Marco Ureña has enjoyed quite the week, and he likely will not forget it any time soon.
Ureña just finished September's round of World Cup Qualifiers by scoring all three of Costa Rica's goal in their 2-0 road win over the US and 1-1 home draw with Mexico. The goals were not rebound tap-ins or close-range gimmes either, but rather solid finishes that included a stunning half-turn strike against El Tri.
The 27-year-old forward's success could simply be attributed to playing with talented teammates like Bryan Ruiz and Celso Borges, but Ureña is also chalking it up to playing consistently and finding his rhythm with the San Jose Earthquakes.
“Did I make a good decision to go to MLS? The answer is on the field,” Ureña told La Nacion after Tuesday's tie with Mexico. "I have a lot of confidence and this is the biggest difference compared to when I would join the national team from Europe, where I didn’t have the regular playing time that I would have liked then.”
Ureña's recent form with Costa Rica has made a very strong case for him to continue to be the starting striker in the next round of qualifiers in October. In addition to the three key goals he scored in recent days, Ureña also netted the winner in a CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage game against Honduras that ended 1-0 in July.
“I feel that I can be the forward that Costa Rica is missing,” Ureña said. “I’m saying, ‘Here I am,’ and the only way to do it is to score goals."
While his production has not been as good in his first year with the Earthquakes, Ureña has started to show signs that he may be getting more comfortable in San Jose. He has two goals in his last five games with the club, and is concentrating on getting back and helping it get above the playoff line in the Western Conference.
“I have an important responsibility on the [Earthquakes],” Ureña said. “We’re fighting to get into the playoffs, something that the organization hasn’t achieved in the last five years, so the whole group is working really hard and we’re focused that we can achieve it."