Opponent Watch: Costa Rica’s Roster for 2020 Olympic Qualifying

When the United States Women’s National Team finishes the group stage of this year’s CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament against Costa Rica, they will likely face a line-up quite similar to the one that they faced last November, in the two sides’ most recent match-up.  Of the 20 players on Costa Rica’s published roster for that friendly, head coach Amelia Valverde has retained 17 for the qualifying roster, including all 13 players who featured in that match (U.S. Soccer match report).

External Link:  Amelia presentó las 20 para el Preolímpico (fedefutbol.com)

The only noteworthy change from the November roster is the return of back-up center back Fabiola Sanchez, who was recovering from a hairline fracture of her fibula.

The other two additions for this roster are both apparently uncapped at the senior WNT level:  Jazmin Elizondo, who featured in two matches for Costa Rica at the 2014 U-20 WWC squad, and midfielder Raquel Chacón, who is a bit of a mystery, having apparently never played for Costa Rica at any youth level.

The roster, which has an average age of 25.92, features three U-20 players, including two who started against the USWNT in November:  Center back Stephannie Blanco and midfielder/forward Priscilla Chinchilla.  The youngest player on the roster, the 2002-born forward Maria Paula Salas, appeared as a substitute in that match.

For a detailed look at Costa Rica’s core line-up and positional depth, see Opponent Watch: Costa Rica’s Roster and Depth Chart for November 2019 Friendly.

Parenthetical Key:  Current Club, Age at the Start of Tournament

Goalkeepers (3):
Noelia Bermudez (Codea; 25.36)
Dinnia Diaz (Saprissa; 32.04)
Priscilla Tapia (Herediano; 28.74)

Defenders (8):
Stephannie Blanco (Codea; 19.12)
Maria Paula Coto (Herediano; 21.91)
Mariana Benavides (Herediano; 25.09)
Daniela Cruz (Espanyol, ESP; 28.89)
Gabriela Guillen (Saprissa; 27.91)
Lixy Rodriguez (Codea; 29.23)
Carol Sanchez (Herediano; 33.79)
Fabiola Sanchez (Codea; 26.80)*

Midfielders (6):
Katherine Alvarado (Espanyol, ESP; 28.80)
Raquel Chacon (Codea; 25.20)^
Shirley Cruz (Codea; 34.42)
Melissa Herrera (Reimes, FRA; 23.3)
Raquel Rodriguez (Portland Thorns; 26.25)
Gloriana Villalobos (Saprissa; 20.44)

Forwards (3):
Priscilla Chinchilla (Codea; 18.55)
Jazmin Elizondo (Herediano; 25.12)^
Maria Paula Salas (Codea; 17.55)

*not on the November 2019 friendly roster due to injury
^not on the November 2019 friendly


Midfielder/forward Gloriana Villalobos, who left Florida State mid-season last year, is currently playing for Deportivo Saprissa.  Though, her tenure with Saprissa seems to be temporary as she looks for a permanent option.  This is translated from a December 21st tweet (which is currently pinned to her Twitter profile):

I want to clarify that I have not signed for any team and I am looking forward to what happens these days to define my future.

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