Jose Guillermo Ortiz is D.C. United’s newest acquisition and while he hasn’t appeared in Black-and-Red yet, it was announced on Monday that he would be a part of Costa Rica’s 23-man roster for the coming Copa Centroamericana:
The tournament - a round-robin between six Central American nations - will determine four 2017 Gold Cup berths. There was a different format planned, but Guatemala’s FIFA-imposed suspension has forced a shift to an event that won’t feature the usual knockout round.
As the top four qualify for the Gold Cup, Costa Rica - a huge favorite in a field featuring Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama - will have some flexibility in terms of selection. That means the Ticos can look at other players while not having to start attackers Bryan Ruiz, Christian Bolanos or Joel Campbell in every match. That would give Ortiz the chance to improve his standing with coach Oscar Ramirez (his old boss him at Alajuelense), and perhaps see the field for his international debut.
The tournament begins a week from Friday on January 13 and lasts until January 22, which would be around the time United kicks off their preseason.