• Thursday Aug 20, 2015

    Saprissa prepared for challenging week

    Players from Saprissa (pictured) salute the fans after falling at Club America in the 2014/15 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. (Photo: Mexsport)

    SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- The challenge Saprissa is great – two Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL) encounters over the course of six days with a league match sandwiched in between.

     These are the days head coach Jeaustin Campos says that his team must rely on the work it did in the preseason -- with several key players away on CONCACAF Gold Cup duty -- to help battle through this difficult stretch.

     “With games on Thursday, Sunday and Tuesday, it drives us to try many variations,” remarked the 44-year-old. “No player will have the physical possibility [to play all three matches]. And even if you could, it is a contact sport and I do not want to lose anyone.”

     Saprissa reached the SCCL’s quarterfinals last season, falling to eventual-champion Club America. It wants to do even better this time around, maybe even replicate the feats of fellow Costa Rican sides Alajuelense and Herediano, which each played in the competition’s semifinals slightly more than four months ago.

     “At this point, the importance is with CONCACAF on Thursday and Tuesday,” Campos continued. “On Sunday, we will have a team that is as fresh as possible, underscoring the preseason work. This is where you have to see it. Here you have to see the fruits without many players that were in the national team.”

     While Saprissa is debuting in its fifth SCCL, W Connection fell in the Group A opener to Santos Laguna, 4-0, on August 4. With Santos to visit next week, Campos realizes his side a convincing results against the Caribbean runner-up.

     “The obligation of winning and scoring a lot of goals is important because we know that Santos is a measuring stick,” said the former Puerto Rico national team manager. “We have to seek this effectiveness in times of attack and come when we have to come. In our second line, we need to try to recover as many balls as much as possible in order to attack and avoid errors.”

     The Monstruo Morado has done well to avoid mistakes in the early season, remaining unbeaten after four games (2W-2D-0L) in the Costa Rican Invierno and occupying third place.

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