Gold Cup Preview: Costa Rica

Bryan Ruiz

Ian Walton-Getty Images South America

Ever since Costa Rica surprised most soccer fans during the 2014 World Cup, they haven’t been having success in recent tournaments. Costa Rica has been in somewhat of a slump recently going 1-2-2. They look to end this slump during this Gold Cup tournament.

This squad is very good and has young talent and veterans to compete with teams in this tournament. The biggest name left out from the squad is Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

Keylor Navas will miss this tournament due to tendinitis in his left foot. Real Madrid recently admitted that he has been dealing with this problem for a while. He will be missed in this squad as he is their best keeper, allowing less than one goal a game.

The biggest strength for the Costa Rican team is their midfield. The midfield is led by Bryan Ruiz and Y. Tejeda. This midfield is very good at keeping possession and creating chances for the forwards. They are also great at scoring goals with an average of 60% shots on target.

Teams really need to watch out for the duo of Bryan Ruiz and Joel Campbell. Campbell is an excellent finisher and Ruiz is great at setting up teammates with goal scoring opportunities. This is a perfect combo that wreaks havoc over opposing teams defense, that if not stopped will be deadly.

The biggest downfall of this Costa Rican team is their defense. They are great at tackling and winning the ball but lose a lot of aerial battles. They lose a lot of battles they engage in. For this team to be successful, this defense needs to be strong and win challenges.

Prediction: In Group A, Costa Rica will face Canada, French Guiana, and Honduras. Costa Rica will beat Canada 2-1, beat Honduras 4-1, and beat French Guiana 5-0, which will put them on top of Group A table and send them to the quarterfinals. They will win in the quarterfinals, but lose in the semifinals.

All in all, if you are a Costa Rica fan, this will be a successful tournament for you.

 

 

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