June 2, 2006
Random World Cup Facts: Ecuador
Times Qualified: 2
Best Finish: First Round (2002)
YouTube Clip: Carlos Tenorio clinches the Qatari league title for Al Sadd.
Football in Ecuador: The Ecuadorian league is currently dominated by LDU Quito and El Nacional. The two have combined for some strong performances in the Copa Libertadores with LDU Quito looking at a likely semifinal berth when play resumes after the World Cup. The league has not always been the strongest as the national team did little of note before qualifying in 2002.
Unlike Paraguay, most of the Ecuadorian squad is domestically based which is not surprising considering Ecuador's reputation on the international stage. This could potentially be a strength since the players will be familiar with what the others on the team can do.
Players to Watch: Agustin Delgado (LDU Quito) was the most important piece of the teams that qualified for the two World Cups. Ulises de la Cruz (Aston Villa) is not considered to be a good player at all by the fans at Villa Park, and yet, he may play an important role in Paraguay's chances of advancing.
Chances: Ecuador will need to beat Costa Rica and hope for a draw or win against either Poland or hosts Germany. I do not see either happening with this weak of a squad.
Prediction: 4th in Group A