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Costa Rica to play Japan in World Cup warm-up in the United States

The Costa Rica Men’s National Team will play Japan in a friendly, less than a month before the teams go to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.

The match will take place June 2 in the United States, in a city in Florida, according to Costa Rican Football Federation President Eduardo Li. He told the daily La Nación the team plans to schedule a second match in the U.S. between May 20 and June 7. Li said the second match almost certainly will take place in Denver, Colorado. The city was the site of a major controversy the last time Costa Rica played there, but “La Sele” shouldn’t have to worry about another surprise blizzard in late May.

The biggest concern for Costa Rica will be whether its team can rally after a trio of languid performances since qualifying for the World Cup last October. In three warm-ups against fellow World Cup qualifiers, Costa Rica has failed to score a goal. Those games mainly have been played with reserve players, but the squad needs all the help it can get from its back-ups, especially if star Bryan Oviedo misses the World Cup after breaking his leg in late January.

Costa Rica last took on Japan in 2002, right before that year’s World Cup in South Korea/Japan. The teams played to a draw, 1-1.

After the pair of friendlies in the U.S., Costa Rica will return home briefly before heading to Brazil. The team’s first World Cup match is June 14 against Uruguay.

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