The Costa Rican men´s soccer team is gearing up for two World Cup qualifying matches this week, although there will be some new faces on the field.
La Sele will host Suriname´s national squad tomorrow at 8 p.m. at the Ricardo Saprissa Stadium in Tibás, on the northern side of the capital. They then plan to travel to Haiti for a game on Wednesday, Sept. 10.
Alvaro Saborío, who scored Costa Rica´s lone goal during their Aug. 20 qualifier against El Salvador off a penalty kick, will miss tomorrow´s game after having received a red card in the match last month. After injuring a knee in a game with his club team in Switzerland, Saborío has been OK´d to play Haiti.
Junior Diaz and Froylán Ledezma will try to be on their best behavior as they are both carrying yellow cards from the previous game as well.
Several players are also out nursing injuries. Defender Cristian Montero, who plays locally for Alajuelense, will miss both games due to a muscle injury to his right leg. Starting keeper Ricardo “Gallo” González and forward Alonso Solís are both recovering from injuries.
Head Coach Rodrigo Kenton called up eight new players to the roster for the upcoming pair of games. The absences, however, have not given cause for serious concern as Costa Rica is expected to easily handle the competition this week.
While the game in Port-au-Prince is still on schedule, a series of storms that have ravaged the country recently, including Tropical Storm Hanna, may alter those plans.
The four teams make up Group 3 in this “quadrangular” phase of the regional CONCACAF (Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Football) tournament. The top two teams will meet with the top two teams from the other two groups for a six-team “hexagonal” phase beginning next year. The top two teams from this CONCACAF championship will go on to the 2010 World Cup, to be held in South Africa.