Colombia coach leaves door open for Ángel
HARRISON, N.J. - As he seeks to rejuvenate his Colombian national team, head coach Hernán Darío Gómez's philosophy seems to be mixing experience with youth.
For that reason, “Bolillo” will not discard the possibility of calling up New York Red Bulls forward Juan Pablo Ángel sometime "in the future."
After all, he called up 39-year-old veteran goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón for Colombia's friendly against Ecuador at Red Bull Arena on Friday.
“One of my ideas to begin my work here, which is fully supported by the [Colombian] Federation, is to add proven winners and professionals who could add their experience to jump-start this project,” Gómez said.
“In life, it's very important to have examples, and Juan Pablo is one for Colombian soccer. That’s why I’m planning on calling him in the future.”
Taking advantage of his day-off, Ángel visited his former teammates at Colombia’s hotel in New Jersey. Gómez said he had the chance to talk with the forward about his time with the Red Bulls and his experiences in MLS.
“We talked about his present, which is very important,” Gómez said.
“He is surrounded by great international stars like [Thierry] Henry and [Rafael] Márquez. I appreciate his visit, and he had the opportunity to talk and share with the national team players. He told them about his experiences and that’s what I want.”
The Colombian coach said he follows MLS closely because of the number of Colombian players who play in it.
“With each day, [MLS] has evolved more and more and the style is getting more dynamic and more precise with its speed,” said Gómez, who also praised the U.S. national team's improvement in recent years.
“[United States] is one of the giants in world soccer today," Gómez said. "I saw it when I coached Guatemala, and I believe that their potential is based in their abilities and order.”