technical skill. These things can take you an awfully long way. I’m not sure I would slot him into an MLS team right away but he is definitely ready for a step up. He would be a good signing for a team in Costa Rica, USL, or perhaps an MLS Next Pro Team. He would also be a good signing for a mid-sized regional power like Olimpia or Communicaciones. I would also extend this recommendation to clubs of equivalent size on other continents.