Three things to know about ... Costa Rica's women's national team

The USA can wrap up the Group A title in Concacaf Olympic women's qualifying with a win or tie over Costa Rica on Monday.

1. The Ticas are aiming for first appearance in the Olympics. The USA beat Panama (8-0) and Haiti (4-0) while Costa Rica beat Panama (6-1) and Haiti (2-0). The Ticas, who have never qualified for the Olympic women's soccer competition, will join the USA in the semifinals, where they will be paired with Canada and Mexico, the top two teams in Group B. Four years ago, Costa Rica finished second in Group A behind the USA and then lost to Canada, 3-1, in the semifinals.

2. New champion Codea Alajuelense draws record support. The eight players from Codea Alajuelense include 34-year-old Shirley Cruz, who is finishing up her career after 14 seasons in France with Lyon and Paris St. Germain and a short stint in China. Codea Alajuelense drew almost 16,900 fans to watch it beat Saprissa in the second leg of the final of Costa Rican women’s league in December. The first leg at Saprissa's stadium also drew a record crowd: 6,600. Unfortunately, Codea and Alajuelense appear to headed for a breakup ahead of the March 1 deadline for teams to register for the 2020 championship.

3. Four Ticas play outside Costa Rica. Rachel Rodriguez played for four seasons at Sky Blue FC in the NWSL before getting traded to the Portland Thorns in the offseason. Katherine Alvarado and Daniela Cruz play for Spanish club Espanyol while Melissa Herrera, who scored twice in the win over Panama, is at Reims in France.
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