Gold Cup: Costa Rica name Alvaro Saborio, Jairo Arrieta, Rodney Wallace, Roy Miller to roster
Each player named on Wednesday by head coach Jorge Luis Pinto was part of the Ticos squad that just completed the most recent round of World Cup qualifiers and were recalled for the CONCACAF tournament. But Pinto opted to rest several other of his big-name regulars – including star attackers Bryan Ruiz and Joel Campbell – as Costa Rica chase a World Cup berth for the first time since 2006.
Real Salt Lake star Saborío (above) returns for his fourth straight Gold Cup. The veteran striker has 30 goals for his national team (three in Gold Cup play), which is good third all-time on the Costa Rican charts, but has battled injury issues all year.
New York Red Bulls defender Miller, who scored a crucial goal for Costa Rica in their World Cup qualifier against Honduras earlier this month, returns to the Gold Cup for the first time since 2005. Meanwhile, it will be the first Gold Cup for Columbus Crew striker Arrieta and Portland Timbers winger/defender Wallace.
The 24-man training squad named by Pinto on Wednesday includes 13 domestic-based players. Pinto will have to remove one player in order to make the 23-man limit to submit to CONCACAF by midnight on Friday.
Three-time CONCACAF champions Costa Rica open their 2013 Gold Cup on July 9 against Cuba at Portland’s JELD-WEN Field. They’ll face the United States in group-stage play a week later at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn.
FULL COSTA RICA GOLD CUP TEAM
Goalkeepers: Leonel Moreira (Herediano/Costa Rica), Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense/Costa Rica), Luis Torres (Cartaginés/Costa Rica)
Defenders: Johnny Acosta (Alajuelense/Costa Rica), Junior Díaz (Mainz 05/Germany), Oscar Duarte (Club Brugge/Belgium), Giancarlo González (Vålerenga/Norway), Carlos Johnson (Cartaginés/Costa Rica), Juan Diego Madrigal (Saprissa/Costa Rica), Christopher Meneses (IFK Norrkoping/Sweden), Roy Miller (New York Red Bulls), Michael Umaña (Saprissa/Costa Rica)
Midfielders: Michael Barrantes (Aalesund/Norway), Celso Borges (AIK/Sweden), Mauricio Castillo (Saprissa/Costa Rica), Kenny Cunnigham (The Strongest/Bolivia), Oscar Esteban Granados (Herediano/Costa Rica), Ariel Rodríguez (Alajuelense/Costa Rica), Oswaldo Rodríguez (Santos de Guápiles/Costa Rica), Yeltsin Tejeda (Saprissa/Costa Rica), Rodney Wallace (Portland Timbers)
Forwards: Jairo Arrieta (Columbus Crew), Yendrick Ruiz (Herediano/Costa Rica), Alvaro Saborío (Real Salt Lake)