Colombia coach Pinto revamps squad

January 23, 2007

BOGOTA, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Colombia's new coach Jorge Luis Pinto made sweeping changes when he named his first squad on Tuesday for the friendly against Uruguay on February 7.

The 28-man squad included only five survivors from the previous match in August while a host of young, uncapped players were called up.

Pinto, appointed last month after leading provincial club Cucuta to their first domestic title, chose only those based in Latin America, omitting players such as striker Juan Pablo Angel and defenders Mario Yepes and Ivan Ramiro Cordoba.

Defenders Mauricio Casierra and Hayder Palacio and midfielders Vladimir Marin, Jaime Castrillon and David Ferreira were the only members of the squad from the 2-1 win away to Chile in August which ended the reign of Reinaldo Rueda.

The newcomers included 20-year-old striker Radamel Falcao Garcia from Argentina's River Plate who is regarded as one of Colombia's most exciting prospects.

Pinto, who coached Costa Rica in 2004, has been assigned to rebuild Colombia for the Copa America in Venezuela in June-July and the 2010 World Cup qualifiers starting later in the year.

Colombia failed to qualify for the last two World Cups.

Goalkeepers: Miguel Calero (Pachuca), Robinson Zapata (Cucuta), David Ospina (Atletico Nacional)

Defenders: Hayder Palacio (Deportivo Cali), Jairo Suarez (Santa Fe), Aquivaldo Mosquera (Pachuca), Edgar Zapata (Veracruz), Walter Moreno (Cucuta), Nelson Rivas (River Plate), Breiner García (Cucuta), Estiven Velez (Atletico Nacional), Mauricio Casierra (Estudiantes), Jair Benitez (Deportivo Cali)

Midfielders: Alvaro Domínguez (Newell's Old Boys), Vladimir Marin (Libertad), David Ferreira (Atletico Paranaense), Jonathan Estrada (Millonarios), Fabian Vargas (Internacional), Jose Amaya (Atletico Nacional), Ruben Dario Velasquez (Deportivo Cali), Danilson Cordoba (Independiente Medellin), Christian Marrugo (Santa Fe), Jaime Castrillon (Independiente Medellin)

Forwards: Luis Gabriel Rey (Morelia), Tressor Moreno (Necaxa), Hugo Rodallega (Monterrey), Radamel Falcao Garcia (River Plate), Cesar Valoyes (Independiente Medellin)