Real Madrid's Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas warms up before the Spanish League football match between Real Madrid CF and Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on Jan 6, 2019. (GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)
SAN JOSE - Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas has returned to Costa Rica's squad for friendlies against Guatemala and Jamaica, the country's football federation said on Thursday.
Navas, who has not represented the Central American nation since October, was among 23 players named by Uruguayan head coach Gustavo Matosas.
New faces include Deportes Tolima defender Juan Pablo Vargas, AD Greece midfielder Jose Mora, Cartagines midfielder Ronaldo Araya and Alajuelense midfielder Ariel Lassiter.
With these young players, I'm looking for intensity, dynamism and support for the teams rhythm during different stages of matches
Gustavo Matosas, Coach, Uruguay
"With these young players, I'm looking for intensity, dynamism and support for the teams rhythm during different stages of matches," Matosas said. "They can give me freshness and spark, and I also want to see how they react to the responsibility of wearing the national team's shirt.
Matosas said Navas remained an important member of the team despite having lost his regular starting place at Real Madrid this year following last summer's arrival of Thibaut Courtois.
Costa Rica will play Guatemala in Guatemala City on March 22 and Jamaica in San Jose four days later. Enditem
Costa Rica squad:
Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid, Spain), Leonel Moreira (Pachuca, Mexico) and Aaron Cruz (Saprissa).
Defenders: Ian Smith (IFK Norrkoping, Sweden), Keysher Fuller (Herediano), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Bologna, Italy), Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United, United States), Juan Pablo Vargas (Deportes Tolima, Colombia), Kendall Waston (Cincinnati, United States) ), Waylon Francis (Columbus Crew, United States) and Ronald Matarrita (New York City, United States).
Midfielders: Celso Borges (Goztepe, Turkey), Jose Mora (AD Greece), Allan Cruz (Cincinnati, United States), Elias Aguilar (Incheon United, South Korea), Randall Leal (Saprissa), Bryan Ruiz (Santos, Brazil), Jimmy Marin (Herediano), Ariel Lassiter (Alajuelense) and Ronaldo Araya (Carthaginians).
Forwards: Joel Campbell (Leon, Mexico), Jose Guillermo Ortiz (Herediano) and Mayron George (Midtjylland, Denmark).
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