Picture : what a great tournament for America of Cali, an united team !
The successful project of America of Cali female
The female Conmebol Libertadores 2020 that was played in Argentina left Ferroviaria as champion after defeating America of Cali from Colombia 2 to 1. The Brazilians got their second continental title after the one obtained in 2015. The Colombians met a great Luciana in Ferro’s goal. In addition, they had three star chances at the posts. Despite the defeat, the Colombian’s team took their sports project to the top. This is their story.
Marcela Gómez, president of the team and Andrés Usme, DT, led a project since 2016. “In Colombia, women have been playing soccer for a long time, they have great technique and quality, but we knew that it was necessary to improve physically. With the title in 2019, we ended an eleven-year drought without degrees at the institution. People cried with happiness. It was a balm after a bad time for the men's team, which is now experiencing a successful era. There are people who are not fans of America, but are fans of women" said Gomez in an interview with the newspaper El Espectador. Andrés arrived in 2017, and in 2018 league he started as a technical assistant for Jersson González. He is also the older brother of Catalina Usme, captain of the team.
Meanwhile, in Colombia the possible return of the women's professional league is debated with only a month and a half in duration for 2021. Despite the inactivity, players such as Gisela Robledo and Gabriela Rodríguez were ratified as the great promises of Colombian women's football. The ‘scarlets’ proved not to depend on a player, especially after the final lost to Santa Fe for the 2020 league. The team arrived at the Libertadores without Fayrlin or Linda Caicedo, the two great revelations of the Colombian league in 2019. Fayrlin left the course to Europe, and Linda, only 14 years old, went to Deportivo Cali, a lifelong rival. But the reinforcements were hooked on the base that was already hungry for titles. Thus, in the scoring table of the Copa Libertadores there were annotations distributed between young and veteran players. Manuela González added 3 goals, Catalina Usme, Joemar Guarecuco, Gisela Robledo and Gabriela Rodríguez finished with two goals each.
The figure of Catherine Usme (picture)
Diana Ospina, Carolina Pineda and Catalina Usme from Antioquia are the standards in midfield. The veterans reached the Cup at the top of their careers. 12 years ago, with only 21 and 20 years old, Ospina and Usme played the first edition of the women's Copa Libertadores. The first goal by a Colombian in a women's Libertadores was scored by Ospina (15 '), the second was by Catalina Usme (63'). Today ‘scarlet’ players made their international debut with Formas Intimas in 2009. The goals came in the 2-3 defeat against Universidad Autónoma of Asunción on the first date of that first edition of the women's Libertadores.
Usme finished second in the scorers' table (7 goals) led by Cristiane with 15 goals. The Brazilian today is 35 years old, she was the first player to score a goal in the women's Copa Libertadores and is the top scorer of the Cup (29 goals) along with Catalina Usme, American captain who in the final vs Ferroviaria scored from the penalty spot to match figures with the historic Brazilian forward. With this personal title, the Colombian number 10 is confirmed as a legend of the Libertadores of America. The captain of “Las Diablas” has played the women's Libertadores with three teams: in Intimate Forms she scored 19 goals; with Santa Fe he contributed 4 goals, and with America de Cali he has achieved 5 goals, 4 in 2019 and two in the current edition corresponding to 2020.
“I am more interested in group recognition. I don't want to be a scorer; I want to have the title of champion. I have been a scorer in the Copa Libertadores and I have not won the trophy. If it were an individual sport I would celebrate it, but I do not exchange my champion medal for a scorer's title"said Usme previously. For their part, the Brazilians from Ferroviaria won a prize of USD 85,000, while the Colombians with the runner-up will receive USD 50,000. Corinthians took third place, so they will win $ 30,000 in profit. In addition, all teams will receive USD 7,500 for participating in the tournament. For its part, the female Conmebol Libertadores registers 7 million people connected to its matches that are broadcast on Facebook live.
Women's football sells new opportunities, shows new faces, refreshes our sensations and offers other types of experiences, some that involve other values, and therefore also other results. Turn our back is to be determined against inclusion. And equality is unstoppable.
By: Karen Ariza Carranza (Member IFFHS Colombia)