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Pura Vida: Costa Rica

DSCF0074.JPG

Futbol permeates Costa Rica, the land of "Pura Vida" -- literally translated as "Pure Life" but in reality means "Full of Life."

I took the above photo in San Antonio de Belen, near the international airport.

Yesterday, on the slithering drive into the mountains toward the rim of the Poas volcano, there is a a ragged, roadside village pitch adjacent to a small building featuring closet-sized changing rooms and a window for "Soda". A few thousand meters beyond, a field is occupied by three shirtless teenagers knocking around a ball in the pouring rain.

Much more on the continuation of this thread.....

Our driver is wearing a white-and-green Palmeiras jersey -- a gift, he says, from a vacationing executive for the Brazilian club. An Alajuela supporter, he is more than happy to take us through the narrow, hilly streets of the gritty town northwest of San Jose to see Estadio Alejandro Morero Soto.

Fans of all domestic clubs are abuzz about Liberia's league championship, the first title by a team from Guanacaste province in northwest Costa Rica. Liberia plays in a stadium that seats just 6,500, but the club's wealthy owner, who also operates a local zoo with African animals, funded the purchase of several players last year.

On the hike down from the volcano's rim, we crossed paths with players from the University of North Carolina men's soccer team, second-place finishers to Maryland in the 2008 NCAA championship game who are in Costa Rica on an offseason adventure.

There is more: a highway billboard featuring European soccer stars and cable TV channels filled with live matches from Argentina, Spain and Italy.

The USA squad is set to arrive from Miami soon and scheduled to practice at Estadio Saprissa in the northern San Jose neighborhood of Tibas late today.

The journey continues.....

By Steve Goff  |  June 1, 2009; 11:46 AM ET
Categories:  Costa Rica  
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Next: Greetings From Saprissa

Comments

A picture of a New York player?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 1, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Love the qualifier trip journal entries. Thanks Steve.

Posted by: Kev29 | June 1, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

New York can solve their scoring trouble by removing the barbed-wire fence from in front of the goal.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 1, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Steve Goff, living the Pura Vida. Good stuff!

Posted by: joedoc1 | June 1, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Gotta love it. Combining vacation and work. Must learn how to do that. :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | June 1, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Juan-John:

I'd settle for a job that pays for me to go to Costa Rica.

Posted by: strago | June 1, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Master this phrase:

"Otro Imperial, por favor."

Posted by: delantero | June 1, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

A picture of a New York player?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 1, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse


No, one of their fans.

Posted by: stwasm | June 1, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Gonna stop by the Del Ray Hotel?

Posted by: alan19 | June 1, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

An impassive cow stands adjacent to a soccer field in Haymarket, unaware that after the match she will be Joe Doc's dinner.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 1, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Quick - Who's turf is worse:

A) Rice-Eccles
B) Giants Stadium
C) Saprissa Stadium
D) Adrian Fenty's Front Yard
E) All of the Above

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | June 1, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Quick - Who's turf is worse:

A) Rice-Eccles
B) Giants Stadium
C) Saprissa Stadium
D) Adrian Fenty's Front Yard
E) All of the Above

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood
________________________
Dude, you forgot the BMO!

Posted by: schmuckatelli | June 1, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Her name is Bessy, and that photo does resemble my backyard a bit...

Burgers on the grill this weekend, folks!

BYOS (Bring Your Own Schmidt's)

Posted by: joedoc1 | June 1, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

mmm... Have an Imperial, or several, for me!

Posted by: kasdc | June 1, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"Hah," thought the cow, "they complain about artificial turf? Wait until they have to play where I was standing."

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 1, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

OK. Everyone must be udderly bored by my attempts to write a caption. None hit the bulls-eye, although I did graze the target. I admit, I was milking it. Moooooving right along...

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 1, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Dude, stop being such a dairy queen. What's your beef anyway?

Posted by: Section117 | June 1, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Bart Simpson was right: Don't have a cow, man. :)

Posted by: SportzNut21 | June 1, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Or, with apologies to the late Clara Peller, we now know where the beef is. :)

Posted by: SportzNut21 | June 1, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I hate puns. Hate 'em.

Can we put this thread out to pasture?

Posted by: joedoc1 | June 1, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Joe Doc doesn't like our PUNgent barnyard humor. Must be looking for sheep thrills. Hey, it could be Chivas we're talking about.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | June 1, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I was out last week, so you all might've covered this...but Marc Fisher's column is done?

Posted by: Reignking | June 1, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes Fisher took the buy-out and his column is over. Apparently though, he will still be at the Post, misinforming a cadre of new beat reporters on the infrequent use of RFK.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 1, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Passing this along because nothing says soccer like... ummmm... bowling?

Washington Freedom Night
Wednesday 6/3 6:30pm - 9pm
Please join us at 300 Shady Grove as we celebrate the return of women's soccer to the capital city. Players from the Washington Freedom will be on hand to sign autographs, pose for pictures and bowl a couple of frames with their number one fans. Please contact Group Sales Coordinator Gareth Groves with any questions at 240.813.1403 or ggroves@threehundred.com. 300 Shady Grove / 15720 Shady Grove Rd.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 1, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

A born defender.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | June 1, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

was out last week, so you all might've covered this...but Marc Fisher's column is done?

Posted by: Reignking

I don't want to see anybody lose their gig. Especially not during these hard economic times. Not even Fisher.

As much as I disliked his work/opinions.

Posted by: yankiboy | June 1, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

In this photo from 2006, surveying the action at the other end of the field is Cheesy goalkeeper Carlo Cud-chewer.

Sorry, couldn't pass that one up.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 1, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Go on the UNC boys on Vacation in Costa Rica!!! I'm sure the Maryland fans loved to see that in there. haha

Posted by: MOCker | June 1, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

As Bugs Bunny once said, in "Bully for Bugs," "Whatta gulli-bull. Whatta nin-cow-p00p."

Posted by: SportzNut21 | June 1, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Hooliganism down there, too? Shame to see they have to use barbed wire around the field.

Really, it would be much more fun if they didn't have the barbed wire. I'm pretty sure that's how Luis Hernandez came by his nickname of "El Matador"....

Posted by: fischy | June 1, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Anyone check out the latest Studio 90 on ussoccer.com? God, the 1x1 interviews are so lame. But, the review of past US goals vs CRC is priceless. Man, they bring back the memories. Lassiter at Stanford. Preki with a beaut. And Tabare with the winner at Portland, where, iirc, we *really* needed a win. Dudes, we've come such a long way.

Posted by: EssEff | June 1, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

I thought there was a ban on turf for international competition...I guess I was hoping.

Posted by: euroman | June 1, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Try the Italian rest. in the Izkazu shopping center, walking distance from Marriot Courtyard hotel. It's the tastiest Italian food I've ever had. I think they cook it South American style or something because it is different than what we get up here. Also, if you get ticketed for speeding, insist they WRITE up the ticket and tell them you're leaving the next day. The cops were pressuring me to bribe them but I refused.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | June 1, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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