New York Red Bulls midfielder Cristian Casseres got another 90 minutes for the Venezuela men’s U-20 national team under his belt against Peru U-20s on November 18 in Cabudare.
The game did not go Venezuela’s way: Peru scored three times in the first half and held the 3-0 lead to the final whistle. With the win, Peru also won the international quadrangular U-20 tournament Venezuela has hosted during November’s international window. Ecuador beat Bolivia, 4-0, in the other game of the final round of the tournament, thereby claiming second place and pushing Venezuela to third.
Disappointing results for Venezuela: one win and two losses at home over the course of the last week. But the point of this tournament was to prepare for the 2019 South American Men’s U-20 Championship. Better performances at that competition - and qualification for the 2019 U-20 World Cup - will quickly render this November’s results irrelevant. The purpose of the November games was to learn lessons for January’s continental championship. Venezuela will soon be able to show how well it absorbed what it learned from this quadrangular tournament.
Casseres returns to RBNY to help his team prepare for the 2018 MLS Eastern Conference Final against Atlanta United. Though he has spent most of his first season with the Red Bulls playing for NYRB II in USL, Casseres is part of the club’s MLS roster. He has made three league appearances for RBNY in MLS 2018, and all that’s left for the team to play this year is the Eastern Conference Final and maybe MLS Cup. Any more minutes Casseres might have to contribute to RBNY’s cause this season will be significant.