Juan Barrera (red/white jersey), shown in a 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League match against Saprissa, is on Nicaragua's roster for a friendly at Guatemala on August 13, 2014. (Photo: www.pinolerosports.com)
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – Nicaragua will ramp up its preparations for next month’s Copa Centroamericana on Thursday, when it faces host Guatemala in an international friendly at the Estadio Pensativo in Antigua.
Numerous candidates are in line to earn their first international caps from head coach Enrique Llena, including a pair of recently naturalized players: high-scoring forward Daniel Cadena (Spain) and midfielder Luis Fernando Copete (Colombia), both of Walter Ferretti.
“We are in a rebuilding process,” said Llena in a recent comment to reporters about his selection. “The called players respond to the way in which we play.”
The match is Nicaragua’s first FIFA “A” international since falling to Belize, 2-1, nearly 19 months ago at the 2013 Copa Centroamerica in San Jose, Costa Rica.
It will be the 20th all-time meeting between the regional rivals, but the first since a 1-1 draw – also in the Copa Centroamericana – on January 1, 2013. Current roster member Josue Quijano gave the Nicaraguans a lead four minutes before the half, but David Espinoza eventually leveled midway through the second half.
Guatemala leads the series 17-1 in wins and there was one draw.
Nicaragua will open its 2014 Copa Centroamericana campaign against Group A foe Costa Rica on September 3 at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C.
(International friendly: August 14, 2014, away v Guatemala; Estadio Pensativo; Antigua, Guatemala)
GOALKEEPERS: Léster Acevedo, Esdras González, Justo Lorente
DEFENDERS: Jason Casco, Jessie López, Donald Parrales, Josué Quijano, Manuel Rosas, David Solórzano, Alejandro Tapia, Erick Téllez
MIDFIELDERS: Juan Barrera, Luis Fernando Copete, Jason Coronel, Norlan Cuadra, Léster Jarquín, Marlon López, Medardo Martínez, Elmer Mejía, Walmer Otero, Elvis Pinell
FORWARDS: Daniel Cadena, Javier Dolmus, Eulises Pavón, Milton Zeledón