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Union II striker Jose Riasco makes Venezuela U-23 squad for Olympic qualifying



Photo by Jack Verdeur

Philadelphia Union II striker Jose Riasco will get a chance to represent the host country in the upcoming 2024 Conmebol Pre-Olympic Tournament in Venezuela.

Riasco, a 19-year-old who was loaned to Uruguayan Primera División side Club Atlético Boston River in September, is one of five forwards on the 23-man roster.

Venezuela opens the competition on Saturday against Bolivia in Caracas.

All 10 Conmebol countries are competing in the tournament. The top two teams will advance to the 2024 Paris Olympics. Ten teams, including the U.S., have already qualified for the 16-team men’s tournament. Two teams from South America, three from Asia and the winner of a playoff between Asia and Africa will round out the field. Five teams, including the U.S., have qualified for the 12-team women’s tournament.

Riasco was acquired for a reported $1 million transfer fee in 2022 but has had mixed returns playing for Union II in MLS Next Pro. He has four goals and three assists in 26 appearances and 1,446 minutes. He had two goals and two assists in 509 minutes on loan with Boston River in 12 appearances.

Matthew Ralph is the managing editor of Philadelphia Soccer Now / Brotherly Game. He's covered soccer at all levels for many years in the Philadelphia region and has also written for, NPSL, PrepSoccer and other publications. He lives with his wife and two young children in Broomall, Pa., but grew up in South Jersey and is originally from Kansas.

Copyright © 2024 Philadelphia Soccer Now and Brotherly Game

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