MIAMI, Florida – From young to old, there will be many players to keep an eye on when the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf League kicks off on Tuesday.
Here is a look at five to watch during next week’s Preliminary Round.
Bryan Ruiz (Alajuelense) – After a long, storied spell overseas, Ruiz has returned home to Costa Rica and joined the club where his decorated career started, Alajuelense, who will face Cibao FC of the Dominican Republic.
The 35-year-old attacking midfielder won the 2004 Concacaf Champions Cup with Alajuelense and now 16 years later he’ll aim to bring the club another Concacaf trophy to their coffers. The two-time FIFA World Cup participant with the Ticos is still a game-changer in attack with his speed and ability to beat defenders in 1v1 situations.
Matias Galvaliz (Motagua) – There are many reasons why Motagua have reached the Final of the last two editions of the SCL, and right at the top of the list have been the performances of Galvaliz. The 31-year-old Argentine is the all-time leader in assists in the SCL with five, making him the man who pulls the strings in the Motagua midfield.
Galvaliz has played in 14 career SCL matches and also has a goal to his name. Drawn with Guatemalan giants Comunicaciones in the Preliminary Round, Galvaliz will hope to lead the Catracho club on another deep run.
Omar Browne (Independiente) – There is just something about Concacaf tournaments that bring the best out of Browne. The 26-year-old Panamanian FW has four goals in 10 Concacaf appearances, including a goal in three games in the 2019 SCL with Independiente.
Browne caught the attention of the entire region when he scored two goals in Independiente’s 5-1 aggregate win over Toronto FC in the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Round of 16. Since then, he has become one of the most feared strikers in the Central American region.
Triston Henry (Forge FC) – In their Preliminary Round match-up versus Municipal Limeno of El Salvador, Forge know they will be in good hands with Henry in goal. The 27-year-old GK already has two career clean sheets registered to his name in the SCL after a 0-0 draw at Guatemala’s Antigua GFC and a 1-0 home win over Olimpia of Honduras in last season’s SCL.
Henry’s form has continued into 2020, as he helped Forge claim the 2020 Canadian Premier League title with five clean sheets during the season, including in the Final in a 2-0 win over HFX Wanderers FC.
Krisean Lopez (Verdes FC) – Verdes FC are making their first venture into the SCL and to overcome Arcahaie FC of Haiti in the Preliminary Round, they will need Lopez to come up big. The 21-year-old Belize international scored nine goals during the 2019-20 Belize Premier League season and also tallied two goals for his national team during the 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League.
Lopez helps form a dynamic duo along with Mexican forward Mariano Landero, making Verdes an intriguing team to watch as the tournament kicks off.