Monday, February 9, 2009

Hexagonal preview: Costa Rica

Costa Rica

We are back with the final three Hexagonal previews. Up next is Costa Rica, a team that also qualified for the 2006 World Cup.

Match Schedule

Feb 11: Honduras at Costa Rica
Mar 28: Costa Rica at Mexico
Apr 1: El Salvador at Costa Rica
Jun 3: USA at Costa Rica
Jun 6: Costa Rica at Trinidad & Tobago
Aug 12: Costa Rica at Honduras
Sept 5: Mexico at Costa Rica
Sept 9: Costa Rica at El Salvador
Oct 10: Trinidad & Tobago at Costa Rica
Oct 14: Costa Rica at USA

La Sele’s schedule is one of the most advantageous in the entire Hex. The team has four of the first seven matches at home with away tilts at T&T and Honduras nestled in there. Realistically, Costa Rica could have at least three, potentially four wins, by the time Mexico arrives on September 5th.

Meet the Members of the Team

53-year-old Rodrigo Kenton Johnson took over in June of 2008. He worked under Velibor “Bora” Milutinović when Bora was the coach of the Costa Rica NT in 1990.

Álvaro Saborío: The FC Sion striker played at Deportivo Saprissa for several years and he always welcomes a return to his former club’s home ground. Known as “le Gigì", will he have the goal scorer’s touch this summer?

Randall Azofeifa: The midfielder plays for Blegium’s K.A.A. Gent and has the necessary international and club experience to be a factor in the Hexagon. With over 15 caps already, look for a big qualification round from the 24-year-old.

Gonzalo Segares: The Chicago Fire defender has been an important part of his MLS club, but until recently he did not factor in the national squad. Is he going to continue to get call ups?

Key Match

Mexico at Costa Rica (September 5, 2009): At stake could be second or even first place in the Hexagonal. Will El Tri survive a trip to Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Aymá? I doubt it.

Predictions

Best Case Scenario: 1st Place. The USA loses one or two crucial games setting the stage for Costa Rica to top the group. While unlikely, Costa Rica has the depth of talent to survive the summer.

Worst Case Scenario: 4th Place. Also an unlikely situation, but one that is possible if T&T or one of the border nations (Honduras/El Salvador) plays lights out.

- Sean Grybos

1 comment:

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