Where in the World are Chris and Kurt? (Part Tres)

Mike Russell Foto

Where in the World is Kurt Schmid?

Last weekend, Kurt was still in Brazil watching two small market teams in Sao Paulo's regional league. Since then, he has flown to Ecuador. On the evening of Wednesday, April 6, he was watching a Copa Libertadores match in a southern suburb of Quito, Ecuador called Sangolqui. Flash forward to the evening of Saturday, April 9--Kurt is eating empanadas de pollo and smugly sipping his coca tea in an eatery across from the stadium in downtown Quito. Kurt was getting ready for a League 1 match between homeside LDU Quito and Deportivo Cuenca. Keep in mind the elevation is over 9,000 feet. 50,000 fans screaming and chanting in unison while your opponents are huffing and puffing--now that is home field advantage. Ecuador is clearly doing something right.

The stadium better known around town as "La Casa Blanca" is pretty epic. Feast your eyes.


Ecuador Domestic League: Ecuador's domestic league features 12 teams and is 70 years old. LDU Quito has won the league title 10 times, good enough for fourth most decorated club in Ecuador. Deportivo Cuerca has only won the league title once in 70 years. This year, however, LDU Quito is 2 points away from 12th place whereas Deportivo is a respectable 5th place. In this match, Kurt saw the Quito side continue its downward spiral as they were shut out in front of their home fans.

LDU Quito: Comprised roughly 50% with loaned players from all over South America. Below are a few players that Kurt could have been scouting. Transfermarkt team page.

  • Diego Morales, 29, CAM (1.5 mill euros) Diego has played in Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia. Its a good sign that he has experience adapting to leagues abroad. highlights
  • Hancel "so hot right now" Batalla, 18, RW (400 Th euros) Not much is known of this kid. He wasn't in the youth/reserve system very long before he was promoted to the first team and loaned out for playing time. goal
  • Alejandro Villalva, 23, LW (500 Th euros) He has played at the first team level in Ecuador for 3 years. Alejandro's contract expires in December. No highlights available

Deportivo Cuenca: Another roster filled with players on loan. This club might just take the trophy from the LA Galaxy for "most mature roster". Not a single player jumped off the page from this club. Take a peak if you'd like.

This was not the most exciting match from a scouting perspective. Diego Morales looks like a promising player but I worry that at 29, he might not have much of a future with the club. Better DP options probably exist.

The other match Kurt observed was played earlier that same day between home side Universidad Catolica (6th) and Delfin (10th). Played in a different stadium, Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa was pretty easy to identify with Quito's cityscape in the background.

Universidad Catolica: Not to be confused with Jeisson Vargas' club in Santiago, Chile. UC is a young, exciting team from a scouting perspective. Transfermarkt team page

  • Haminto Prado, 18, RW (500 Th euros) This is his premier season with the first team. No highlights available.
  • Jesi Godoy, 23, CM (800 Th euros) Has bounced around Ecuador at the pro level for a few years. No highlights available.
  • Romario Ibarra, 21, RW/LW (650 Th euros) Good skill on the ball, can beat defenders, but his final ball is underwhelming for his price tag. Either this highlight reel completely misrepresents his capabilities, or he is raw. Nothing wrong with an unpolished 21 year old, but I'm sure the Sounders can do better. Highlights.
  • Bruno Vides, 23, CF (1.8 Mill euros) Has played 1st team minutes in Argentina, Ecuador and Chile. He is essentially an efficient poacher. He doesn't create his own chances but times his runs well, operates comfortably in tight spaces and has a nose for goal. Solid aerial presence too despite being 5'9". Highlights.

Delfin SC doesn't have a single player that interests me. You be the judge. No attacking players on the roster that are both under the age of 28 and worth more than 300 Th euros. Big old PASS.

Where in the World is Chris Henderson?

