GUAPILES, Costa Rica – Santos de Guapiles has never won a first-division or international title.
For that reason, the Costa Rican side is focusing all its energies on the two-legged 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League final, which opens on October 19 against Olimpia at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
“The priority is Olimpia because, for the club, it is important economically to go to the CONCACAF Champions League, so we are focusing on that,” said Santos head coach Johnny Chaves.
During much of the late summer and fall, Chaves’ men have been put to the test with midweek CONCACAF matches and weekend play in the 2017 Invierno.
Through it all, Santos progressed through SCL unbeaten (5W-1D-0L overall), while staying within touching distance of a berth in the domestic postseason, currently sitting sixth in the table with a 5-4-4 record.
As he has all season, Chaves will continue with a policy of squad rotation in this Sunday’s league game at last-place Guadalaupe (1-3-9, 6) in order to have strongest possible roster the SCL final, first leg four days later.
“When you play every three days, your players recover only 80 percent. After playing four games, the risk of injury goes up,” he finished. “We are going to have to be rotating. The priority is Olimpia because it is a final.”