A young United States side faces Bolivia on Memorial Day as both teams look to move past the disappointment of failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. This Bolivian team will largely be unknown to USMNT fans so here’s a closer look at La Verde.
- The Roster
Selección de Bolivia, nomina oficial de convocados. Amistoso Internacional: Estados Unidos vs Bolivia. Día 28 de mayo de 2018. Philadelphia (USA) Talen Energy Stadium. pic.twitter.com/cLlTHjwsEx— FBF (@fbf_oficial) May 16, 2018
Goalkeepers (2): Carlos Lampe (Huachipato/CHI; 21/0), Guillermo Vizcarra (Hapoel Ra’anana/ISR; 1/0)
Defenders (7): Carlos Añez (Oriente Petrolero; 0/0), Oscar Baldomar (Universitario de Sucre; 0/0), Cristian Coimbra (Blooming; 4/0), Luis Haquim (Oriente Petrolero; 2/0), Gustavo Olguin (Oriente Petrolero; 0/0), Jesus Sagredo (Blooming; 0/0), Jose Sagredo (Blooming; 7/0)
Midfielders (9): Danny Bejarano (Panteolikos FC/GRE; 17/0), Rodrigo Borda (Universitario de Sucre; 0/0), Leandro Maygua (Universitario de Sucre; 4/0), Sergio Moruno (Aurora; 0/0), Edson Perez (Nacional Potosi; 0/0), Miguel Quiroga (Nacional Potosi; 0/0), Juan Ribera (Oriente Petrolero; 0/0), Rodrigo Rodriguez (Oriente Petrolero; 0/0), Luis Jose Vargas (Blooming; 3/1)
Forwards (4): Bruno Miranda (D.C. United/USA; 5/0), Hector Ronaldo Sanchez (Oriente Petrolero; 1/0), Leonardo Vaca (Blooming; 0/0) Rodrigo Vargas (Karpaty FC/UKR; 3/0)
This side is certainly a B team, as it lacks a many of the country’s top players. While this squad is slightly older than the U.S.’, fourteen of the players are uncapped and none have more than twenty-one caps. Only six of the twenty-six players ply their trade outside of Bolivia.
2. World Cup Qualification Struggles
Like the U.S., Bolivia failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The team finished 9th in CONMEBOL Qualifying, ahead of only Venezuela. La Verde haven’t appeared at the World Cup since 1994 and have never progressed past the group stages. The team has also been poor in recent Copa Americas, with the exception of a shock quarter-final run in 2015. It is currently ranked 57 by FIFA.
3. Record vs. the U.S.
Bolivia holds a 2-1-4 all-time record against the USMNT, with six of the seven matches being played in the 1990s. The most recent meeting between the two sides came during a 2016 friendly, in which the U.S. won 4-0. Bolivia is 1-2-2 in its last five games. It typically overachieves at home ground Estadio Hernandes Siles, due to the stadium sitting 11,932 feet above sea level.
4. The Manager
Head coach Mauricio Soria had a lengthy playing career as a goalkeeper in Bolivia’s top flight, Liga de Futbol Profesional Boliviano. He also won 23 caps for the national team between 1990-2002. Soria began his managerial career in 2006 and has taken charge of several of Bolivia’s best club sides. His third and current stint as manager of the national team began in 2016. He previously served as interim manager in 2014 and had a brief spell as the full-time manager in 2015.