Editorial (August 19, 2017) – Venezuelan soccer has been growing since the arrive of 21st Century; the domestic league has exported very interesting and fascinating players all around the world since then, like Juan Arango, Alejandro Guerra, or José Salomón Rondón.
Yangel Herrera: A Young Venezuelan Brightening In MLS
That’s the case of Yangel Herrera, a 19-year-old talented soccer player from La Guaira, who is currently playing for the New York City FC and came there on loan from the English Premier League club Manchester City.
Herrera has scored once since he landed in New York, in a 3-2 victory against Columbus Crew SC back in April. But the young Venezuelan is known for more than his capability to score, his skills with the ball and his facility to pass and find teammates. In the 846 minutes he’s played this year, he’s made for any team that needs a natural leader in the midfield.
Herrera has shown he’s the perfect fit to play alongside David Villa, the Spanish forward who has score the most goals for New York City this season with 18.
Head Coach Patrick Vieira has put his confidence in the young Venezuelan, who lines up at the side of the Argentinean Maximiliano Moralez and the Finnish Alex Ring one of the best midfield trio in MLS.
The Beginning Of A Leader:
Herrera began his professional career back in Venezuela in 2015, when he was playing for Monagas Sport Club, a far away team in the eastern part of the country that was in second division in that year.
The young boy, who was 17-years-old at the time, was the ultimate head of the team and led Monagas SC to ascend to the first division in just six months.
“One of the best moments I’ve had in my career was being the leader of that Monagas who raised to the first division,” Herrera said. “After that, I was able to make myself more known at national level and the national team.”
Herrera then played with Atlético Venezuela, a capital club who helped him to do the international jump he was looking for.
In 2013, Herrera played for the Venezuelan National U-15 team in the South American Tournament in Bolivia, where he scored two goals in four games, and he made his debut with the National Team against Brazil in a 2-0 defeat last year. But, surely, he was hunger for more success.
The big opportunity finally came this year, when Manchester City singed Herrera from Atlético Venezuela. The 19-year-old was later loaned to NYCFC.
The greatest moment in his life was at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea this year, when Herrera led Venezuela to their first final in any soccer tournament. In the run to the final, he scored a late goal at the Round of 16 against Japan in the 1-0 victory. But the South American team fell apart after a 0-1 loss against England in the decisive match.
FIFA then awarded Herrera with the Bronze Ball, and even David Villa, his teammate at the Big Apple, recognized his talented. “Congrats mate, so proud of you,” wrote Villa on Twitter before the final.
Yangel Herrera knows he’s still too young, he wants to establish himself at New York, earn as many minutes as he can, and be protagonist with the team. “I’m only 19 years but, and my mentally is o keep working and to get better my skills,” he added.