Ahmed Jahouh and Arnold Issoko are amongst the major absentees from the tournament.
The Super Cup 2019 is knocking on the door with Mumbai City FC and Chennaiyin FC set to kick-start the tournament on Friday at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar. The Cup will see some rather mouthwatering clashes as teams from the country’s two top tier leagues, the I-League and the Indian Super League, face each other.
However, the clubs from both leagues rely on their foreign players for results and with the limitation of the Cup with respect to the number of these players, it is important to know which of them have been actually registered and which of them have been left out. Let’s have a look at the lists of foreign players registered by the confirmed participants of the Super Cup.
Starting with the champions of the ISL this season, Bengaluru FC, they served no surprises for the fans registering all their key overseas players in Miku, Xisco Hernandez, Albert Serran, Juanan, Dimas Delgado and Alejandro Barrera. The Blues have a strong chance of winning a double this season especially as their Round of 16 opponents Mohun Bagan have still not confirmed their participation in the tournament.
Coming to Mumbai City, the Islanders provided the biggest surprise in the Cup, registering just one overseas player, defender Lucian Goian. The Romanian was the backbone of the defence this season and helped them reach the playoffs too. However, the Islanders would be hoping their domestic players shine brightly, as key foreigners such as Modou Sougou, Arnold Issoko and Rafael Bastos are not included in the squad.
As for I-League side NEROCA FC, they have registered all six foreigners from their pool, thus naming a strong squad led by talismanic Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa and Australian midfielder Aryn Williams. Not to forget the likes of loanee Chencho Gyeltshen, Felix Odili Chidi, Eduardo Ferreira and Liberian centre-back Varney Kallon Kiatamba Jr. who add to the depth of the squad.
ATK, on the other hand, have named a strong squad too. Their most important foreign player being Manuel Lanzarote. The club have also registered Gerson Vieira, John Johnson, Edu Garcia, Everton Santos and even Andre Bikey, who rather came as a surprise.
The other semi-finalists of the ISL, NorthEast United and finalists FC Goa have also registered several key foreign players for their Super Cup campaign. The Highlanders’ fans must be delighted with the inclusion of their star forward Bartholomew Ogbeche, who returned from an injury suffered during the playoffs. While another talismanic figure Federico Gallego had to be left out due to the horrendous injury during the semi finals. The likes of Juan Mascia, Mateo Grgic, Panagiotis Triadis, Jose Leudo and Janeiler Palacios will make up for the Uruguayan’s loss.
As for their Goan counterparts, the Gaurs will seek to correct their loss in the ISL final by attaining Cup glory. Barring Ahmed Jahouh, Goa have named six foreign players in the squad including, Hugo Boumous, Mourtada Fall, Zaid Krouch, Carlos Pena, Edu Bedia and of course Ferran Corominas.
I-League champions Chennai City will be hoping that their Spanish trio of Pedro Manzi, Nestor Gordillo and Sandro Rodriguez continue to lead the team from the front in the Super Cup, as Italian goalkeeper Mauro Boerchio and Slovakian Jozef Kaplan also join the ranks.
Delhi Dynamos and Chennaiyin both had a poor season in the ISL and would be hopeful that they can wind up the year with something to cherish, by winning the Super Cup. While the Marina Machans have registered five foreigners in Christopher Herd, Eli Sabia, Raphael Augusto, Gregory Nelson and Mailson Alves, the Dynamos too decided to field a strong foreign contingent, naming Marcos Tebar, Gianni Zuiverloon, Marti Crespi, Francisco Dorronsoro, Ulises Davila and Adria Carmona.
Real Kashmir, who had a wonderful debut in the I-League, have also named all six foreign players from their squad, including Mason Robertson, Gnohere Krizo, Loveday Enyinnaya, Kofi Tetteh, Bazie Armand and Aaron Katebe.
FC Pune City showed signs of resurgence in the latter stages of the ISL under Phil Brown, but face a tough task as they have drawn I-League champions Chennai City in the Super Cup. Nevertheless, the Stallions have named every foreign player except Diego Carlos, including the obvious Marcelinho, followed by Iain Hume, Jonathan Vila, Matt Mills, Martin Diaz and Marko Stankovic.
Jamshedpur FC, on the other hand, were unfortunate in the ISL, as they failed to qualify for the playoffs despite showing immense quality earlier in the season. Fans will be hopeful that the team impresses in the Super Cup, despite losing out on their marquee signing Tim Cahill. Their foreign contingent includes Memo, Mario Arques, Carlos Calvo, Pablo Morgado, Tiri and star forward Sergio Cidoncha.