Peruvians Abroad

Peruvians Abroad Roundup: Carrillo debuts, Trauco starts and more

Featured Image: El Comercio

With a few other European leagues underway, more Peruvians abroad have begun their respective campaigns. That is also the case in the Asian region, where André Carrillo made his league debut for Al-Hilal over the weekend.

Elsewhere, Miguel Trauco earned a surprise start for Flamengo and took advantage of the opportunity.

Here is your weekly in-depth roundup involving 13 Peruvians abroad.


Luis Abram

Photo: Deporte de Primera

I don’t think Luis Abram could’ve asked for a better start to the SuperLiga season.

Abram scored the opening goal, drew the penalty for the second, and helped Vélez defeat Newell’s 2-0 on Friday to open the campaign.

Abram didn’t receive much recognition for his defending due to his offensive exploits in the game, but he was excellent at the back for Vélez. He was constantly positioned correctly and was clean on the ball as usual.

An overall excellent start to the year for Abram.

Anderson Santamaría

Photo: El Bocón

While it was an overall poor night for Puebla, Anderson Santamaría was quality at the back, although there were a couple of notable incidents.

Santamaría’s early booking and the risky tackles he was attempting could’ve resulted in a second yellow card. However, he managed to keep his cool for the most part. The 26-year-old’s passing numbers were also down, as he completed just 81 per cent of his attempts.

As for the positives, Santamaría’s positioning was impeccable. He timed his forays up the pitch very nicely in order to complete a vital interception. The defending in the box was crisp as well.

Courtesy: @emba_criollos

Courtesy: @emba_criollos

Wilder Cartagena

Photo: Getty Images

If any player needed a rebound, it was Wilder Cartagena. Thankfully, he did.

Cartagena was a defensive stalwart against Puebla, completing three tackles and winning five of his eight duels. He was also quick to recover misplaced passes.

Courtesy: @emba_criollos

Most notably, Cartagena seems more comfortable with his passing. Additionally, when he’s in a precarious situation, the 23-year-old knows how to shield the ball properly, so worse case scenario, he’ll win a foul.

Ray Sandoval

Photo: Getty Images

The mini scoring streak ended for Ray Sandoval, although it wasn’t due to a lack of trying.

Sandoval had a tremendous opportunity to bag his third goal of the season, but he flubbed a shot inside 12 minutes and never seemingly recovered.

Courtesy: @emba_criollos

Sandoval was lively in the opening 15 minutes. However, the 23-year-old failed to make a difference in the game after the early stages. He was dispossessed six times and failed to bypass defenders with his dribbling, unlike the previous matches.

On the bright side, Sandoval was still attempting to impact the game, so this should be a blip.

Irven Ávila

Photo: Univisión

I find it odd that Irven Ávila and Ray Sandoval never play consistently well in the same game. One player performs well, while the other is more invisible.

This week, it was Ávila who stood tallest over Sandoval. He actually set up the youngster’s brilliant chance early in the match and provided another scintillating assist later in the match as well.

Because Ávila had room to run into the half-spaces, he was far more impactful than his previous three appearances. The striker even hit the post with a header in the second half.

Necaxa didn’t really try to close him down, which was shocking considering how much Ávila influenced the attack. If that continues for the rest of the season, then the partnership with Diego Valdés can work.


Sergio Peña

Photo: El Fútbolero

Talk about an early impact. Sergio Peña came off the bench in the second half to make his official debut for Tondela in the Primeira Liga. Within seconds of entering the game, the Peruvian midfielder smacked the crossbar.

Courtesy: @emba_criollos

Unlike his time at Granada, Peña was deployed a slightly deeper role. He was primarily a box-to-box midfielder but spent more time in his own half of the pitch.

Sergio Peña’s heat map, via SofaScore.

To his credit, Peña actually won both of his duels, completed a couple of tackles and stayed disciplined defensively. However, he still looks way off the pace and will need another few weeks to hit peak match fitness.

Pedro Aquino

Photo: Embajadores Criollos

After missing the last match due to his red card, Pedro Aquino returned to León’s starting 11 as they defeated Querétaro 4-0.

