HEREDIA, Costa Rica – With the start of the 2018 Scotiabank CONCACAF League just two weeks away, Herediano has returned home to Costa Rica on Tuesday after enjoying a very productive preseason tour in Mexico.
The club played six friendlies in a span of 11 days, starting with a 1-1 draw at Xolos de Tijuana in which veteran FW Jairo Arrieta scored for the Ticos.
The fact that Arrieta, who is the second all-time leading Costa Rican goalscorer in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (11 goals), found the back of the net will be a good sign for Head Coach Jaime de la Pava.
Following a 2-0 victory over Club Leon’s reserve team thanks to a brace from MF Heyreel Saravia, Herediano picked up another impressive result, earning a 1-1 draw with Alacranes de Durango that saw MF Esteban Granados find the back of the net.
Days later De la Pava’s men were back at it, this time squaring off against Mineros de Zacatecas in a back-and-forth 3-2 win for the Mexican side. FW Yendrick Ruiz, who has 10 goals in 21 career SCCL matches, scored the first for Herediano and was joined on the scoresheet by MF Yeison Esquivel.
The final two friendlies produced two very tight, intense affairs against the first teams of Liga MX sides Club Leon and Queretaro, with the hosts winning each by a 2-0 scoreline.
But perhaps the highlight for Herediano during its stay in Mexico was the return of star FW Jose Guillermo Ortiz, who returned to the field of play six months after suffering an ACL injury. A relieved and happy Ortiz played 15 minutes in the 2-0 win over the Club Leon reserve team.
“The truth is that I’m happy and thankful to God for returning to the field, now all that’s left is to work hard to look for a spot in the team,” said Ortiz via the Herediano website.
“I think it was very beneficial to return to play. I think I took full advantage of it. I felt good,” added Ortiz.
Herediano open its 2018 Clausura season on July 21 versus UCR before kicking off its SCL campaign on August 2 at home versus Santa Tecla of El Salvador. The Ticos will then travel to El Salvador for the return leg on August 8.