Goalkeeper Keylor Navas (pictured) heads Costa Rica’s roster for a pair of World Cup Qualifying matches in October 2017. (Photo: Mexsport)
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Costa Rica head coach Oscar Ramirez announced Friday a 24-man roster for his side’s last two games in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The second-place Ticos (4W-3D-1L, 15 points), who need only one point to be guaranteed a ticket to Russia, will face fifth-place Honduras (October 6, home) and third-place Panama (October 10, away). First-place Mexico (5-3-0, 18) has already sealed qualification, meaning four teams – including the fourth-place United States -- are battling for the last two direct spots.
The roster is highlighted by the inclusion of Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who is a finalist for The Best FIFA Goalkeeper 2017.
Ramirez also called in defender Ronald Matarrita, who returned to action for the USA’s New York City FC on Wednesday after recovering from broken right foot suffered in a match against Minnesota United on June 29.
"These are the guys we think can help us in these two games,” Ramirez said about his squad. “It's an important base that we've been working with.”
Costa Rica has competed in three of the last four World Cups, including 2014, when it reached the quarterfinals.
GOALKEEPERS: Leonel Moreira (Herediano), Keylor Navas (Real Madrid/Spain), Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense)
DEFENDERS: Johnny Acosta (Herediano), Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United/USA), Cristian Gamboa (Celtic/Scotland), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Bologna/Italy), Kenner Gutierrez (Alajuelense), Ronald Matarrita (New York City FC/USA), Bryan Oviedo (Sunderland/England), Jose Salvatierra (Alajuelense), Michael Umaña (Pars Jonoubi/Iran), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/Canada)
MIDFIELDERS: Randall Azofeifa (Herediano), Christian Bolaños (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/Canada), Celso Borges (Deportivo La Coruña/Spain), David Guzman (Portland Timbers/USA), Bryan Ruiz (Sporting Lisbon/Portugal), Yeltsin Tejeda (FC Laussane-Sport/Switzerland), Johan Venegas (Minnesota United/USA), Rodney Wallace (New York City FC/USA)
FORWARDS: Daniel Colindres (Saprissa), Ariel Rodriguez (Bangkok Glass/Thailand), Marco Ureña (San Jose Earthquakes/USA)