Juan Carlos Osorio is close to being hired as the new coach of the America from Cali. Just a few days ago, the Caleño team announced the departure of Juan Cruz Real, a manager who led them to the league title last year. Now, the best positioned for the position seems to be a former Atlético Nacional coach.
For this reason, here we analyze the roster of the ‘scarlet’ team in light of Osorio’s patterns in his previous experiences as a strategist. Mainly, the reference will be placed in his passage through the ‘purslane’ team and the Mexican national team. Trying to predict a typical lineup would certainly be playing fortune teller. However, It is possible to reflect on the characteristics of some players based on the DT’s profile.
Dynamism and unpredictability are characteristics closely related to the profile of a coach that is Juan Carlos Osorio. Rotations and tactical flexibility have been present in all his teams. Still, there are two elements that have been repeated in the two mentioned stages.
First, the most common Colombian scheme revolves around the base of a 1-4-3-3, with ends that give amplitude and interiors of travel. Second, his favorite variant involves adapting his equipment to the use of a line of three in the background. With this line, he tends to seek greater solidity in the attack-defense transitions, generating numerical superiority, and strengthening his chances of getting the ball played. It would not be surprising, then, that Osorio’s idea in America is based on these two alternatives.
Osorio profiles in America
On different occasions, Osorio has built his teams on players with very particular profiles. Specifically, three must be referred to: a wild card player; multipurpose players; and fiber B2 players. These profiles combined with the promotion of young talent and individual growth are key to understanding the brightest Juan Carlos Osorio.
Wildcards and Cornerstones
When talking about wild card players, cases such as Stefan Medina or Daniel Bocanegra in Nacional jump to memory. These two players were key in their two stages at the club, acquiring central functions for their team’s game. Both came to play their football in multiple positions: as central defenders in lines of 4 and 3, as right backs, and even as midfielders. In particular, These players excellently combined their ability to play in various positions with a leading role in the match plan. Something similar happened with the role of Edson Álvarez in the Mexican team.
Thinking about this profile in the current America squad seems complicated. The player prototype seems not to be fully met. The footballers who could perhaps fulfill a similar role would be either Luis Paz, with a positional reconversion, or Carlos Sierra, who returns from loan to Tolima.
Versatility and flexibility
The second profile is that of multipurpose players who modify their position according to the moment of play of the match. Of these cases, it is clearer to speak of his last stage in Nacional, where Cristian Mafla, Helibelton Palacios and Daniel Muñoz exemplify these cases exceptionally. His role was not necessarily leading, but his abilities allowed the coach flexibility in his approach. On repeated occasions it was seen how these players varied their position from full-back to center-back or back-lane, modifying the team’s scheme and standing.
In America, Osorio may have availability of several players who meet this profile. The clearest example is that of Pablo Ortiz, a defender who gives him the flexibility to go from a line of four to a line of three. The young defender has the ability to play both as a left-back and as a central defender. Likewise, players like Yesus Cabrera or Luis Sánchez in the midfield could give the ‘Mister’ these possibilities.
Fiber B2 and dynamism
Finally, Osorio trusts B2 fiber players a lot, extremely athletic players who add intensity and dedication to their teams’ play. In his last step at Nacional, Baldomero Perlaza it was the prototype par excellence. Likewise, the signings of González Lasso or Geisson Perea they respond to this same logic. These players are so crucial that one of the strategist’s main criticisms of Mexican soccer has to do with the little promotion of these types of profiles.
Didier Cambindo and Marlon Torres could be the players who contribute this component to Osorio’s strategy. Two players who, from their area of influence, can contribute to situations in which it is necessary to stretch the team or reduce spaces to their rivals. However, the DT will surely miss a profile with these characteristics in the core of his team. One wonders if Osorio would need the signing of a box-to-box midfielder to link his team’s transitions.
“I want to raise awareness among my players that we do not have a super strong team of super athletes for various cultural reasons. In Mexico there are not the athletes that there are in Colombia, because the approach is very different.” Juan Carlos Osorio, DT of @emiseeccionmx pic.twitter.com/lH1yuXq7XH
– The DT’s Blackboard (@LaPizarraDelDT_) April 29, 2018