|OFFICIAL NAME||Federación Costarricense de Fútbol|
|HEAD COACH||Oscar Ramirez (Costa Rica)|
|QUALIFICATION METHOD||4th place, 2017 Central American Cup|
|BEST FINISH||Runner-up (2002)|
|PREVIOUS APPEARANCES||12 (1991, 1993, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)|
Costa Rica didn’t win a game in the CONCACAF Gold Cup for only the second time in 12 attempts, when it posted an overall record of 0W-3D-1L two years ago.
The Ticos, though, would have considered themselves somewhat unlucky. Three draws in the group stage were followed by an extra-time loss to eventual-champion Mexico, 1-0, in the quarterfinals. Andres Guardado’s late penalty kick (120’+4) was the difference in a game that proved little separated the sides.
In order to qualify for the 2017 Gold Cup, Costa Rica finished fourth in January’s Copa Centroamericana. Although that placement could be considered disappointing, especially after it won the previous two titles, there were good signs.
Defender Francisco Calvo continued to show in Panama why he is rightly considered one of CONCACAF’s top defenders. His ability to score gives potential opponents much to consider. Attacker Johan Venegas displayed valuable flexibility. Coincidentally, the pair are teammates at Minnesota United, which is playing its first Major League Soccer season in 2017.
Many established regulars didn’t participate in the Copa, but will most likely be called upon for the Gold Cup. At the top of the list is Sporting Lisbon forward Bryan Ruiz, who was named the 2016 CONCACAF Player of the Year. Ruiz has two career Gold Cup goals remarkably scored 10 years apart. He netted in a 3-2 loss to Honduras in 2005 and in a 1-1 draw with El Salvador in 2015.
The presence of goalkeeper Keylor Navas – the 2014 CONCACAF Player of the Year -- would also provide a significant boost. He won the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League title with Real Madrid and was named the 2016 CONCACAF Goalkeeper of the Year, dethroning the USA’s Tim Howard, who captured the award three straight times.
Key midfielders Celso Borges and Christian Bolaños could be in line for participation in their fifth and fourth Gold Cups, respectively.
Costa Rica has been eliminated at the quarterfinal stage in each of the last three Gold Cups (by Honduras in 2011 and 2013; and Mexico in 2015).