CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Costa Rica are set to add some extra firepower to their attack for their Gold Cup match against El Salvador at Bank of America Stadium on Thursday (7 pm ET, TeleFutura).
Striker Bryan Ruiz has managed to heal from an injury that had been bothering him and expects to make his debut in this year's Gold Cup vs. los Cuscatlecos.
“I had the test of fire [on Tuesday] and I can say that I'm at 100 percent and that the pain is completely gone," the FC Twente striker told the Costa Rican soccer federation's website. "So if the boss [Ricardo La Volpe] sees it fit, then I will be part of the starting lineup against El Salvador."
Although Ruiz anxiously awaits the match against an El Salvador team that was pounded by Mexico 5-0, the 25-year-old says los Ticos must be careful of their wounded rivals.
“El Salvador is a team that sits back and counters constantly,” he said. “They have fast players that can be dangerous.”
Ruiz believes Costa Rica will go far in this year’s edition of the Gold Cup and says that although the match against Cuba — which the Ticos won 5-0 — may have looked like a stroll in the park, the Central Americans just wanted to warn everyone that they’re here to win the tournament.
“We’ve got to be honest, Cuba isn’t the best of the teams we will face,” said Ruiz. “But in that match, Costa Rica displayed a side that wanted it and that was effective because we managed to score five goals. But definitely as the days go by [in the Gold Cup], our opponents will be better and stronger.”
Costa Rica held training at UNC Charlotte on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, La Volpe will select the starting XI that will face El Salvador.