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Leal, Suárez dropped from Costa Rica roster for qualifiers

Midfielders Randall Leal and Aaron Suarez were dropped along with defender Ricardo Blanco from Costa Rica’s final three World Cup qualifiers.

Defenders Ian Lawrence and Carlos Martinez were on the 27-man roster announced by coach Luis Fernando Suárez on Friday along with midfielders Brandon Aguilera and Carlos Mora and forward Anthony Contreras.

Costa Rica is trying to reach its third straight World Cup. The Ticos host Canada next Thursday, play at El Salvador three days later and close at home against the United States on March 30.

Canada leads North and Central America and the Caribbean with 25 points and the U.S. is second with 21, ahead of Mexico on goal difference. Panama is fourth with 17 points, followed by Costa Rica with 16 and El Salvador with nine.

The top three nations earn berths for this year’s tournament in Qatar and the fourth-place nation advances to a playoff in June against the Oceania champion, likely New Zealand.

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The roster:

Goalkeepers: Esteban Alvarado (Herediano), Leonel Moreira (Alajuelense), Keylor Navas (Paris Saint-Germain, France)

Defenders: Francisco Calvo (San Jose, U.S.), Daniel Chacón (Cartaginés), Keysher Fuller (Herediano), Ian Lawrence (Alajuelense), Carlos Martínez (San Carlos), Rónald Matarrita (Cincinnati, U.S.), Bryan Oviedo (Copenhagen, Denmark), Juan Pablo Vargas (Millonarios, Colombia), Kendall Waston (Saprissa)

Midfielders: Brandon Aguilera (Guanacasteca), Jewison Bennette (Herediano), Celso Borges (Alajuelense), Orlando Galo (Herediano), Douglas López (Santos de Guápiles), Alonso Martínez (Lommel, Belgium), Carlos Mora (Alajuelense), Bryan Ruiz (Alajuelense), Yeltsin Tejeda (Herediano), Youstin Salas (Grecia), Gerson Torres (Herediano)

Forwards: Joel Campbell (Monterrey, Mexico), Anthony Contreras (Guanacasteca), José Guillermo Ortiz (Herediano), Johan Venegas (Alajuelense)

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