Keylor Navas (pictured) has not played for Costa Rica since a March 29, 2016, World Cup qualifier against Jamaica. (Photo: Straffon Images)
ALAJUELA, Costa Rica – Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas may pull on a Costa Rica jersey for the first time since March, when the Central American champion faces host Russia in an international friendly on October 9 in Krasnodar.
The 29-year-old -- winner of the 2014 CONCACAF player of the year award -- had been out of action for three months while recovering from left-heel surgery, which caused him to miss the Copa America Centenario.
Navas was one of 23 players called up by head coach Oscar Ramirez, who kept a majority of the squad that topped the table of its fourth-round CONCACAF qualifying group for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
"The friendly will be of very good quality,” said Ramirez. “Russia is a very dynamic team. They do quite a lot work on combinations and it will demand a lot of us.”
Costa Rica is preparing for the final round World Cup Qualifying, which will open November 11 with an encounter at Trinidad & Tobago.
GOALKEEPERS: Esteban Alvarado (Trabzonspor/Turkey), Keylor Navas (Real Madrid/Spain), Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense)
DEFENDERS: Johnny Acosta (Herediano), Francisco Calvo (Saprissa), Óscar Duarte (Espanyol/Spain), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Palermo/Italy), Ronald Matarrita (New York City FC/USA), Jhamir Ordain (Santos), Bryan Oviedo (Everton/England), Jose Salvatierra (Alajuelense), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps/Canada)
MIDFIELDERS: Randall Azofeifa (Herediano), Cristian Bolaños (Vancouver Whitecaps/Canada), Celso Borges (Deportivo La Coruña/Spain), Joel Campbell (Sporting Lisbon/Portugal), David Guzman (Saprissa), Bryan Ruiz (Sporting Lisbon), Yeltsin Tejeda (Lausanne Sports/Switzerland), Rodney Wallace (Sport Recife/Brazil)
FORWARDS: Yendrick Ruiz (Herediano), Marcos Ureña (Brondby/Denmark), Johan Venegas (Impact de Montreal/Canada)