MIAMI, Florida – The final of the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf League is set with Costa Rican rivals Liga Deportiva Alajuelense and Deportivo Saprissa set to do battle on February 3.
Many players from those two teams have excelled in the latter rounds of the tournament, beginning with the two GKs for each side.
Alajuelense No.1 Leonel Moreira allowed just one goal over the course of the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, making seven saves and three clearances in the process. His counterpart in the Final, Saprissa’s Aaron Cruz, has been even better with zero goals conceded, seven saves and five clearances in his last two matches.
Marathon GK Luis Ortiz is also worthy of mention, as his two key saves in Marathon’s 1-0 win over Forge FC in the Play-In match earned the Honduran club a trip to the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League.
Defenders from various clubs were at their best in the recent rounds of the 2020 SCL, including Forge stalwart Daniel Krutzen. While Forge came up just shy of punching a ticket to the 2021 SCCL via the SCL, Krutzen was superb in amassing a goal and seven steals while averaging 97 percent passing accuracy in the quarterfinal and Play-In matches.
Real Esteli qualified for their first SCCL since the 2016/17 edition thanks in part to DF Manuel Rosas, who had a night to remember in the 2-2 draw with Motagua in the Play-In match, with four steals and an 89 percent passing accuracy.
Alajuelense veteran Adolfo Machado starred for his side in their 1-0 quarterfinal win over San Francisco FC of Panama with three steals and 98 percent passing accuracy, while teammate Daniel Arreola delivered a four-steal, 93 percent passing accuracy performance in the semifinals against Olimpia.
Alajuelense also enjoyed top performances from their midfield, with Adrian Martinez leading the way. The 22-year-old had a combined eight shots, six steals and a goal on top of an average of 84 percent passing accuracy in the last two rounds.
Saprissa’s Michael Barrantes was just as consistent in the quarterfinals and semifinals, with six shots, three steals and two assists in leading his side to a second straight Final. Saprissa teammate David Guzman also starred by leading all players in steals in the last two rounds of the tournament with seven.
Up top, Arcahaie FW Kervens Joliceur ranked as the top attacker in the quarterfinal round with a goal, steal and four shots in helping Arachaie qualify for their first ever SCCL. Joliceur also registered a shot in his team’s semifinal defeat to Saprissa.
While his side may have come up just short in its bid to win a second SCL crown, Olimpia FW Eddie Hernandez was a headache for the Alajuelense defense in their semifinal, with five shots taken and 67 percent passing accuracy.
Special mention is also deserving to Real Esteli danger man Henry Garcia, who tied teammate Brandon Ayerdis as the top ranked FW in the Play-In matches, with three steals, one shot FW and 89 percent passing accuracy.