21913_costarica_isi_costa_rica_vs_el_salvador__6-9-11 Steven Limentani/www.isiphotos.com
Hex Foes Abroad

Costa Rica's Goalkeeper Gets a Club Start in Spain

Levante numero dos Keylor Navas does his best between the pipes, while Chicharito finds the back of the net and Andres Guardado clashes with Gio Dos Santos in La Liga.
BY Jon Arnold Posted
February 19, 2013
5:28 PM
Much like the U.S. national team, much of the talent on the teams they’ll face in the Hex plays for top foreign clubs. Each week, we’ll take a look at how several players performed. The list isn’t all-inclusive, but seeks to include all players who American fans could see square off against the U.S. Also, don’t forget to check out our section dedicated to all things Hex.

We’ll focus first on the United States’ next Hex opponents:

Costa Rica
Big news for Costa Ricans this week as goalkeeper Keylor Navas started in goal for Levante. He’s regularly the Levante No. 2 but was pressed into action this week in a 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad because of a suspension to Gustavo Munúa, the regular starter. The lone goal he allowed was scored by a Mexican on a penalty, so there will be more on that in a moment.

Foward Joel Campbell went the full 90 on the right for Real Betis, who lost 1-0 to Espanyol. In another case of a Mexican foiling a Costa Rican in La Liga this weekend, Campbell had several key passes but was unable to get past Hector Moreno and Espanyol’s defense. Earlier in the week Campbell, on loan from Arsenal, talked about the potential of making his transfer permanent.

Bryan Oviedo came on for Steven Pienaar in Everton’s 2-2 draw with Oldham in FA Cup action.

Bryan Ruiz and Fulham did not play.

Chicharito started and scored a header for Manchester United in a 2-1 victory against Reading in the FA Cup.

Carlos Vela, the striker who is keeping the national team at arm’s length, was the penalty-taker for Real Sociedad in their 1-1 draw with Levante. He says he’s had offers from larger clubs but wants to stay with Sociedad for now.

Staying in La Liga, Andres Guardado got the better of Gio dos Santos in a clash of teams who feature El Tri starters. Guardado’s Valencia beat Mallorca and dos Santos, 2-0 despite having a man sent off in the 28th minute. Guardado, however, had to come off in the closing moments of the game because of injury. For his part, dos Santos was probably the best player on the pitch for Mallorca, logging a 95 percent passing percentage and taking three shots.

It’s a down week for Guillermo Ochoa, in the sense that he allowed a goal this weekend. Ajaccio drew with Brest, 1-1.

Hector Moreno and the Espanyol back line kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Real Betis. It’s the third-straight victory for Espanyol who now sit 12th and have quelled any relegation fears.

Javier Aquino made his Villarreal debut, coming in for the Yellow Submarine in the 67th minute of a 1-1 draw with Hércules. Here is a really dramatic video of him entering the game and making his first few touches.

Jamaica frustrated Chicharito in their Hex match, but Garath McCleary, Adrian Mariappa, and Jobi McAnuff couldn’t repeat their performances with Reading. Hernandez scored the winner in a 2-1 victory. McAnuff did have the goal for the Royals (see Mexico section for video) and went the full 90 as did Mariappa. Brian McDermott started McCleary as well, but took him off in the 71st minute as the team was chasing the game.

Nyron Nosworthy returned to the Watford side and went the full 90 of a 4-0 defeat of Birmingham City. Marlon King didn’t play for the Blues. He also played Watford’s entire 2-0 win against Ipswich on Tuesday.

Midfielder Marvin Elliott went the full 90 for Bristol City but they lost 2-1 to Cardiff and remain in the drop zone.

Ricardo Fuller had a yellow card in the 38th minute and was substituted in the second half of Charlton’s loss to Hull City on Saturday. He was on the bench for the club Tuesday but didn’t see action.

Rodolph Austin and Leeds United play Blackpool on Wednesday.

Omar Daley was an unused substitute for Motherwell on both Saturday and Tuesday. He hasn’t appeared for the Scottish side since January.

Nathan Smith went 90 minutes for Chesterfield as they lost to Rotherham, 1-0 this weekend.

Dane Richards was named to Burnley’s bench in a midweek draw with Middlesbrough.

Theo Robinson didn’t play for Derby against Wolves on the weekend but came on in the 74th minute of a 1-1 draw with Bolton.

Yairo Yau hasn’t played for Sydney FC since Panama’s first Hex match and that streak continued Saturday. He wasn’t in the squad for Sydney’s 2-1 win against Adelaide United.

Defender Román Torres started for Millionarios in a 1-0 win over Envigado and should play for the club Tuesday against Tijuana.

Gabriel Gomez started for Junior in Colombia, but was subbed off in the 62nd minute of a 2-2 draw.

Emilio Izaguirre had an assist in both Celtic’s 6-2 win against Dundee United on Saturday and their midweek draw with St. Johnstone. The left back went the full 90 in both matches.

Forward Carlo Costly played the full 90 after working back from a small injury. His club, Veria, lost 2-1 on a stoppage time winner from Asteras Tripolis (that’s a club, not a player).

Hibernian defeated St. Mirren, 1-0 Saturday. Jorge Claros played a part, going the full 90 and picking up a yellow card late in the second half.

Wigan, featuring Roger Espinoza and Maynor Figueroa, move on in the FA Cup after defeating Huddersfield Town. Figueroa went the full 90 and had an attempt on goal when he got forward. Espinoza made way in the 57th minute after starting.

Andy Najar continues to rehab his ankle.

Luis Garrido could make his Red Star Belgrade debut when they return to action February 27.

Wilson Palacios started and played 60 minutes as right back in a friendly for Stoke.

Whose performance strikes the most fear in your heart? Have we missed any players who you think should be in the U.S.’ game tape rotation? Any information you’d like to see in future editions? Let us know in the comments section.

Jon Arnold (@ArnoldcommaJon) is ASN's CONCACAF correspondent.

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