ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Venezuelan native brings a Latin flare to the Tampa Rowdies Midfield.
After playing for Venezuela’s most important team, Caracas FC, the midfielder was later loaned for one year to a Spanish second division league where his soccer skills improved considerably upon his return to the club, Guerra was selected to play in the Venezuelan national team playoffs for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
28-year-old Guerra, who was the first signing made by the Rowdies’ new general manager/head coach combo of Farrukh Quraishi and Thomas Rongen, respectively, receives nothing but praise by his coach because of his ability to read the game, as well as his leadership skills as one of the many Latin American players in the team.
The Rowdies’ midfield consist Guerra, Marcelo Saragosa and Marquez Fernandez. Rongen gives a very notably reason as to why his most important position has an all-Latin American theme.
“It is pretty interesting to see that in the positions where you need a little more athleticism, (they are) mostly (filled by) American players, and in the positions where you need a little more brain and technique you have Latin American players like Juan who can take quicker decisions” said coach Rongen.
“You can sometimes use some Latin flare so to speak, and try to find the right balance, which I really feel we have.”
Guerra, the team’s experienced midfielder, gave his insightful opinion of all of the leagues he has played in.
“The NASL nowadays is a highly competitive league since it has combined over the years the strength and speed of the American player with the technique brought by talented international coaches and players,” said Guerra. “The Venezuelan is more tactical and Spain’s soccer culture forms very fast and talented players since the minor leagues”
Guerra could not be happier for what the future has to offer him with the Rowdies. After retiring from soccer, the Sports Management graduate is going to work hard to be part of any soccer organization’s management or board of directors. Rongen can see Guerra in Tampa Bay’s front office.
“Juan is a very well-spoken and one of our fittest players,” said Rongen. “He is a great ambassador for the Latin American player and we want to create a culture that some of our older players can coach in the academy we want to start in the next two years. Juan has what it takes to be either a coach or assistant general manager.”
The international was very happy playing in the Carabobo FC of Venezuela, but ultimately decided to come play for the Rowdies because of the organization’s eagerness for success and the enthusiasm they have set in U.S. soccer. They also get a player that can help them become one of the top NASL teams once again.
Follow Pamela Kiss on Twitter @PamkissR