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Saprissa boss Centeno leaning on youth heading into SCL
The young forward Manfred Ugalde (in picture) was a headache for the San Carlos defense and showed why Centeno will likely depend heaving on him in both competitions this season. (Photo courtesy of Deportivo Saprissa)
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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica A new season has begun for three-time Concacaf champions Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica, and Head Coach Walter Centeno is making it clear that the club’s youngsters will be part of his plans during the 2019 Apertura and the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf League.

The Tico club kicks off its 2019 SCL campaign next Wednesday, July 31 in the first leg of the Preliminary Round versus Belmopan Bandits of Belize, with the return leg one week later in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Last Saturday the Monstruo Morado started its 2019 Apertura season with a 1-0 defeat at fellow 2019 SCL club San Carlos.

While it was not the result Centeno was hoping for, it was an opportunity to give minutes to the team’s younger players, which the manager believes will benefit his side over the course of the Apertura and the SCL.

“In the first half we were a little nervous when we had the ball at our feet, in the second half we tried to relax a little more and we did not lose the ball as much,” said Centeno in his post-match press conference.

“We have opted to change our play with youngsters so they can continue to get confidence and it will help me when I have a full squad,” added Centeno.

Among the more notable young performers on the day for Saprissa was rising star 17-year-old Manfred Ugalde. The young FW was a headache for the San Carlos defense and showed why Centeno will likely depend heaving on him in both competitions this season.

“I’m happy with the work from Manfred. He is a hugely brave boy. We are going to be meeting with the directors to assess potential arrivals who can help Saprissa in this moment, as we are always looking out for the good of the club,” concluded Centeno.

 
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