Liga Deportiva Alajuelense

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Alajuelense
LD Alajuelense.svg
Full name Liga Deportiva Alajuelense
Nickname(s) La Liga (The Liga)
Los Manudos (The Big-Handed Ones)
Los Rojinegros (The Red and Black)
Founded June 18, 1919; 95 years ago (1919-06-18)
Ground Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto, Alajuela
Ground Capacity 17,895
President Raúl Pinto
Head coach Oscar Ramírez
League Primera División de Costa Rica
2014 2014 Invierno, 3rd
Website Club home page

Liga Deportiva Alajuelense (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈliɣa ðeporˈtiβa alaxwe´lense]), commonly known as Alajuelense and nicknamed La Liga (Spanish pronunciation: [la ´liɣa]), is a Costa Rican multisport club based in the district of Villa Hermosa, Alajuela. Although they compete in a number of different sports, Alajuelense is mostly known for its association football team. It plays in the Primera División de Costa Rica, the top tier of the Costa Rican football league system. Alajuelense is one of two clubs to have never been relegated, along with Club Sport Herediano.

Alajuelense was founded on the former Paris Hall, west of Alajuela's Central Park, on June 18, 1919 by six former players of a historic city club, Once de Abril, with the intention of uniting all the sportsmen and associations present at that time in Alajuela under a single banner. However, it wouldn't be until 1928 when Alajuelense managed to become national champions for the first time in a season that saw the club's first star: Alejandro Morera Soto. Soto, who would later go on to become FC Barcelona's main striker for two seasons, is regarded as possibly the finest player Costa Rica has ever produced. He would later manage Alajuelense to their second national title in 1939 as well as two others in 1941 and 1945. Since then, Alajuelense has become the most supported club in Costa Rica, with its fans constituting close to 46% of the total amount of football fans in the country.

La Liga is one of the most lauded teams in Costa Rica and Central America, having won 29 national championships. They have also won two CONCACAF Champions League titles and three Copa Interclubes UNCAF. Alajuelense was the first Costa Rican club to win an official international competition when they defeated Suranamese club Sport Vereniging Transvaal in the final series in 1986. Alajuelense has also participated in the Interamerican Cup, Copa Merconorte and Copa Sudamericana. In 1996, Alajuelense became the first club in the world to reach 100 points in any national league, finishing with a total of 102 points. This feat was repeated in 1998 and 2000 with 105 and 102 points gained, respectively.

Alajuelense plays its home matches at the Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto. Alajuelense's home kit is composed of red and black vertical striped shirts, with black shorts, accompanied by red or black socks. This combination has been used since the club's foundation. Puma are the kit manufacturers. Alajuelense holds many long-standing rivalries, most notably against Saprissa, Herediano and Cartaginés. It has contributed many key and famous players towards Costa Rica's FIFA World Cup squads such as José Carlos Chaves, Óscar Ramírez, Mauricio Montero, Wilmer López, Luis Marín, Johnny Acosta and Patrick Pemberton.

History[edit]

The team was created in 1919 when a group of friends that used to play in a team called the "Electra" at first and then "Once de Abril" (April the 11th) met at "Salon París". They wanted to give the city a team that could represent them at a national level. They played their first official game on August 2 of that same year against CS Cartaginés getting their first victory, 3–1.

Alajuelense was part of the 7 teams that built and formed the National League in Costa Rica, back in 1921, along with La Libertad, Sociedad Gimnástica Española, CS Herediano, CS Cartaginés, CS La Unión de Tres Ríos, and Sociedad Gimnástica Limonense. They won their first championship in 1928. They are the only team to win the championship with a perfect record; in 1941 they won all 6 games.[1] In 1960, the team made a tour around the world, leaving Costa Rica on September 17. In 78 days the team played 24 games, winning 12, losing 7 and the other 5 ended up tied. They scored 71 goals and received 47, with a remarkable performance from Juan Ulloa Ramírez, being the best player and top scorer of this tour.

Throughout their history, Liga Deportiva Alajuelense has generated a lot of great players and stunning performances. They are known as one of the best teams in the Central America area. Their best decade was the 1990s, during which they won 4 Championships and 4 sub-championships (runner up) as well. In addition to that, by the end of the 90's and the middle of the 2000s, they won a total of 5 local championships (4 of them in a row), 2 Copa Interclubes UNCAF Throphies and a CONCACAF Club Champions, being the base for the Costa Rican football team in the Korea and Japan 2002 FIFA World Cup, with 9 players.

By November 11, 2000[2] and after participating in the Copa Merconorte, Alajuelense was ranked in the 27th spot, based on IFFHS's Club World Ranking. It has been the best rank by the team and the best any other Central American club have reached.

The club struggled with some financial and administrative problems in the second part on the 2000s decade, so they decided to end contract with a lot of their regular and known players and started to build a team based on their younger divisions and make some structural changes. Nowadays the club is free of debts and with a team averaging 25 year-old players is still one of the best teams in the area and one of the teams with most fans in Costa Rica. They have won the last 3 championships in its country and participated in the last CONCACAF Champions League being eliminated in the group stage for just one away goal.

Stadium[edit]

It is the home of Alajuelense, is owned and operated by La Liga Deportiva Alajuelense, and is located in El Llano neighborhood of Alajuela.

