The Costa Rican men’s national team will be without its star goalkeeper, Keylor Navas, when it faces Chile and Peru in friendly matches this month, according to Thursday’s announcement from interim coach Ronald Gonzalez.
The coach explained that Navas asked not to be summoned to the team for the FIFA dates of Nov. 16 and 20 in order to focus on his club, Real Madrid, where the goalkeeper fights for the starting role with Thibaut Courtois.
“Keylor had reached a previous understanding because his situation has been unstable […] and it is a moment for him to stay at Madrid and make decisions,” the interim coach said.
In his place, Gonzalez summoned Darryl Parker, goalkeeper for the local C.S. Cartaginés, who is considered a rising star and could make his debut with the senior national team.
Parker is part of an innovative roster announced by Gonzalez to face Chile on Nov. 16 in Rancagua, and Peru on Nov. 20 in Arequipa.
Those will be the last matches during which Gonzalez will lead La Sele. In January, the Uruguayan Gustavo Matosas will assume the managerial position. Matosas has been in Costa Rica during recent weeks observing local club matches.
The novel call-ups include striker Jonathan McDonald, the dangerous Alajuelense attacker, and midfielders Dylan Flores and Deiver Vega.
Under the leadership of Gonzalez, Costa Rica has four defeats: against South Korea (2-0), Japan (3-0), Mexico (3-2) and Colombia (3-1).
The following is the list of summoned players:
Goalkeepers: Esteban Alvarado (Trabznospor, Turkey), Darryl Parker (Cartaginés), Leonel Moreira (Herediano)
Defenders: Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps, MLS), Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United, MLS), Giancarlo González (Bologna, Italy), Oscar Duarte (Espanyol, Spain), Yostin Salinas (Saprissa), Ian Smith (Norrkoping, Sweden), Ronald Matarrita (New York City, MLS), Joseph Mora (DC United, MLS).
Midfielders: José Miguel Cubero (Alajuelense), Celso Borges (Coztepe, Turkey), Allan Cruz (Herediano), Elías Aguilar (Incheon United, South Korea), Deyver Vega (SK Brann, Norway), Randall Leal (Saprissa), Bryan Ruiz (Santos, Brazil).
Strikers: Mayron George (Midtjylland, Denmark), Joel Campbell (Frosinone, Italy), Jonathan McDonald (Alajuelense).