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Costa Rica-USA headed for 'Monster's Lair'
April 18th, 2013 1AM

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TAGS:  men's national team, world cup 2014


[HEXAGONAL COUNTDOWN] The process of normalizing relations between the USA and China began over ping pong. When Costa Rica cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan and finally recognized the People’s Republic of China, the Chinese rewarded the Central American nation with the gift of a new national soccer stadium. The Estadio Nacional, which was funded by the Chinese government and built by Chinese workers, seats 35,000, but it is not good enough for the Ticos, who are trying to return to the cozy Estadio Saprissa, where it has never lost to the USA in seven games, for the Sept. 6 World Cup qualifier.

"The voice of the people is the voice of God, and if people want us to play there, we will play in the Saprissa against the United States," Eduardo Li, president of the Costa Rican soccer federation, said in an interview with the radio station Radio Rican DNA.

The Estadio Saprissa is an older stadium with artificial turf in need of work, but Saprissa president Juan Carlos Rojas has promised to make the necessary arrangements to get the stadium ready, according to Li.

"I would not want to say anything else about the possibility of holding other matches there," Li said, "but if we play at the Saprissa, we have to have the right conditions and that's what I told Mr. Juan Carlos Rojas."

The Estadio Saprissa -- known as the "Monster's Lair" after local team Saprissa, which is nicknamed the Purple Monster -- seats 24,000 and fans sit right near the field, creating a heated atmosphere for international matches.

The Ticos, who are tied for second in the Hexagonal with the USA with four points in three games, won their first home game with a 2-0 win over Jamaica March 26 in the Estadio Nacional, which opened in 2011.



8 comments
  1. Bill Anderson
    commented on: April 18, 2013 at 8:10 a.m.
    Good for Costa Rica, they should seek every home field advantage they can muster. We'll bring the snow.

  1. Rick Potts
    commented on: April 18, 2013 at 10:25 a.m.
    When he says "make the necessary arrangements to make the stadium ready" what he really means is they will reduce the security to next to nothing and set up the pee bag vendor machines for the US game....

  1. Eric Schmitt
    commented on: April 18, 2013 at 12:26 p.m.
    In other words, Costa Rica going for the full revenge concept.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: April 18, 2013 at 2:01 p.m.
    Rick, but thats ok right because we used the snow in Denver as our home field advantage ?? Not to mention the altitude and cold weather. Costa Rica has to make up for their beautiful weather somehow.

  1. John Soares
    commented on: April 18, 2013 at 2:40 p.m.
    We chose our venue.... They choose theirs. Can we "all" stop complaining about weather and field conditions. Both teams will be on the same field and face the same conditions. Just play the game and win.... if you can. Fan behavior (if a problem) is a matter for police and if necessary FIFA to resolve.

  1. F B
    commented on: April 18, 2013 at 5:08 p.m.
    Agree w/ Mr. Soares. This is just S.A. trying to build up a straw man to tear down in case things don't go so well for the USMNT. Besides, why should a US team want to play in a stadium built by communist labor? Also, all of us always harp about how nice it is to witness matches at a soccer-specific stadium. Not sure the Estadio Nacional is such a venue. Truth is, BOTH teams suffered through the fiasco in Denver equally, being forced to play a game vaguely resembling soccer. That was reprehensible of FIFA, but not cheating, just as playing in CR in heat and humidity will not be cheating. Funny, when I was an active player in optimal physical condition, the heat, humidity, rain, cold never bothered me as long as the ball rolled true. My sense is that in truth, none of our players really care all that much about climate, altitude, etc. These are, after all, guys in better shape than 90+% of Americans Play ball, and good luck to the USMANT!

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: April 19, 2013 at 11:44 a.m.
    F B, bingo!!! And that is exactly what should bother everyone more or as much as fan hostility. Playing in such aviodable conditions that work against actually playing soccer!!! At least when I turn on the TV to watch a soccer game thats exactly what I want to see. Call me crazy, 2 teams playing soccer!! Hostile fans is not cheating as well if you want to be technical. The difference?? Costa Rica has the same weather in every corner of it's country. USA actually can pick the weather, or at least very close, to where they want to play in this vast country. Who has the biggest advantage in this department?? Easy answer. I just think it is really beneath us to look for such advantages vs these tiny tiny countries. I think it is down right petty for our fans to justify these games when we should be looking to kill these teams hands down in any conditions home or away. We expect too little of our USMNT and that is the greater problem.

  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: April 26, 2013 at 1:41 p.m.
    As usual, those who weren't there talking about something they didn't experience, nor having first hand knowledge of the rules (or lack there of, ie weather restrictions) shooting their agenda filled mouths off......


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