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FC Cincinnati’s Ronald Matarrita will be with Costa Rica as Los Ticos take the world stage in Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. FCC’s defender was named to Costa Rica’s World Cup squad for the first time in his career as Los Ticos attempt to navigate through a difficult Group E.

Alongside the Central American nation are European powerhouses Spain and Germany, two of the previous three FIFA World Cup winners. Meanwhile Japan, winners of a record four Asian Cups, qualified for their seventh-consecutive World Cup. 

Costa Rica qualified for their sixth all-time FIFA World Cup. Qatar will mark the third consecutive appearance in the event for Los Ticos. 

Los Ticos face Nigeria on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at home in San Jose as a send-off match. They will face Iraq on their home soil on Nov. 17 as a final tune-up before the real show gets underway. 

Matarrita has made 52 caps with the Costa Rican National Team, scoring three goals. Matarrita made 10 appearances, including seven starts, in Costa Rica’s qualifying campaign through Concacaf for the World Cup.

A look at the fixtures for Matarrita and Los Ticos in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Wednesday, November 23 – Spain (Al Thumama Stadium; Doha, Qatar) – 11 a.m. ET
La Roja are 12 years removed from their 2010 World Cup triumph, part of Spain’s golden generation when the national team became the only team to win three consecutive major titles, including back-to-back European Championships in 2008 and 2012. 

Spain enter this year’s World Cup ranked seventh in the FIFA rankings. They finished atop Group B in UEFA World Cup Qualification over Sweden, Greece, Georgia and Kosovo to qualify directly for their 12th-straight World Cup.

Spain possesses a roster loaded with talent at some of the world’s biggest clubs, particularly in the nation’s own La Liga. Veterans Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba are among the final holdovers from Spain’s golden era, in a squad which includes rising stars including 22-year-old Ferran Torres, 25-year-old Carlos Soler and Pedri, a 19-year-old Barcelona star beaming with talent. 

The last meeting between the two sides came on Nov. 11, 2017, an International Friendly which Spain thumped Costa Rica, 5-0. All-time, La Roja are 2-0-1 against Los Ticos.

Sunday, November 27 – Japan (Ahmad bin Ali Stadium; Al Rayyan, Qatar) – 5 a.m. ET
The Samurai Blue will battle Los Ticos in what is sure to be a must-win for either side hoping to advance ahead of Spain or Germany. All-time, Japan is 4-0-1 against Costa Rica, with the last meeting coming in a post-World Cup International Friendly on Sept. 11, 2018, a 3-0 win for Japan on their home soil.

Japan qualified for their seventh-straight World Cup, finishing among the required top-two in their AFC Third Round group alongside Saudi Arabia, with the two nations comfortably ahead of the pack. Takumi Minamino and Yuya Osako each scored 10 goals in World Cup qualification, while Junya Ito scored four goals in the final round of qualifying. 

They join a defense which features 34-year-old Maya Yoshida, the Samurai Blue captain who started and played every minute in the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups for Japan, as well as Arsenal man Takehiro Tomiyasu. 

Thursday, December 1 – Germany (Al Bayt Stadium; Al Khor, Qatar) – 2 p.m. ET
Which German National Team will be in Qatar? Die Mannschaft which steamrolled everyone in their path in 2014, or the squad which finished dead-last in Group F in 2018?

The Germans in qualifying for 2022 set a strong precedent, earning 27 of a possible 30 points to become the first side behind the automatically qualified hosts Qatar to book a spot among the final 32 nations. Manager Hansi Flick has loads of talent at his disposal, including Kai Havertz, Leroy Sane, Marco Reus and Serge Gnabry. Also expected in the roster include ageless veteran Thomas Müller and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, and other experienced players Joshua Kimmich and İlkay Gundogan.

The Germans and Costa Ricans have only met once prior, and it came at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in the group stage. Germany won 4-2 in the World Cup on their home soil. 

FC Cincinnati and The Banks are partnering to host official watch parties throughout the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Soccer fans are invited to stop by for giveaways, prizes, specials and more! Check out food and drinks at 18 Banks establishments, walk throughout the DORA and watch the matches on the big screen above the Reds Hall of Fame Museum. For more information, visit here

2023 Season Tickets are on sale now at fccincinnati.com/tickets. Fans looking for more information can contact a dedicated FC Cincinnati representative at (513) 977-5435 or e-mail tickets@fccincinnati.com.

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