Alvaro Saborio (white) is Costa Rica's leading scorer in qualifying for Brazil 2014 with seven goals. (Photo: Mexsport)
SAN RAFAEL DE ALAJUELA, Costa Rica – Costa Rica announced on Friday a 24-player roster for World Cup qualifiers against the visiting United States on September 6 and at Jamaica four days later.
With 11 points from six games, the Ticos currently occupy second place in the CONCACAF Hexagonal – the region’s final round of qualifying for Brazil 2014 – two behind the table-topping Americans.
Highlighting head coach Jorge Luis Pinto’s selection was the inclusion of an impressive offensive trio – Alvaro Saborio, Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz. Saborio is the only player to appear in all 12 of Costa Rica’s qualifying games and is the team’s leading scorer with seven goals; no other player has more than two.
Midfielder Celso Borges, who netted two goals in a 4-0 friendly win at the Dominican Republic on August 14, is in the squad, as is Oscar Duarte. The Club Brugge defender, 24, scored against Poland’s Slask Wroclaw in a 3-3 UEFA League draw on August 8, but has yet to feature in the Ticos’ qualifying campaign.
Costa Rica is unbeaten in eight home matches this year with seven wins and a draw. It hosted and won the 2013 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana at the Estadio Nacional, site of the match against the United States.
COSTA RICA ROSTER
(World Cup Qualifying – September 6, 2013, home v USA; September 10, 2013, away v Jamaica)
GOALKEEPERS: Keylor Navas (Levante, Spain), Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense)
DEFENDERS: Johnny Acosta (Alajuelense), Junior Díaz (Mainz/Germany), Oscar Duarte (Club Brugge/Belgium), Cristian Gamboa (Rosenborg/Norway), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Valerenga/Norway), Bryan Oviedo (Everton/England), Jose Salvatierra (Alajuelense), Michael Umaña (Saprissa)
MIDFIELDERS: Michael Barrantes (Aalesunds/Norway), Cristian Bolaños (FC Copenhagen/Denmark), Celso Borges (AIK/Sweden), Diego Calvo (Valerenga/Norway), Mauricio Castillo (Saprissa), José Miguel Cubero (Herediano), Oscar Esteban Granados (Herediano), Yeltsin Tejeda (Saprissa)
FORWARDS: Randall Brenes (Cartagines), Joel Campbell (Olympiakos/Greece), Víctor Núñez (Herediano), Bryan Ruiz (Fulham/England), Yendrick Ruiz (Herediano), Alvaro Saborío (Real Salt Lake/USA)