MIAMI, Florida – The Final of the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf League is set for Wednesday in which Costa Rican Clasico rivals Liga Deportiva Alajuelense and Deportivo Saprissa will do battle in Alajuela, Costa Rica.
Both Alajuelense and Saprissa are among the most star-studded teams in the Concacaf region and boast a wealth of talent on both sides of the ball. Here is a look at three players to watch from each side going into Wednesday’s Final.
The Honduran MF is no stranger to SCL success. The 28-year-old was a member of the CD Olimpia team that won the inaugural SCL in 2017 when they defeated Costa Rica’s Santos de Guapiles in the Final in a penalty shootout. Now a member of Alajuelense, the dynamic playmaking midfielder is back and looking to become the second player in history to win the SCL with two different teams. No Alajuelense player has accumulated more minutes in the 2020 SCL than Lopez (352). In addition to one career goal in 12 SCL matches, Lopez is tied as the all-time assist leader in SCL history (4) and leads the 2020 SCL in passes (142).
A FIFA World Cup legend with the Costa Rican National Team, Ruiz is back with the same club where he started his career and won the 2004 Concacaf Champions Cup when they ironically defeated Saprissa in the Final. Thus far in the 2020 SCL, Ruiz has a goal and an assist and averages 46 completed passes, tops among all players in the tournament. At age 35, the high-flying Ruiz is still a handful to deal with in the final third.
The 22-year-old FW has enjoyed an excellent tournament and leads all players with nine shots. Martinez scored the winning goal in Alajuelense’s 2-1 victory over Nicaraguan side Real Esteli in the quarterfinals that earned his side a spot in the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League. Martinez was part of five scoring chances in the 0-0 semifinal draw with Olimpia and is tied for second on the team in fouls received (5).
MF Marin might be in his first year with Saprissa but he is no stranger to the pressure of a SCL Final. In 2018 Marin was a member of the Herediano side that lifted the trophy, as he scored two goals in the 3-2 victory on aggregate in the Final against Motagua of Honduras, including the series-winning goal in the 85’ of the second leg. Marin is always active going forward and has seven shots thus far in the 2020 SCL, while receiving six fouls.
The dynamic playmaking midfielder is back and looking to become the second player in history to win the SCL with two different teams.
The 37-year-old MF won the SCL with Saprissa in 2019 and is looking to claim his 10th victory in an SCL match in Wednesday’s Final. Along with Olimpia’s Michaell Chirinos, Barrantes leads the 2020 SCL in assists (3), while is third on the team in passes (96) and second in ball recoveries (5).
The Trinidad and Tobago international DF is a rock in the back for the Monstruo Morado, evidenced by the 380 minutes he has played in the 2020 SCL, tops among all Saprissa players. In Wednesday’s Final, David will be competing in his 30th career Concacaf club match and is a good bet to improve upon the 93 passing completion percentage he has in the tournament, along with five ball recoveries.