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3. FOCUS: Ticos in MLS
August 28th, 2006 6:43PM

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Jafet Soto, who debuted for Real Salt Lake in its 6-0 loss to the Red Bulls on Saturday, is the 16th Costa Rican to have played in MLS. The 30-year-old Soto is one of Costa Rica's most experienced players, having spent much of career in Mexico.

Tico imports have generally had little impact on MLS. While Costa Rica has been the dominant Central American team of the last decade, going to the World Cup in 1998 and 2002, no Tico has lasted more than three years at a time in MLS, in sharp contrast to Salvadorans, Guatemalans and Hondurans who have played starring roles during MLS's first 11 seasons.

No Costa Rican has been named to the MLS Best XI, and no Costa Rican has played in the MLS Cup final on the winning team. Roy Myers started for Los Angeles, which lost the 1999 MLS Cup final to D.C. United, 2-0. Last year, Galaxy coach Steve Sampson brought in Michael Umana and Pablo Chinchilla from Costa Rica, where he had coached the national team, but neither player could hold a spot in the starting lineup by the end of the season when the Galaxy captured the MLS crown.

MLS TICOS
Jonathan Bolanos
(Chicago/2003)
Pablo Brenes (MetroStars/2004)
Pablo Chinchilla (Los Angeles/2005)
Andy Herron (Chicago/2004-06)
Roy Myers (MetroStars, Los Angeles/1999-2001)
Erick Scott (Columbus/2004)
Gonzalo Segares (Chicago/2005-06)
Alejandro Sequeira (Tampa Bay, San Jose/1999)
*Douglas Sequeira Chivas USA, Real Salt Lake/2005-06)
*Mauricio Solis (San Jose/1999-2000)
Jafet Soto (Real Salt Lake/2006)
*William Sunsing
(New England/2000-01)
Daniel Torres (Columbus, Real Salt Lake/2001-03, 2006)
*Michael Umana (Los Angeles/2005)
*Mauricio Wright (San Jose, New England/1999-2001)
*Played in World Cup.


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