Only a year removed from battling the Netherlands in the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup, Costa Rica is determined to demonstrate its staying power in the 2015 Gold Cup.
In order to qualify for the CONCACAF event, under the guidance of then-acting head coach Paulo Wanchope, the Ticos won a record-extending eighth Central American Cup title last September. The former national team star — Costa Rica’s second all-time leading scorer with 45 goals (including seven in the Gold Cup) — now has the job on a permanent basis.
The 38-year-old’s cause will be aided by a roster that includes midfielder Celso Borges, a veteran of three previous Gold Cups; inspirational forward Bryan Ruiz, who netted in the Central American Cup final victory over Guatemala; and attacker Joel Campbell, who scored against Uruguay in last year’s World Cup.
Bidding to win its first-ever Gold Cup, Costa Rica is introducing younger talent to the squad. Forward David Ramirez (22), midfielder Deyver Vega (22) and defender Francisco Calvo (23) may be given the opportunity to make lasting impressions.
Costa Rica has been eliminated by Honduras in each of the last two Gold Cups at the quarterfinal stage. Its ability to capitalize on the experience gained at Brazil 2014 will prove vital in the quest for continued success.
Trinidad & Tobago
PPL Park, a state-of-the-art 18,500-seat Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium, serves as home to Philadelphia Union. Since opening its doors on June 27, 2010, it has hosted numerous events for multiple sports. In October 2014, the CONCACAF Women’s Championship finals were held there as the United States, Costa Rica and Mexico earned berths to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Two years earlier, the MLS All-Stars squared off against English-power Chelsea before a crowd of 19,236. PPL Park has been recognized on multiple occasions, winning awards from Mid Atlantic Construction Magazine for “Best Sports/Recreation Project of the Year,” the Delaware County Planning Commission for outstanding land projects in the County and the NCS4 Facility Achievement Award that honors venues that excel in safety and security operations.
City: Chester, Pennsylvania
Past Gold Cups:first-time venue
Field Size: 120 x 75