Costa Rica's Bryan Oviedo (#14), shown above in a 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup match against Cuba, has been in outsanding form recently for England's Everton. (Photo: Mexsport)
LONDON, England – Until recently, the only action that Bryan Oviedo had seen with English side Everton during the 2013-14 season was two matches in the League Cup and one in the Premier League as a second-half substitute.
But that has all changed over the last nine days for the Costa Rican international, who completed a run of three superb outings this weekend with the Toffees’ 1-1 draw at top-of-the-table Arsenal.
Oviedo was slotted into the starting line-up after stalwart left-back Leighton Baines suffered a fractured toe in a 3-3 draw against rival Liverpool on November 23.
It was an opportunity that the 23-year-old has seized with both hands.
On November 30, Oviedo played 90 minutes and scored his first goal of the season in a 4-0 win over Stoke City.
Four days later, the former FC Copenhagen and Saprissa star made history for the Liverpool-based side, netting in the 86th minute to give Everton its first triumph at Manchester United since 1992.
The good times continued on Sunday against Arsenal, as Oviedo was once again a main figure, assisting on Gerard Deulofeu’s brilliant equalizer with six minutes left in regulation.
Three matches, two goals, one assist. For Oviedo, it has been a week to remember.
“I think it has been my best week in England and I am so happy for this,” Oviedo told the club’s website. “But I am very happy for the team because we are playing very well.
“The fans have been very important for me because they have given me more motivation. I am so happy with the support because they are important for us in every match.”
Interestingly, Friday’s World Cup draw produced a pairing between Costa Rica and England next year in Brazil. The match will pit Oviedo against some of Everton teammates, including Baines.
“I am happy to get to play against England,” beamed Oviedo. “It is a difficult group. We have to play hard for the next six months so we are prepared.”
Everton will return to action on Saturday at home against Fulham, a game that could see Oviedo square off against countryman Bryan Ruiz.