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Restrepo benched despite rave reviews
mlssoccer.com, September 9th, 2011 4:10AM

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TAGS:  americans abroad, college men, colombia

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Former University of Virginia star Diego Restrepo has experienced the highs and lows of playing pro soccer in Colombia, starting the first two games of the season in goal for powerhouse America Cali only to get the news that -- despite rave reviews -- he'd been replaced for Friday's game at Envigado by recent signing Julian Viafara.

That's what happens when there is a coaching change. Alvaro Aponte, who brought the 23-year-old Restrepo to Colombia, was fired on Tuesday.

“It is a little unfortunate, but you know how soccer is,” said Restrepo, who helped Virginia win the 2009 NCAA title. “The thing in Colombia is that it is too much politics, too much about who brought you and how old you are, especially in the goalkeeping position.”

The former U.S. U-17 goalie is also eligible to play for Venezuela or Colombia but still wants to play for the USA.

“Coach [Jurgen] Klinsmann has been calling up young guys like [D.C. United keeper] Bill Hamid," says Restrepo, "so I’m just going to keep working for the opportunity and see if the U.S. calls first."

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