Costa Rica call up MLS trio for pre-Concacaf Olympic qualifying camp

Randall Leal - Nashville SC - shot

Three MLS players have been called up by Costa Rica for a pre-2020 Concacaf Men's Olympic Qualifying camp that’ll include two friendlies against Honduras on February 23 and 25.

Columbus Crew SC winger Luis Diaz, Nashville SC winger Randall Leal and Portland Timbers midfielder Marvin Loria are on head coach Douglas Sequeira’s 28-man roster. They’ve all made their senior national team debuts and would be in contention for the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

For Concacaf qualifiers, Costa Rica are drawn into Group A alongside the United States, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. The top two teams from each group will reach the semifinals, with the finalists then earning Concacaf's two spots at the international U-23 tournament. 

Here are Costa Rica’s schedule when qualifiers get underway in Guadalajara, Mexico, next month.

  • March 18: USA vs. Costa Rica – Jalisco Stadium
  • March 21: Costa Rica vs. Mexico – Akron Stadium
  • March 24: Costa Rica vs. Dominican Republic – Jalisco Stadium

Diaz, 22, has two goals and seven assists in 34 games (23 starts) since coming to Columbus in 2019 from Herediano. The speedster helped Columbus win MLS Cup in 2020 and figures to play a key role as they enter the Concacaf Champions League in 2021.

Leal, 24, is a Designated Player for Nashville and registered three goals and four assists in 21 games (19 starts) during their expansion season. He has 16 senior-team caps for Costa Rica, having developed at Saprissa before his MLS transfer.

Loria, 23, is entering his third Portland season after coming through Saprissa’s academy and spending time on loan at Timbers 2. While with Portland, the versatile midfielder has notched two goals and three assists in 36 games (17 starts).

Costa Rica are looking to make their first Olympic soccer tournament since 2004, when they advanced out of Group D and lost against Argentina in the quarterfinals. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Concacaf Men's Olympic Qualifying tournament was pushed back a year.