The best players and the flop of the Uruguayan Apertura 2013
By Analia Sordi
The first championship of the season had several outstanding players. Here are the top the forwards, goalkeepers and youngsters, and the flop of the season.
The top forwards
Ivan Alonso, one of the top goal-scorer in the Apertura and rescuer for Nacional. if Nacional had the opportunity to be the contender for the Apertura title, Alonso played a big part in it, not only with 11 goals but always being the man to carry the ball well.
Romario Acuna, could have been the top goal scorer of the Apertura if he was not absent in the last few games due to a suspension. Acuna once again demonstrated his qualities, this time playing for Cerro. The striker was among the few that managed to survive with the poor campaign by Cerro.
Chapita Blanco, who missed almost half of the championship, also reached 11 goals, but, in his case he managed to do it in just nine games.
The top goalkeepers
Salvador Ichazo, the goalkeeper which conceded the least goals and was instrumental in Danubio wining the Apertura title. In the final fixture against Sud America he put on a great performance.
Damain Frascarelli was the most consistent goalkeeper of the Apertura. Over the last few years Frascarelli has developed as a goalkeeper and in every championship his performance has only gotten better. This great campaign by Frascarelli might give him an opportunity to redeem himself in Penarol. Frascarelli played in Penarol in 2008 but in 2009 he went on to play for Central Espanol after he was not given any playing time with the Aurinegros. Frascarelli has voiced his desire to be given a second opportunity in Penarol and Juan Pedro Damiani, president of Penarol, has voiced his opinion that Penarol are in need of a quality goalkeeper.
Guillermo de Amores, who had to take over the goalkeeping responsibility from Matias Castro, had a good first season. In a similar case is Federico Cristoforo which began as a substitute in Wanderers but he proved himself to become the first pick of the coach. Since his appearance, he has taken ownership of the net.
Flop of the Apertura
Jorge Rodriguez’s arrival to Penarol was like any other player that would return to Uruguay after playing abroad for a while, the expectations were set high.
Rodriguez did not only manage to not perform up to the expectations on the field but off the field as well. In the 2013 Apertura, Jorge Rodriguez managed to gain popularity for all the wrong reasons. The first scandal occurred when, Jorge Rodriguez was excluded from a match after going out to bars and not showing up to practice the next morning. The club sanctioned him financially.
However, that was not the end of it, as Rodriguez became a social media sensation when Rodriguez had a car accident while being under the influence of alcohol. He used Twitter as a medium to declare that there was an error and he was not the one who had the accident and instead it was his brother. The Uruguayan authority reassured the information that was given out was not false and indeed it was Jorge Rodriguez, which had the accident.
This scandal lead to the creation of the twitter hashtag #FueElHermanoDelJapo which translates to “It was the brother of “Japo" Rodriguez”. Once again the player was sanctioned financially. He was also excluded to train with the first team and sent down to train with the youth team. Demoting Rodriguez from the first team squad was a clear message that if he did not clean up his act, his time at Penarol would be cut short.
These scandals occurred during the time Alonso was the manager, when Goncalves became the manager of Penarol, Rodriguez, returned to train with the first team and was also given some playing minutes. However, until the last fixture of the Apertura, Rodriguez has not justified why he should remain in Penarol.
Jonathan Rodriguez was the surprise of the Apertura. Rodriguez which was purchased by Penarol for a few thousand dollars and for some soccer balls has become the young promising prospect for Penarol. In his first season with Penarol, he demonstrated to have great technique and speed.
Lucas Olaza, a player which both of the big teams in Uruguay want to have him. The Darsenero youngster is a free kick specialist and also proved to be a great left-back.