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Home-grown Ticos add MLS experience

8/26/2011

Costa Rica's national team is in some disarray as it prepares to trek to Southern California for next week's friendly against the U.S. -- Juergen Klinsmann's second game in charge of the Yanks -- but you wouldn't know it from the roster.

Interim coach Ronald Gonzalez, who stepped in when Ricardo Lavolpe terminated his contract earlier this month, has called in the usual blend of experience and youngsters you find at this stage in the four-year cycle -- with several months before the Ticos' World Cup qualifying campaign begins -- for next Friday's encounter at Home Depot Center.

The 24-man list, released Friday on Federacion Costarricense de Futbol's website, is heavily tilted toward home-based players, with five from champion Alajuelense, and features four players from Major League Soccer, including starting Chivas USA center back Michael Umaña.

Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saborio, Portland Timbers midfielder Rodney Wallace and New York Red Bulls defender Roy Miller complete the MLS quartet.

Saborio (with 54 caps) and Umaña (with 48) are the most experienced players on the roster; both were part of the team that played at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Wallace, 23, who moved from Costa Rica to Maryland when he was 9, is one of three uncapped Ticos.

Gonzalez, a former Costa Rica national team defender now affiliated with powerhouse club Saprissa, served as interim coach before Lavolpe took charge last September. He also will guide the Ticos in a Sept. 6 friendly against Ecuador in Quito.

Lavolpe and the Costa Rican federation agreed to part ways two weeks ago after a disappointing CONCACAF Gold Cup ended with a penalty-kicks quarterfinal loss to Honduras, a quick exit from Copa America and an Aug. 10 loss in a home friendly against Ecuador.

The full roster:

GOALKEEPERS

Danny Carvajal (San Carlos)

Leonel Moreira (Herediano)

Keylor Navas (Levante/Spain)

DEFENDERS

Jhonny Acosta (Alajuelense)

Carlos Johnson (Cartagines)

Jose Mena (Saprissa)

Christopher Meneses

Roy Miller (New York Red Bulls)

Jose Salvatierra (Alajuelense)

Roy Smith (Orion) (Alajuelense)

Michael Umaña (Chivas USA)

MIDFIELDERS

Randall Azofeifa (Gençlerbirliği/Turkey)

Michael Barrantes (Aalesunds/Norway)

Christian Bolaños (FC Copenhagen/Denmark)

Allen Guevara (Alajuelense)

David Guzman (Saprissa)

Kareem McLean (Limon)

Alvaro Sanchez (San Carlos)

Rodney Wallace (Portland Timbers)

FORWARDS

Randall Brenes (Cartagines)

Daniel Colindres (Santos de Guapiles)

Josue Martinez (Saprissa)

Winston Parks (FK Baku/Azerbaijan)

Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake)