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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Costa Rica soccer announces squad to face United States

Costa Rica’s new men’s national soccer team manager, Gustavo Matosas, summoned a revamped lineup without most of its best-known figures to face the United States in their February friendly.

The squad will be without several Tico stars, including goalkeeper Keylor Navas, midfielders Bryan Ruiz and Celso Borges, and attacker Joel Campbell.

The majority of the selected players feature for local clubs or in the United States’ Major League Soccer (MLS), including a mix of youth and veterans who have not had much prior participation with the national team.

“I wanted to make a good mix of experience and youth,” said Matosas about his first call-ups as coach of La Sele. “It’s a time to see other young people, how they react wearing the national team’s shirt.”

The Uruguayan manager explained that since the match does not fall on a FIFA date, he had less flexibility in summoning international players.

Among the novices to La Sele are defender Yostin Salinas (Saprissa), midfielders José Alfaro (Carmelita) and Barlon Sequeira (Alajuelense), and the attacker Jean Scott (Guadalupe).

“I saw the speed, the skill, the craftiness that I look for in the midfield in these youngsters,” Matosas said. “Between what I saw in their club performances and in training, they have excited me very much, and they have the opportunity to enjoy it.”

The Feb. 2 match against the United States will be played at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California.

Below is the full list of players Matosas summoned for the Costa Rican national team:

Goalkeepers: Esteban Alvarado (Alajuelense), Kevin Chamorro (Carmelita), Marco Madrigal (San Carlos).

Defenders: Keysher Fuller (Herediano), Yostin Salinas (Saprissa), Jaikel Medina (Saprissa), Pablo Arboine (Santos), Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United, MLS), Waylon Francis (Seattle Sounders, MLS), Joseph Mora (DC United, MLS).

Midfielders: José Miguel Cubero (Alajuelense), Allan Cruz (Cincinnati, (MLS), Néstor Monge (Cartaginés), David Guzmán (Portland Timbers, MLS), José Alfaro (Carmelita), Barlon Sequeira (Alajuelense), Ronaldo Araya (Cartaginés), Marvin Loría (Portland Timbers, MLS), Jimmy Marín (Herediano).

Strikers: José Guillermo Ortiz (Herediano), Jean Scott (Guadalupe), Yendrick Ruiz (Herediano), Jonathan McDonald (Alajuelense).

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