Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mateo, Barrientos, Achurcarro In - Road Trip To Uruguay Announced

Newell's have already added three in coming players: midfielders Diego Mateo (from Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy,) Hugo Barrientos (from Huracán,) and paraguayian forward Jorge Achucarro (from Atlas de México.) Mateo and Barrientos are both in their 30's, while I believe Achucarro is 27.

Achucarro scoring during a game in 2007

For Mateo, it's a home coming. After spending the last three years with three different teams, he will come back to the team that he started his career with. If this is any indication, Newell's will continue playing with two defense midfielders, though, if I'm not mistaken, he has also been used as a defender in the past.

Ivan Pillud is off to Spain, with Espanyol on loan, but he was only on loan from Tiro Federal to start with, so no incoming cash for Newell's on that deal. Armani will no doubt return to Tiro Federal.

Salcedo's rumored to want to go to Independiente. Considering his lack of form for River during the Apertura, and then with Newell's in the Clausura, I have to wonder why anyone would want him at all.

Hernán Bernadello is going to Almería in Spain. This, in my opinion, is the biggest loss for Newell's so far this off season. Hernán, who will be 23 on August 3rd, has played a solid role as a holding defender, and was a threat to score with his strong right foot when allowed to venture forward. He's a huge fan favorite, and will be missed by every Lepra the world over.

Atalanta in Italy are interested in Leonel Vangioni. Leo has held the left side of the midfield admirably. He has a good shot with both feet, and is only 22 years of age. While he doesn't have the same kind of fan base as Bernadello, it may well be harder to find someone who can fill his shoes on the left of midfield.

In preparation for the up coming Apertura 09, Newell's will be traveling to Uruguay, facing Peñarol on August 2nd, and then either Danubio or Defensor Sporting on either the following Thursday or Friday.

This is a good move, as compared to the usual playing warm up matches against lower division teams. While I have no illusions that the league in Uruguay is as good as that of Argentina, Peñarol are a powerhouse in that country, having played in 78 years in the top division with out a single relegation, winning 36 domestic league titles. Their worst finish ever was 14th, well above the relegation zone.

Playing in Uruguay also gives some of Newell's players who have never played outside of Argentina a taste of playing internationally. Hopefully this will inspire them into qualifying for the Libertadores sometime in the near future.

(Yes, I know Uruguay is just short boat trip over Río de la Plata. But with the shoe string budget Newell's is on these days...)

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