Carlos Coronel: From underdog to MLS standout with New York Red Bulls

At 27, the recently naturalized Paraguayan is making a name for himself both in the MLS and with the Paraguay national team
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At 27 years old, Carlos Coronel, the goalkeeper for the New York Red Bulls, is an interesting case of talent not adequately valued in his home country but finding recognition and success abroad. This recently naturalized Paraguayan Brazilian is excelling both in Major League Soccer (MLS) and with the Paraguayan national team.

Coronel, with years of tenure in the Red Bull group, has become a defensive cornerstone for his team. His performance in 2024 reflects this: he recorded a shutout, made 13 saves out of 19 shots faced, and secured three wins in the season. Additionally, Coronel will be competing in the 2024 Copa America in the United States with Paraguay, temporarily leaving the New York Red Bulls in the league.

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The Brazilian goalkeeper, now wearing the Paraguayan jersey, has an impressive ball distribution and has made 41 saves in the MLS, with 31 inside the box and 14 outside. However, as talented as he is, Coronel can't do it all alone. The New York Red Bulls, fourth in the Eastern Conference with 29 points, have the second-best attack in the competition but still struggle defensively, having conceded 22 goals so far.

Carlos Coronel
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Coronel's story is an important reminder of how talents are often underestimated in their own countries. In Brazil, where football is a national passion, clubs like Corinthians are lacking in goalkeepers. With the departure of their idol Cássio to Cruzeiro and the imminent loss of the current goalkeeper in a future negotiation, Coronel could be an ideal solution. However, while he goes unnoticed in Brazil, in the United States, he is an essential player for his team.

Carlos Coronel's appreciation in MLS and the Paraguayan national team highlights the discrepancy in talent perception between different football markets. His recognition in the United States is not only proof of his talent but also an example of how the MLS is becoming a league of global relevance, capable of elevating players who might otherwise remain in the shadows. As the league grows, stories like Coronel's become more common.