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2011 Copa America: Costa Rica National Team Profile And History

June 30, 2011 By Isaac Asante
We move to Costa Rica now… A country that has not quite managed to dazzle in its guest appearances in the Copa America, but that still has the hunger to succeed.

Costa Rica's LaVolpe will be intensively scrutinized during the Copa America.Costa Rica’s history in football isn’t as rich as the history of many other participants in the 2011 Copa America. They have never shined at the FIFA World Cup, but have nevertheless shown dominance in Central America in the last 20 years with 6 UNCAF Nations Cup trophies.

As CONCACAF members and not CONMEBOL members, Costa Rica can only participate in the Copa America tournament as guests, whenever they receive invitations. So far, La Sele have played in 3 editions.

A Recap Of Costa Rica’s Copa America History

1997 Edition (Round 1 Exit)

Costa Rica landed in Group C along with Brazil, Mexico and Colombia. They were humiliated 5-0 in their first game against the then-defending world champions, and they went on to get thrashed again – this time – 4-1 by Colombia. They finally held Mexico to a draw in their third encounter, but overall, their results were simply not good enough to get them a place in the quarterfinals.


2001 Edition (Quarterfinals Exit)

The Ticos were again placed in Group C, where they were compelled to fight for a qualification into the following stage with Honduras, Uruguay and Bolivia. A 1-0 triumph in their opening battle against Los Catrachos helped them gather some courage for their second match against La Celeste, which they drew 1-1. They exploded against La Verde, winning 4-0 to cruise into the knockout phase, only to be knocked out by Uruguay after a 2-1 defeat in Pereira.

2004 Edition (Quarterfinals Exit)

Costa Rica met Brazil again in Group C, being joined by Paraguay and Chile that time around. With 2 defeats, a single goal scored and 5 conceded in their first 2 encounters against La Albirroja and El Scratch, the guests knew they had to aim for a top place in the ranking of third-placed teams. Fortunately, a 2-1 victory over Chile paved them the way to qualify for the Last 8; but again, they were unsuccessful as Colombia eliminated them through a 2-0 triumph.

Costa Rica’s 2011 Copa America Coach And Squad

The Coach:

Ricardo Lavolpe was appointed as Costa Rica’s senior national team coach on 9 September 2010, replacing Ronald Gonzalez. His initial contract is set to expire in July 2014; nonetheless, his chances of maintaining his position are rapidly decreasing overtime.

Ricardo LaVolpe is on his way to losing his position as Costa Rica's coach.La Sele’s exit from the Gold Cup in the quarterfinals and a decision to send an “inexpert” side to Argentina for the Copa America have greatly contributed in putting Lavolpe’s job at stake; even though the Argentine boss has yet to be frustrated by the situation he is currently in.

Costa Rica’s 2011 Copa America 23-man squad roster:

Goalkeepers: Minor Alvarez, Leonel Moreira, Danny Carvajal

Defenders: Johnny Acosta, Heiner Mora, Kevin Fajardo, Jose Salvatierra, Francisco Calvo, Pedro Leal, Oscar Duarte

Midfielders: Allen Guevara, David Guzman, Jose Cubero, Hanzel Arauz, Luis Miguel Valle, Diego Madrigal, Jorge Gatgens

Forwards: Josue Martinez, Joel Campbell, Randall Brenes, Jorge Castro, Cesar Elizondo

Note: Defender Dennis Marshall is absent after his sudden death on June 23, following a car accident.

Top Quote From Costa Rica’s Camp Ahead Of The 2011 Copa America

Coach Ricardo Lavolpe to the press in San Jose:

"We’ll give people something to talk about. How far we will go? We don't know. We just know who the favourites are, but I believe we will do well."

Watch Costa Rica National Team Video Highlights.

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