New Paraguay national team manager Eduardo Berizzo has named his provisional roster for the 2019 edition of Copa America, which begins in Brazil on June 14. Unsurprisingly, Atlanta United’s own Tito Villalba was one of the 40 names who made the list.
Villalba is one of four MLS players to be names to the provisional roster, joining the New York Red Bulls’ Kaku Portland Timbers teammates Cristhian Parades and Jorge Moreira. Current Newcastle United man and former Atlanta United star Miguel Almiron was doubtful to make the roster as he suffered an injury to his hamstring in April, but he did make the 40-man roster - with his fitness determining if he travels to Brazil when it’s all said and done.
Villalba was born in Argentina to a Paraguayan father and was eligible for a one-time switch from La Albiceleste to Albirroja since he had not appeared in a senior national team match for Argentina. Kaku also qualified for a switch from Argentina to Paraguay and was approved around the time Villalba was.
Villalba figures to be in the discussion to be in the final 23-man roster when that is released in the coming weeks. Several other South American players on the Atlanta United roster (Argentina’s Pity Martinez, Venezuela’s Josef Martinez) are in line to play in Copa America as well, while Ezequiel Barco is with Argentina’s U-20 team at the World Cup and Brad Guzan, Darlington Nagbe and Romario Williams are all potential names to be called into action for their respective countries during the Gold Cup. All that points to the fact that Atlanta’s first-team lineup will be a bit light come late June/early July, but it also points to the talent that exists on the roster.