Paulo César Wanchope on Wednesday announced the roster for upcoming friendlies against Paraguay and Panama at the end of the month. This is Wanchope’s first roster as official head coach of Costa Rica’s National Football Team, known as La Sele.
The new list combines experienced players who were at FIFA’s World Cup Brazil 2014, where Costa Rica reached an historic eighth place in quarterfinals, and also players who will represent the country for the first time ever.
“There are new names on this list as the competition is open for everyone who wants a spot, but they will have to earn it. They all must give 100 percent regardless of what kind of match they will be called to play,” said Wanchope, who was the team’s assistant coach during the World Cup.
Costa Rica will face Paraguay on March 26 in San José and will visit Panama on March 31 in preparation for CONCACAF’s Gold Cup scheduled for July in the U.S.
For the regional tournament La Sele is seeded at the top of Group B and will face El Salvador, Canada and Jamaica.
Also on Wednesday the Costa Rican Football Federation (FEDEFUTBOL) confirmed La Sele will play another friendly against Mexico on June 26 in Orlando.
“Every player wants to be on the National Team, they all want to be in the qualifiers for the Russia World Cup in 2018 and this first list sends a clear message that any player in the country can make the next roster,” Wanchope said.
Costa Rica currently ranks #13 in FIFA’s World Ranking and is still the best team in the region with 1,095 points, followed by Mexico, which ranks #21 with 935 points.
The U.S. ranks #32 with 828 points. The next world ranking will be disclosed on April 9, FEDEFUTBOL reported.
The full roster for the upcoming friendlies is:
Keylor Navas (Real Madrid, Spain)
Esteban Alvarado (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands)
Dave Myrie (Herediano)
Jordan Smith (Saprissa)
Oscar Duarte (Bruges, Belgium)
Keyner Brown (Herediano)
Junior Díaz (Mainz 05, Germany)
Francisco Calvo (Santos)
Lemark Hernández (Limón)
Waylon Francis (Columbus Crew, U.S.).
Johan Venegas (Alajuelense)
Celso Borges (Deportivo La Coruña, Spain)
David Guzmán (Saprissa)
Yeltsin Tejeda (Evian, France)
Esteban Granados (Herediano)
Deyver Vega (Saprissa)
Elías Aguilar (Herediano)
Joel Campbell (Villareal, Spain)
Aarón Navarro (AS Puma)
Bryan Ruiz (Fulham, England)
John Jairo Ruiz (Oostende, Belgium)
Álvaro Saborío (Real Salt Lake, U.S.)
Marco Ureña (Midtjylland, Denmark)
José Guillermo Ortiz (Alajuelense)