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Canada vs Costa Rica Friendlies Preview

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The men's national team will travel to Costa Rica on January 25th.


Canada vs Costa Rica at the 2016 CONCACAF Futsal Championships. (Photo courtesy: Futsal Canada)

Canada will spend a week in the Central American country and will face the Ticos in a pair of friendlies at the Scotiabank Arena in San Jose.

In a surprising move Costa Rica recently sacked their futsal coach Diego Solis and have rehired Carlos Quirós for a third time. Quirós, has plenty of international experience having led the team from 1998-2008 as well as in 2010 while also working with the national team in a coordinator role between 2011-2016.


Carlos Quirós is announced as Costa Rica's national coach. (Graphic Courtesy of Costa Rica Football Federation)

Costa Rica are the two time defending CONCACAF champions (while coached by Solis) and though the coaching change may have raised some questions about their preparedness it shouldn't as they're a very talented side and are practicing every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, more than every other team in CONCACAF.

They also recently travelled to Guatemala to play a two game series, having narrowly lost both matches.

Mexico was initially slated to participate in this friendly series but pulled out as their program has been briefly paused amidst their own coaching change.

Canada meanwhile are coming off a pair of strong camps in October and December in Quebec. A mix of Major Arena Soccer League players combined with futsal players in local Canadian leagues makes up the current player pool and this trip will certainly be key in seeing which players will make the final 14 man roster for the CONCACAF Championships that are taking place from May 1-10th in Guatemala City.

National team veterans Eduardo Jauregui, Jacob Orellana, Ian Bennett, Robert Renaud, and Marco Rodriguez will make the trip while promising young stars Mohammed Farsi and 2019 Canada Soccer Futsal Player of the Year, Luis Rocha, will look to cement their spots.

Goalkeepers Brandon Lima, Luigi Caruso, and Louis-Philippe Simard will look to impress Head Coach Kyt Selaidopoulos and all three have looked solid in net for their clubs this season.


Canadian National Team at a camp in December, 2019. Photo Courtesy of Canada Soccer

These are Canada's first matches since another friendly series in Costa Rica two years ago. The Ticos won both matches (4-5, and 0-5). They also played each other in a thrilling opening match of the 2016 CONCACAF Championships with the Reds coming up just short in a 3-2 defeat.

Canada hasn't made the World Cup since 1989 when it was known as the World Championships but this year the objective is simply to get back to the preeminent international competition and there is a serious belief that they could do it this time around.

20 teams will participate in the CONCACAF Futsal Championships with the exact format not yet having been revealed yet by the confederation. All four semi-finalists will earn a coveted spot at the 2020 Futsal World Cup in Lithuania.

CANADIAN ROSTER FOR COSTA RICA FRIENDLIES.

CANADA
GK- Luigi Caruso | CAN / Toronto Idolo Futsal
GK- Brandon Lima | CAN / Futsal Club Toronto
GK- Louis-Philippe Simard | CAN / Spartiates Sports Club
D- Daniel Chamale | USA / Milwaukee Wave
D- Eduardo Jauregui | CAN / Toronto Idolo Futsal
D- Maxime Leconte | CAN / Spartiates Sports Club
M- Nazim Belguendouz | CAN / Spartiates Sports Club
M- Ian Bennett | USA / Milwaukee Wave
M- Mohamed Farsi | CAN / Sporting Montreal
M- Jacob Orellana | CAN / Toronto Idolo Futsal
M- Luis Rocha | CAN / Toronto Idolo Futsal
M- Marco Rodriguez | CAN / Toronto Idolo Futsal
T- Jean-William Lumbreras | CAN / Spartiates Sports Club
T- Frederico Moojen | USA / Dallas Sidekicks
T- Robert Renaud | USA / Milwaukee Wave
T- Matthew Rios | CAN / UMSC Futsal
T- Jay Tomchuk | CAN / Saskatoon Olimpia SK FC