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Soccer World Cup

2014 World Cup: Predicting the Costa Rica Squad’s Starting XI

Predicting Costa Rica's Starting XI

2014 World Cup Predicting Costa Rica's starting xi
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Costa Rica is going to have a tough time getting out of the group with the following starting XI. They are a decent squad that is familiar with one another. However, their competition may be too much to overcome. The Ticos finished second in CONCACAF qualifying, but are picked by many to finish last in Group D at the 2014 World Cup.

GK - Keylor Navas

Keylor Navas
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GK - Keylor Navas

Keylor Navas
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The Ticos are not weak in net. Navas was in great form at Levante in La Liga this season. He was named the best goalkeeper in the 2009 Gold Cup and has been an upward progression since then.

LB - Roy Miller

Roy Miller
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LB - Roy Miller

Roy Miller
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Roy Miller is often the target of jokes, but had a great start to the season for the New York Red Bulls. He is versatile enough to play on either side, so sitting on the left should not feel uncomfortable. However, he is getting this chance with an an injury to Bryan Oviedo. He could be challenged by Junior Diaz.

CB - Michael Umana

Michael Umana2
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CB - Michael Umana

Michael Umana
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Umana is the most experienced defender on the roster for Costa Rica. The former Los Angeles Galaxy player made his World Cup debut in 2006.

CB - Giancarlo Gonzalez

Giancarlo Gonzalez2
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CB - Giancarlo Gonzalez

Giancarlo Gonzalez
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Gonzalez has 23 more appearances for the national team than his competition, Oscar Duarte. Gonzalez joined the Columbus Crew at the beginning of the season, but his most memorable moment has been a fine for embellishment. He would get the call because of his aerial presence.

RB - Cristian Gamboa

Cristian Gamboa
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RB - Cristian Gamboa

Cristian Gamboa2
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Gamboa made his debut with the senior national team in 2010. He scored his first international goal in late 2012 in an early World Cup qualifier. Costa Rica found out that a recent knee injury to Gamboa would not require surgery, which was welcome news to the club.

CDM - Celso Borges

Celso Borges2
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CDM - Celso Borges

Celso Borges
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AIK's Borges is the most experienced midfielder on the club. His debut for the senior national team came in 2008 and he has appeared in over 60 matches with 30 of those being World Cup qualifiers.

LM - Christian Bolanos

Christian Bolanos2
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LM - Christian Bolanos

Christian Bolanos
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Bolanos is the next most experienced midfielder on the team. He appeared in nine matches for the national team in 2013. Bolanos is currently out of a club team contract and is debating staying in his home country to potentially finish his career. Bolanos, Yeltsin Tejeda and Diego Calvo will rotate during the matches to find bigger spaces to create offense.

CAM - Yeltsin Tejeda

Yeltsin Tejeda2
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CAM - Yeltsin Tejeda

Yeltsin Tejeda
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There is a rumor the he is named after Boris Yeltsin, but that cannot be confirmed. Tejeda is more of a creator than a scorer. Costa Rica relies heavily on its front two to put the ball in the back of the net. He was vital in the Ticos' qualification for this World Cup.

RM - Diego Calvo

Diego Calvo
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RM - Diego Calvo

Diego Calvo2
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Calvo will be the surprise starter for Costa Rica. He made his senior team debut in the snow game last March against the USMNT. He scored in the following qualifier and featured in six total matches toward qualifying for the World Cup. Given Calvo's recent inclusion, he seems a lock for this position. However, some media outlets are reporting he won't even make the final 23 because of the presence of Marco Ureña.

F - Bryan Ruiz

Bryan Ruiz2
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F - Bryan Ruiz

Bryan Ruiz
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Ruiz should play every minute of every match for the Ticos. Ruiz is comfortable on the right, but often floats in behind the striker to take advantage of any spaces created. He has 12 goals for Costa Rica, but will have a larger burden to score with the injury to Alvaro Saborio.

F - Joel Campbell

Joel Campbell
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F - Joel Campbell

Joel Campbell2
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Campbell is becoming well traveled in his club team career, but will be a mainstay for the Ticos. USMNT fans know Campbell for an off-the-ball dive that resulted in a yellow card to Matt Besler. Currently at Olympiacos, Campbell is being targeted by Newcastle and West Brom.