Chris Henderson returned to "El Madrigal" once again watching Villarreal. I find it interesting that he's back scouting a club where any player from the first team could be scouted as a big time DP player in MLS. Its just hard to imagine a youngish player getting semi-regular minutes for the likes of Villarreal getting whisked away to MLS. According to Transfermarkt, there isn't a single midfielder or winger whose contract is expiring this summer. The only player who looks to be a call up from the B-team is Adrian Marin, but he's a fullback--not exactly a position of need. Chris must either be eyeing a depth player willing to take a pay cut for playing time, or he is looking at the opposition. My guess is the latter.

Getafe CF spends roughly one third of what Villarreal does on players, and is still a much richer club than our beloved SSFC. There are several young attacking players in the $1-6 million dollar price range whose contracts/loans expire in June. The deal gets sweeter because Getafe CF is 3 points away from last place in La Liga. Its important to keep in mind that in La Liga, the bottom 3 teams get relegated to the second division. Keep a close eye on Toulouse and Getafe in coming weeks. Below are a few players worth tracking. Transfermarkt team page.

  • Karim Yoda, 27, RW (1.8 mill euros) Come to Seattle, he must. Marketing dream, surely, he would be. Doomed for relegation, his club is. Expiring in June, his contract is. On, I could go, but stop, I must. Highlights (you must watch).
  • Victor Rodriguez, 26, CAM (3 mill euros) On loan from a midtable second division club. His highlights show him creating chances from both wings. He has a cultured right foot which he uses for curling crosses from the flanks. In his 31 appearances and over 2,000 minutes this season, Victor has only notched 2 goals and 3 assists. Vic has one more season left on his contract with his second division parent club.
  • Bernard Mensah, 21, CAM (2 mill euros. On loan from Atletico Madrid. This kid from Ghana recently fetched a 6 million euro transfer fee when Atletico inked him to a long term contract through 2021. Despite the large price tag, Bernard has only played 57 minutes in league competition for Getafe. He looks to be trapped behind Victor and Pablo for minutes. You hate to see a young kid sign a big contract and get absolutely stonewalled for playing time. Too bad. Highlights
  • Pablo Sarabia, 23, CAM (5 mill euros) Absolutely lighting up the Spanish youth national teams score sheets. He is no doubt a prime target for predatory Spanish clubs if Getafe does in fact get relegated. Pablo's contract doesn't technically expire until 2019--that is if the money doesn't dry up first. In 25 league appearances he has 5 goals and 5 assists. Remember this kid's name. Highlights
  • Emeliano Buendia, 19, CAM/RW (400 Th euros) He is young but has played his way onto the big boy squad. Through 500 minutes, he has found the back of the net once. Haha, all I could find were his futsal highlights. Enjoy some sweet futsal action.

Next up on Chris' scouting schedule is Valencia vs. Sevilla. Above is a picture of Estadio de Mestalla.

Valencia is sitting in 12th place. No shot at the title, but also in no immediate danger of relegation. The market value of Valencia's roster is 243 mill euros. This is the richest club he's scouted. For some context, there are zero healthy players under 30 with a market value below 7 million euros... So, ya know that feeling when you walk into a store and realize you can't afford anything? Yeah, that. Basically, that's what Chris felt like. Lets take a look at Sevilla FC, shall we?

Sevilla FC is in the same boat as their opponent, Valencia. No chance at the title, but in no danger of relegation. Their budget is also crazy high--196.1 million euros. Also, like Valencia, Chris will be looking for depth players and reserve side players. And finally, also like Valecia, Sevilla does not have a midfielder/winger whose contract expires this summer. There's only attacking player that is both young and in the bargain bin. Transfermekt team page.
  • Juan Munoz, 20, RW/CF (500 Th euros) Juan was recently called up from the reserve squad. In this match Juan started at right wing although his usual position is center forward. My guess is now that the season is winding down, the coach is playing his kids. Juan's international career consists of one appearance with the Spanish U19 squad. No highlights available, unfortunately.

That about wraps it up. Between the 3 episodes of "Where in the World" and the few Major Link Soccer comments I've posted, I'd say a recap episode is in order highlighting the most exciting players by position. All the South American CAMs are beginning to blur together at this point. After all the research, all I can say is that I badly want to go to Ecuador for a big match. The gameday experience must be otherworldly. I just... I can't even.


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