Yerson Mosquera is a 21-year-old center back who plays for FC Cincinnati in Major League Soccer, on loan from English Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers FC. He has featured for the Colombian U-20 and U-18 national teams in the past and is now looking for more playing time through a loan to MLS. Yerson started his professional career with Atletico Nacional in Colombia before moving to England. Mosquera’s agency is Goal Management SAS, who represent many Colombian players including former MLS best XI midfielder Eduard Atuesta and a pair of K.R.C. Genk defenders in Carlos Cuesta and Daniel Muñoz.
What stands out immediately with Yerson Mosquera is his pace and duel-winning. Standing at 1.88 meters (6’2″), Mosquera is a big enough body to consistently win duels, but not so big that his speed lacks. He showed off his physical tools in a match against Seattle Sounders FC. Seattle would send long passes down their right side after a bit of short combination, a pattern which hurt their previous opponents mightily. Cincinnati nullified this strength by having Mosquera hunt any ball into space down that channel. Mosquera had infrastructure around him which afforded him the ability to focus more on breaking up counterattacks and covering for left wing back Álvaro Barreal. In possession, Mosquera completes the simple passes. Long passing and weak foot ability are not strong features of his game.
For Cincinnati, Mosquera has been lined up as an outside center back in a back three. He is right-footed and plays on the left side of a back line. Mosquera’s primary responsibility is denying access to dangerous assist zones along the end line. Mosquera uses his speed to chase down balls slipped in behind the outside backs when playing higher and uses it to deny cutback crossing zones when defending deeper. He doesn’t need a second invitation to step into the midfield for a challenge and this can cost his team at times. Against Chicago Fire FC, his eagerness to win the ball outside of the defensive third led to a rare opportunity for opposing striker Kacper Przybyłko to get behind him and score with a beautiful curling finish. Not long afterward, Mosquera conceded a novice penalty after Chris Mueller won better body position. Mosquera was playing on the right against Chicago and did not look nearly as comfortable as he did on the left side of the Cincinnati back three. This Chicago game was an outlier as I have seen far more encouraging moments than worrisome moments.
Overall, Mosquera is a weapon for any team playing with high or medium depth in the back line and looking for a defender to break up counterattacks before they become dangerous. Mosquera is not yet a high IQ defender who can lead the defense to function as a compact unit, but he can do an excellent job when given few instructions. Yerson Mosquera is one of the highest upside central defenders in MLS, and when put in a favorable position, his game really catches the eye.