Here is Ecuador’s final 23-man roster as well as each player’s club team:
Goalkeepers: Maximo Banguera (Barcelona), Alexander Dominguez (LDU Quito), Esteban Dreer (Emelec)
Defenders: Gabriel Achiller (Emelec), Robert Arboleda (Universidad Catolica), Walter Ayovi (Monterrey), Frickson Erazo (Atletico Mineiro), Arturo Mina (Independiente), Juan Carlos Paredes (Watford), Cristian Ramirez (Ferencvaros)
Midfielders: Michael Arroyo (America), Fernando Gaibor (Emelec), Carlos Gruezo (FC Dallas), Pedro Larrea (El Nacional), Fidel Martinez (Pumas UNAM), Angel Mena (Emelec), Jefferson Montero (Swansea City), Christian Noboa (FC Rostov), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)
Attackers: Jamie Ayovi (Godoy Cruz), Miller Bolaños (Gremio), Juan Cazares (Atletico Mineiro), Enner Valencia (West Ham)
The Skinny: Ecuador will be one of the most intriguing teams in the tournament, if only to see if they can carry on their magnificent form.
In World Cup qualifying so far, Ecuador is 4-1-1, tying them with Uruguay for top marks in CONMEBOL. Only time will tell if Ecuador’s team is a real threat, or just a flash in the pan. For now, they will have to find a way to put the ball in the back of the net without star striker Felipe Caicedo, who leads CONMEBOL with 4 goals scored so far in World Cup qualifying. The Espanyol striker went down with a thigh injury and will miss the whole tournament.
Ecuador certainly have the personnel to replace his goalscoring quota, however. Between West Ham’s Enner Valencia, Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia, Swansea City’s Jefferson Montero, and Pumas’ tricky Fidel Martinez, Ecuador have plenty of proven talent going forward.
Swansea winger Jefferson Montero will try to step up to take some of the goalscoring load for Ecuador
The Ecuadorian midfield will likely be led by steady veteran Christian Noboa, who will have to work hard to protect a back line that could become a problem for the team. Led by 35 year-old captain Walter Ayovi, Ecuador’s defense did just enough to combine with Caicedo’s scoring output to win Ecuador games in World Cup qualifiers. That same defense might find itself exposed without their striker to protect them from up front.
Luckily for fans of Ecuador, Group B is by far the weakest of the bunch. Brazil will be without talisman Neymar among other notable omissions, and Peru is also missing its two biggest names up front. However, Ecuador should not take their group lightly. While they should have no trouble getting through to the quarterfinals, Peru was a team that surprised many when they finished third at last year’s Copa America in Chile. With a tough game against Brazil that could end in a loss the Ecuadorians will need to be at their best against Peru to secure a spot in the next round.
Key Performers: Enner Valencia, Christian Noboa, Antonio Valencia
Predicted Finish in Group B: Second Place