Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Juan Luis Guirado: the next defensive gem?

Things are a buzzing in the dark depths of soccer forums in the Philippines, courtesy of an intriguing article by one of the Philippines better  'soccer commentators,' Joaquin Henson. Apparently there is enough concern about the absence of Aly in the Azkal lineup that the 32 year old(yes Mr Henson he is 32 not 31. Born Aug 27 1979) brother of Angel Guirado is being recruited to play the part vacated by Aly.

But first a little background on Juan Luis Guirado. The man is a left footed defender and also play left mid and left back who is at the moment playing for Racing Lermeño Club de Fútbol
a Tercera division(4th tier) Group 8, Spanish football club. Basically he plays at the same level of our 'other' Spanish recruit Carli de Murga who plays in the same division but in Group 10, and no, they don't play against each other. On another note, his team won a game last Sunday Oct 23 but has been a doormat of their division, sitting at 18th place in the 20 team league.

A few months back in the depths of the World Cup Qualifying games, there were talk of señor Juan Luis to come done and play for the Azkals but he sent a letter to Angel's fan page and was eventually translated by one of's Filipino-Mexican member. The gist of the letter basically stated that he left his former team because of economic problems(bankruptcy of the team?) and also has a new job with Pepsi Co so it was impossible for him to come and play for the Philippines at that moment. He closed out the letter by saying that the Philippines has "the best of the Guirado family". A bow to his brothers better overall skill perhaps?

So now some of you are probably wondering why we need a 32 year old defender! The answer would be, what he could offer. Primarily his overall skill level, and height. To play the position that Aly held means defending against cross' and high corner kicks, something Aly excels at. Juan Luis has the height to do this. At around 6'2" he 'could' be dominant in this regards against smaller Asian players in the AFC CC. Skill level, it would be correct to say not one of us knows except for Angel but he has and still does play in the Tercera division, so that could give an indication. One thing though, through a cursory research(His team, Racing Lermeño does not have a team website but I've got my ways) he is not usually part of the starting rotation, is listed as a mid(though earlier in his career he has played D). But, before everyone can finish their collective groan, please note, Oliver Potschke a lower tier(6th) player and not a regular starter for his team has already shown his quality to us in the Long Teng Cup 2011 addition.How much more for a veteran like Juan Luis, especially one who has played defense for years(OP was converted to CB by coach Weiss, he is a regular midfielder).

Now to fantasize:

2006 with FC Burgos
I'm hoping he could come down, if not for the whole Challenge Cup series, perhaps a good majority of it. It cannot be a bad thing to partner Rob Gier with Juan Luis in the middle and a roaming Jason de Jong or Lexton Moy at the holding midfield position. Partnered with a match fit veteran in Anton del Rosario at RB and Ray Jonsson(his team season starts in May 2012) at LB and Jason Sabio backing them up would give us a veteran lineup who could take us far. Are there other players better than these guys? Yes, most definitely, but they cannot help no matter how good they are if their clubs won't release them right?

*Note that Rob Gier and OP are in lower tiered teams so I'm supposing they could get off easier than the others. I could be wrong.

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