3. FOCUS: Ticos in MLS
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.
Jonathan Bolanos (Chicago/2003)
(MetroStars, Los Angeles/1999-2001)
Erick Scott (Columbus/2004)
(Tampa Bay, San Jose/1999)
Chivas USA, Real Salt Lake/2005-06)
Jafet Soto (Real
*William Sunsing (New England/2000-01)
(Columbus, Real Salt Lake/2001-03, 2006)
(San Jose, New England/1999-2001)
*Played in World Cup.
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