New York City FC travels to Costa Rica for the first leg of the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 tie against AD San Carlos.
Both teams are in the SCCL for the first time, so let’s get to know who we’re up against as City prepare for their maiden voyage in North America’s premier club competition.
Founded in 1965, San Carlos have spent the majority of their fifty-five-year history between the first and second divisions, winning the Segunda Division title six times.
Their most recent Segunda Division title was in 2018, when they were promoted into the top flight. In 2019, they won their first-ever 2019 Torneo Clausura title after defeating 34-time champions Saprissa on away goals in the Playoff final after a 1-1 draw on aggregate.
San Carlos’ coach Luis Marin is a former Costa Rica national team player and assistant coach, where he commanded La Sele’s defense and trained NYCFC’s Ronald Matarrita on previous international tours of duty. Marin is also a legend at Alajuelense, the childhood club of the man they call “Mata”. In fact, the club itself is in Mata’s home province of Alajuela and will surely be a homecoming of sorts for the defender.
San Carlos forward Jairo Arrieta had a spell at NY Cosmos and D.C. United before joining the Costa Rican side last season. The team also features goalkeeper Marcos Madrigal, who has regularly joined Matarrita on the Costa Rican national team.
The first leg will be played in Costa Rica between February 18-20 with the second leg returning to New York Feb 25-27.
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