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World Cup notebook: President Solís to dine with Costa Rica’s national team Wednesday

May 26, 2014

Luis Guillermo Solís will join the Costa Rica national team for dinner Wednesday, before the team leaves to the United States at the end of the week. Solís, who took office at the beginning of the month, will host La Sele at Casa Presidencial at 7 p.m.

On Friday, the president will attend Costa Rica’s final practice prior to head coach Jorge Luis Pinto naming his 23-man roster for the World Cup.

Cuts Loom

On Saturday, Costa Rica will fly to the United States for two last warm-up matches — against Japan and Ireland — before the World Cup. But before those matches occur, Pinto still must ax three players from the squad.

“It’s a complicated issue because we know that three teammates will be excluded,” said Randall “Chiqui” Brenes, one of several players considered a potential cut. “It’s stressful, but also there has been a very healthy and very fair competition.”

Everyone Practices … Finally

For the first time during the training camp, Costa Rica had all 26 players practicing in full. A few of the team’s stars, including Keylor Navas, Celso Borges and Joel Campbell, were hobbled by minor injuries last week and received lighter work in practice. But at last, Pinto is observing the complete roster in action.

Striker Álvaro Saborío also returned to camp after missing a couple days last week to fly to the United States (where he plays professionally) as his wife gave birth to the couple’s first child, Isaac. The new father called the birth the happiest moment of his life.

By Monday, he had turned his attention back toward the World Cup, and the 32-year-old forward assured the media he had no plans to retire from the national team. Saborío, one of the most prolific scorers in Costa Rica history, had hinted during last year’s World Cup qualifying that he might step away from La Sele following the tournament in Brazil.

“I guess I should clarify that, I think what I said in that moment was that if I don’t feel able to continue with La Sele, I was going to step to the side,” Saborío said. “Now I’m feeling well. I am in one of the best moments of my career.”

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