Luis Fernando Suarez, head coach of Costa Rica has named his 26-man squad for the World Cup. Los Ticos will be led by ex-Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas. Costa Rica booked their spot to Qatar with a victory against New Zealand in the intercontinental play-off and became the last team to qualify.
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Young and inexperienced squad
There is a change of guard in Costa Rica as the squad is filled with 11 players who are 25 years old or younger. The squad is also inexperienced as there are 11 players with less than 10 caps for the national team. The veterans like Keylor Navas, Kendall Watson, Joel Campbell, Bryan Ruiz and Celso Borges will be leading from the front.
Orlando Galo misses out following a positive doping test and a provisional suspension issued by FIFA. Some of the surprise omissions from the squad are Randall Leal, Alonso Martinez and Ariel Lassiter. 23 year old Patrick Sequeira made it to the squad as back-up keeper over veteran keeper Leonel Moreira. Cristian Gamboa is also a surprise omission.
Costa Rica are making their 6th World Cup appearance at Qatar. The 2014 World Cup saw them have their best run of performance with a quarter-final finish.
“It was very difficult [to choose the squad] because there are not only 26 players eligible to be in Qatar. We asked ourselves more questions about what we needed for the games and the current situation of each of them,” head coach Luis Fernando Suarez said.
Costa Rica’s 26-man squad for Qatar
Goalkeepers : Keylor Navas (PSG/France), Esteban Alvarado (Herediano/Costa Rica), Patrick Sequeira (CD Lugo/Spain).
Defenders : Francisco Calvo (Konyaspor/Turkey), Daniel Chacon (Colorado Rapids/USA), Oscar Duarte (Al-Wehda/Saudi Arabia), Keysher Fuller (Herediano/Costa Rica), Carlos Martinez (San Carlos/Costa Rica), Ronaldo Matarrita (FC Cincinnati/USA), Bryan Oviedo (Real Salt Lake/USA), Juan Pablo Vargas (Millonarios/Colombia), Kendall Waston (Saprissa/Costa Rica).
Midfielders : Brandon Aguilera (Guanacasteca/Costa Rica), Jewison Bennette (Sunderland/England), Celso Borges (Alajuelense/Costa Rica), Anthony Hernandez (Puntarenas/Costa Rica), Douglas Lopez (Herediano/Costa Rica), Bryan Ruiz (Alajuelense/Costa Rica), Youstin Salas (Saprissa/Costa Rica), Yeltsin Tejeda (Herediano/Costa Rica), Gerson Torres (Herediano/Costa Rica), Roan Wilson (Grecia/Costa Rica), Alvaro Zamora (Saprissa/Costa Rica).
Forwards : Joel Campbell (Club Leon/Mexico), Anthony Contreras (Herediano/Costa Rica), Johan Venegas (Alajuelense/Costa Rica).