MIAMI, Florida – Alajuelense of Costa Rica are back in Concacaf play for the first time since 2017 and face a stern test against Cibao FC of the Dominican Republic in the Preliminary Round of the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf League on Thursday night at the Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto in Alajuela, Costa Rica.
The Ticos earned their spot in the 2020 SCL thanks to owning the best aggregate record among non-champions during the 2019-20 Costa Rican season.
Alajuelense’s previous appearance in the SCL in 2017 ended with elimination in the Round of 16 to eventual champions Olimpia of Honduras, so there will be no lack of motivation for the two-time Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League semifinalists.
By virtue of finishing with the fourth-best record in the 2020 Concacaf Caribbean Club Championship, Cibao landed a berth in their first ever SCL. They are also making history as the first ever team from the Dominican Republic to compete in the SCL.
There is no shortage of superstar talent when it comes to Alajuelense. Among the notable names are veteran playmakers Bryan Ruiz and Alvaro Saborio, who each have starred at the international level with the Costa Rican National Team.
Ruiz is back in Costa Rican football for the first time since 2006 and helped Alajuelense win the 2004 Concacaf Champions Cup. Saborio is no stranger to the SCL, having competed in three SCL matches with AD San Carlos last season.
Cibao also have plenty of offensive fireworks and led all Dominican Republic teams with 39 goals during the 2019 season.
Thursday’s contest is the first ever Concacaf contest between the two clubs and the first meeting between teams from Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic in Concacaf competition.
Kick-off is scheduled for 6:00 PM ET. and can be seen via TSN.ca/TSN App (Canada), TUDN (USA-Spanish), FS1 (USA-English), ESPN 2 (Central America) and Fox Sports 2 (Mexico).