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Costa Rica's 'Intermediate Team' Ready For Mexico
, July 22nd, 2009 4PM

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When Rodrigo Kenton took hold of the reins 13 months ago, Costa Rica's World Cup hopes looked grim. But Kenton has sparked a turnaround, guiding the Ticos to top spot in the final round of qualifying, unearthing exciting talent and re-capturing the imagination of a soccer-crazy Central American nation. Fifa.com interviewed Kenton before Costa Rica's clash with Mexico in the semifinals of the Concacaf Gold Cup.

Kenton on the team he brought to the Gold Cup: "This is what I like to call our intermediate team. There are some big names missing, but I tried to find a good balance between experience and youth. I've included some guys that maybe didn't have the right rhythm yet and maybe needed a few more games."

On the rivalry between Costa Rica and Mexico and what to expect on Thursday in Chicago: "The biggest problem is going to be the crowd. It's going to be like a home game for Mexico here in Chicago. We will be the away team, no doubt about it. We just need to get past those first 15 or 20 minutes when they will be flying at us and getting pushed on by the fans. After that, if we can survive, we will be able to settle down and play our game. We can match them in every department on the field, but that crowd worries me. It will be like they're playing at the Azteca."

 

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