82913_snowzusi_isi_usmntjt0322131411 John Todd/isiphotos.com

Costa Rica Wants Revenge for the SnowClasico

Among other things, the country's national team committee president Adrian Gutierrez says the U.S. "should make plans to arrive early wherever they go." This is going to be great.
BY Jon Arnold Posted
August 29, 2013
11:00 AM
Costa Rica not making it easy
There's some lingering resentment after the United States beat Costa Rica 1-0 on a snow-laden pitch in March outside Denver. How deep that resentment goes depends on who you're asking.

Eduardo Li, the president of the Costa Rican FA (Fededfutbol), says there are no hard feelings, and he doesn't view the return leg September 6 as an opportunity for any sort of revenge. "It's a game like any other," he told Costa Rica's Al Dia. "You can't deny it has a curiosity surrounding it as an extra ingredient, but it's a soccer match like any other."

But not everyone is being so diplomatic. The president of the National Team Committee, Adrian Gutierrez, told the same publication the U.S. "should make plans to arrive early wherever they go," as roads won't be closed to ease the group's travel. Gutierrez said los Ticos will give the Americans the same treatment they received in Colorado but complained about the escort they were given while in the States.

That's the same language the country's president, Laura Chinchilla, used when she addressed rumors the Stars and Stripes would get special treatment from airport or customs officials upon arrival in the country.

"As in diplomacy, there is reciprocation in soccer, so the American national team will receive the same treatment they gave us in the United States," she said in a Facebook statement.

The treatment received from within the national stadium next Friday might be "special" as well; though U.S. players might be pleased to have a running track around the field to provide a buffer from the Costa Rican fans unlike at Estadio Saprissa, which was rumored to be a host site for the match. The Costa Rican team will be announced by Jorge Luis Pinto at 11 a.m. Costa Rica time Friday.

El Salvador Match Manipulation
Evidence continues to indicate Salvadoran players manipulated matches in exchange for money from bettors. A source tells El Gráfico that goalkeeper Dagoberto Portillo and defender Mardoqueo Henríquez asked five other players to help lose a February friendly against Paraguay by three or more goals. Each player was to be given $10,000, money some reportedly received from Miguel Montes, a goalkeeper who previously played with the national team, upon returning to El Salvador.

Manager Alberto Castillo has pleaded ignorance, saying there's no way of knowing what players are doing all 24 hours of the day and that going to different hotel rooms or meeting with people isn't a violation of any rules. "The only time the coaching staff is with the players is during meals, tactical sessions, and after when there's something special," he said.

Americans in Liga MX & Copa MX
New Puebla manager Ruben Romano seems to have taken to his American pair, and why not? Michael Orozco scored Puebla's lone goal, but the team managed to crumble and allow a Cruz Azul comeback in a 2-1 loss. Orozco and DaMarcus Beasley went the full 90. Jose Torres went the full 90 as Tigres let a 2-0 lead lapse and drew 2-2 with Jaguares.

Alonso Hernandez was an unused substitute in Monterrey's 3-1 loss at Leon and again in the Copa MX against Altamira.

In the cup, Ventura Alvarado again played the full 90 for Necaxa and Sonny Guadarrama came on with the 1-0 loss to Leon nearly over.

Ernest Nungaray went the full 90, but it was his Brazilian teammate Eder Pacheco who scored in Correcaminos' 1-1 draw against Puebla.

San Jose-born Jesus Padilla played all of Dorados' 2-1 loss at Chivas, a match viewed in person by fewer than 2,000 people. The contest is now the worst-attended in the Omnilife's history, replacing a friendly between Chivas and Red Bulls, according to Récord.

CONCACAF Champions League
The shocker of the Champions League might be Heridia. The Guatemalan team was grouped alongside two MLS clubs since the Montreal Impact qualified via the Canadian Championship. But the club has answered the bell originally thought to be a death knell, taking down both teams in Guatemala to lead the group. Wins will be harder to come by in North America, but Wednesday's 1-0 result against a San Jose team featuring many regulars certainly sends the message that the team isn't going to roll over. Wednesday's two other underdogs also beat expectations but couldn't beat their competition. Valencia equalized in the 71st minute in Port-au-Prince, but Cruz Azul found another goal in the match's final stages to win 2-1.

On the border, a Firpo team missing four starters because of the match manipulation suspensions nearly held the home team to a draw, but Fifi Martinez scored in the 81st minute to lift Xolos. Joe Corona, Greg Garza, Paul Arriola, and Bruno Piceno all started the match. Piceno came out at the break and Corona made way for Martinez in the 59th minute. Edgar Castillo was an unused substitute with Jorge Almiron resting some of his regular starters ahead of a weekend trip to Chiapas.

In the league, Tijuana continues to show vulnerability late. Martinez scored to put the club up 1-0 Friday, but Santos struck in the 89th minute to get a 1-1 draw.

Castillo started the match and Arriola came on to provide a jolt at halftime. He forced an impressive save from Oswaldo Sanchez almost immediately.
Quickly Taken
  • Carlos Vela scored both Real Sociedad's against Lyon with the club easily advancing to the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. His second goal was particularly nice.

  • Roger Rojas was set to move from Olimpia to West Ham on a one-year loan with an option to buy, but reports are he failed a physical and won't be joining the club. And by reports I mean a tweet from the owner's son.

    I enjoyed this handsome pundit's take:

  • Jamaican forward Marlon King, back in with the national team, is officially out at Birmingham City.

  • Costa Rican champions Herediano flew to the U.S. Tuesday, played to a 1-1 draw in friendly against the New England Force on Wednesday in Connecticut, and are headed back to Costa Rica on Thursday. The Force are a "recently formed professional soccer team" according to the Hartford Courant, that is "trying to develop [its] brand over the next year so that it can apply to become a member of the North American Soccer League." Municipal, the Belize national team, and an Argentinian club are also slated to visit the Force, according to the Courant article.

    Herediano heads back to Costa Rica to prepare for the match of the week against Alajuelense on September 1, presumably now with the knowledge that Connecticut isn't in New York.

  • This match had been announced for some time, but Japan on Thursday released its roster for the September 6 friendly with Guatemala. The last match Los Chapines played was the 6-0 loss to the U.S. prior to the Gold Cup. This one probably won't go much better, with Guatemala unlikely to snap its dozen-match winless streak against World Cup-bound Japan.

    Video of the Week
    It's been one month. Time to re-live the Gold Cup. Jon Arnold is an ASN contributing editor. Follow him on Twitter.
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