The brief break didn’t seemingly affect Aquino, as he delivered a monster performance defensively. He had four tackles and recovered possession five times.

Because the match quickly turned into a one-sided affair, it’s difficult to judge Aquino past the first half, but it was a relatively clean performance.

Andy Polo

Photo: Embajadores Criollos

With the Portland Timbers down 2-0 at halftime, Giovanni Savarese threw on Andy Polo to begin the second half. While the Timbers ultimately lost 2-1, Polo provided an immediate attacking spark.

Polo recorded four shots (two on target) and completed all 18 of his passes from the left wing. The Peruvian mostly positioned himself in the final third, which demonstrated his proactiveness.

Andy Polo’s heat map, via SofaScore.

As soon as Polo received the ball, he was looking forward.

Courtesy: @emba_criollos

Courtesy: @emba_criollos

The only player who registered more attempts than Polo in the match was Diego Valeri with five, but two of those were penalties.

Courtesy: @emba_criollos

Keep in mind that Polo was also playing on the left, as opposed to his usual right wing.


Jefferson Farfán

Photo: El Bocón

Farfán only logged 17 minutes off the bench to little effect as Lokomotiv Moscow lost 1-0 to Orenburg. Most of Lokomotiv’s attack was held in check, though.

Cristian Benavente

Photo: América TV

It’s three games into the Jupiler Pro League season and Cristian Benavente is still at Royal Charleroi. There were rampant rumours of Benavente moving back to Spain, but nothing has been formulated.

On the pitch, Benavente has made a decent impact thus far. He set up two key chances and registered two attempts at goal in the 2-1 defeat to Anderlecht.

Benavente has yet to score or assist, although the 24-year-old only had one goal in his first 11 appearances last year. As long as he remains impactful, that is what matters.

André Carrillo

Photo: Depor

André Carrillo’s Saudi Arabian adventure began over the weekend, with Al-Hilal defeating Al-Shabab 1-0.

Within a few minutes, Carrillo was embarrassing defenders.

Courtesy: @emba_criollos

Courtesy: @emba_criollos

I could add several clips but I think you get the point.

It’s quite obvious that Carrillo’s quality is far above the average Saudi Arabian player. Now it’s up to him to remain consistent so he can wow a European side.

Miguel Trauco

Photo: Depor

To everyone’s surprise, Miguel Trauco started for Flamengo and finished the 90 minutes in their win over Cruzeiro.

However, with fixture congestion plaguing Flamengo at the moment (currently in the middle of four games in 11 days), it’s easy to see why Trauco was given an opportunity.

Regardless, the Peruvian left-back was exceptional. He had two tackles, two interceptions and completed 35 of his 38 passes.

There were still a couple of worrying trends, though. Trauco was bypassed on a few occasions and was a little too eager with some challenges, thus leading to forwards dribbling past him.

That could be due to a lack of match fitness, especially since this has been an issue for Trauco in 2018.

Alexander Callens

Photo: Canadian Press

It was an eventful afternoon for Alexander Callens against Toronto FC. He baited Jozy Altidore into a red-card worthy challenge after just nine minutes, then he helped New York City FC edge TFC 3-2 at BMO Field.

Apart from one miscue on the second TFC goal, Callens was tremendous. He completed 53 passes and won an incredible eight of his 11 duels.

It will always baffle me as to why Callens isn’t considered to be an elite defender in MLS, especially when the majority commit basic defensive errors on a regular basis.

Raúl Ruidíaz

Photo: Libero

Raúl Ruidíaz only recorded 10 touches against FC Dallas. Considering he spent most of the game lurking around the penalty area waiting for service, it’s understandable that he was largely invisible.

Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer needs to find a way to incorporate Ruidíaz’s poaching abilities into the side because unless he partners Will Bruin, the Peruvian will spend most games in isolation.

Ruidíaz may also be hit with a retroactive ban after this incident with Reto Ziegler. A headbutt, even if provoked, is always a no-no.

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