Falcao and Rodallega spearhead Colombia squad

Falcao and Rodallega spearhead Colombia squad

Published Aug. 26, 2011 7:02 p.m. ET

Atletico Madrid's new signing Radamel Falcao and Hugo Rodallega of English Premier League club Wigan Athletic are in Colombia's squad for friendlies against Honduras and Jamaica.

The 18-man squad will be managed by interim coach Leonel Alvarez as the Colombian Football Federation continues its search for a replacement for former coach Hernan Dario Gomez.

Gomez resigned this month after reports he attacked a woman in a Bogota bar.

Argentine coach Gerardo Martino, who stepped down as Paraguay coach after July's Copa America, turned down an offer to succeed Gomez on Thursday.


''The refusal of Martino had to do with the timing,'' said the Colombian federation president Luis Bedoya on the Caracol radio station on Friday, adding that Martino felt he would not have sufficient time to influence the team.

Alvarez is Gomez' former assistant and enjoyed a stellar playing career with more than 100 appearances for the Paraguayan national team.

''Leonel is considered as a prospect for the future,'' Bedoya said.

Other candidates in the frame include Alexis Garcia and the Uruguayan, Anibal Ruiz.

Garcia, another coach from the same school as Gomez and Alvarez, has enjoyed success with modest Colombian club La Equidad.

A double team of Garcia and Alvarez has been mentioned since Martino's rejection, with that option having the benefit of providing continuity from the previous regime.

Ruiz took Paraguay to the World Cup in 2006 and is currently coach of Universidad San Martin in Peru. His experience of negotiating World Cup qualifying is a major point in his favor.

''Ruiz' name has been put forward to me, I'm not against it, but we would have to evaluate him,'' Bedoya said.

Colombia plays Honduras on Sept. 3 in New Jersey and Jamaica three days later in Fort Lauderdale in warmup matches for World Cup qualifying starting in October.

Colombia last qualified for the World Cup in 1998.



Goalkeepers: David Ospina (Nice), Luis Martinez (Once Caldas).

Defenders: Mario Alberto Yepes (AC Milan), Luis Amaranto Perea (Atletico Madrid), Cristian Zapata (Villarreal), Pablo Armero (Udinese), Camilo Zuniga (Napoli).

Midfielders: Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (Lecce), Christian Marrugo (Deportes Tolima), Freddy Guarin (Porto), Carlos Sanchez (Valenciennes), Gustavo Bolivar (Deportes Tolima).

Forwards: Hugo Rodallega (Wigan), Adrian Ramos (Hertha Berlin), Teofilo Gutierrez (Racing, Argentina), Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid), Jackson Martinez (Jaguares), Dayro Moreno (Tijuana).