SAN ISIDRO DE EL GENERAL, Costa Rica – In last season’s inaugural Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, Costa Rican side Santos de Guapiles reached the final in its first ever CONCACAF tournament.
Now a year later in 2018, another Tico side, Perez Zeledon, is hoping to pull off the same accomplishment as it prepares for its maiden voyage in an international tournament in which it will face FAS in the SCL Round of 16.
“The team is playing loose, we are going match by match and trying to do things well,” said MF Anthony Lopez via the club’s Facebook page.
Perez Zeledon has made a number of moves during the summer to bolster a side that will be competing both in the SCL and in Costa Rica’s domestic league, which begins on July 22 against Deportivo Saprissa.
Among the new arrivals to the 2017 Torneo Apertura champions are FW Leandro Rodriguez, FW Yuaycell Wright, MF Rafael Rodriguez, MF Javier Liendo, GK Carlos Mendez, DF Asdrubal Gibbons and DF Edder Monguio.
MF Pablo Azcurra feel like his new teammates are settling in well at the club.
“I think they are all carrying out what the Coach says, they have adapted as much to me as the team and that is important to start off the season well,” said Azcurra.
Thus far Perez Zeledon has played four preseason friendlies and outside of a narrow 1-0 loss to Carmelita, the returns have been impressive with wins over Sporting San Jose (4-0), Seleccion de OSA (6-0) and El Aguila de Pejibaye (8-2).
Those results are creating high expectations, which MF Alvaro Sanchez says the team welcomes.
“We want to make history. They are challenges, they are dreams and we’ll make the effort to fulfill them. We’re all anxious for the start of the domestic season and the CONCACAF League,” concluded Sanchez.
Perez Zeledon will face FAS in the first leg of the SCL Round of 16 on July 31 in El Salvador, before returning home to Costa Rica for the second leg on August 7.