On July 20, 1966, due to a motion by the Municipality of Alajuela, the stadium was renamed to honor under Alejandro Morera Soto, nicknamed as El Mago del Balon, that means The magician of the ball; notable former player of Alajuelense, FC Barcelona and Hércules CF, and for a commercial purpose in an agreement with the financial institution in 2011 it was added the name Scotiabank.[3]

The project to find a proper site for a permanent home started in 1938, when the director of the club, Carlos Bolaños, proposed that the club should purchase its own land. The land was purchased on October 7, 1940, but the terrain would not be football-ready until when the first game was played on January 18, 1942, when Alajuelense played against Club Sport Cartagines; the stadium only had a simple wooden stand that was previously used in the Estadio Nacional.

On September 27, 1949, a professor from a local high school named Armando Morux Sancho started what was called La marcha del ladrillo, meaning The Brick's March in which every student would donate a brick to help building the concrete walls of the stadium and start building the concrete stands. The first stands that were built were the ones located in north, west an east around the pitch.

On March 19, 1970, the stadium saw its first night game when Alajuelense faced Honduran club Motagua, beating them 4–1.

In 1979, the enlargement of the stadium was initiated with the project of building a second stand on top of the first already built and add an additional stand over the dressing and conference room (south) and also, add roof to the stand located on east and the one located on south after was finished. The project was fully completed in 1984. The stadium was re-inaugurated that year along with the new illumination, which was at the moment, in the top illuminations systems.

Mascot[edit]

The team is now represented by a Lion dressed with the team uniform and wearing cleats as if he was going to play.

In every home game, the mascot comes out at the pitch before the game starts and plays on the field with fans, jokes with rival's fans, walk through the pitch with models giving away gifts from their sponsors and cheers the team with a huge team's flag. Before the game starts and during the half-time break, the Lion walks among the crowd and stands for pictures with the children.

The original mascot used to be a Mango, this because the team is located in Alajuela that is known as "La Ciudad de los Mangos" ("The Mangoes' City") because of the high amount of Mango Trees that could be located in the province due its weather, but later on in the early 80's, the mascot was changed into a Lion.

The Lion was chosen years ago because it represents four main attributes of the major king of the jungle, that are reflected on the team's vision and mission: Courage, Strength, Dynamism and Fidelity.

Sponsors[edit]

  • Shirt supplier
PUMA (for all divisions)
  • Shirt sponsors
MovistarTuasa - Repretel - Mobil - Colchones Luxor - Banco General - Ibérico
  • Stadium sponsor
Scotiabank
  • Youth Division sponsors
Banco Nacional de Costa Rica - Coca Cola

Honors[edit]

National competitions[edit]

Winners (29): 1928, 1939, 1941, 1945, 1949, 1950, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1970, 1971, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1991, 1992,1995–96, 1996–97, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05, Invierno 2010–11, Verano 2010–11, Invierno 2011–12, Invierno 2012–13. Invierno 2013–14.
Runners-up (20): 1930, 1928, 1944, 1952, 1957,1962, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1972, 1985, 1986], 1989, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2006–07, 2007–08, Invierno 2008–09
  • Costa Rican Short Championship
Apertura (6): 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2010, 2011.
Clausura (8): 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013 (Invierno)
  • Copa de Costa Rica
Winners (8): 1926,[5] 1928,[6] 1937,[7] 1941,[8] 1944,[9] 1948,[10] 1949,[11] 1977.[12]
  • Supercopa de Costa Rica
Winners (1): 2012
  • Copa Iberico
Winners (2): 2012, 2013
  • Super Clasico Copa LG
Winners (1): 2014
  • Copa de Campeones del Futbol Nacional
Winners (1): 1967

International[edit]

Winners (3): 1996, 2002, 2005
Runners-up (2): 1999, 2000
Winners (2): 1986, 2004
Runners-up (3): 1971, 1992, 1999
Winners (0):
Runners-up (1): 1986

Other Internacional Championships

1961: (Central American & Caribbean Champions)
1992: (Central American Champions)
2000: (Copa LG Uncaf (Panama) Champions)

Friendly Tournaments:

2004: Copa Taca de Campeon de Campeones de America, against Once Caldas (former Copa Libertadores Champion)

Player Records[edit]

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Costa Rica GK Patrick Pemberton (captain)
2 Costa Rica DF Elías Palma
3 Costa Rica DF Porfirio López
4 Costa Rica DF Kenner Gutiérrez
5 Costa Rica DF Ariel Soto
6 Costa Rica DF José Salvatierra
7 Costa Rica FW Alejandro Aguilar
8 Costa Rica FW Armando Alonso
9 Costa Rica FW Francisco Rodríguez
10 Costa Rica MF Álvaro Sánchez
11 Costa Rica MF Diego Calvo
12 Costa Rica DF Johnny Acosta
13 Costa Rica MF Luis Miguel Valle
14 Costa Rica DF Jean Carlo Agüero
15 Costa Rica DF Steve Garita
No. Position Player
16 Costa Rica MF Allen Guevara
17 Costa Rica DF Kevin Sancho
18 Costa Rica GK Alfonso Quesada
19 Costa Rica FW Jonathan McDonald
21 Costa Rica FW José Guillermo Ortiz
22 Costa Rica MF Ronald Matarrita
23 Costa Rica GK Dexter Lewis
24 Brazil MF Yvanilton de Almeida
26 Costa Rica MF Ariel Rodríguez
27 Costa Rica FW Johan Venegas
31 Costa Rica MF Osvaldo Rodríguez
32 Costa Rica DF Juan Pablo Vargas
33 Costa Rica GK Kevin Ruiz
34 Argentina DF Leonel Peralta
95 Argentina MF Pablo Antonio Gabas

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Costa Rica MF Guillermo Arias (at AD Carmelita)
Costa Rica MF Wilmer López (at AD Carmelita)
No. Position Player
Honduras FW Víctor Ortíz (at CD Motagua)

Notable players[edit]

Nationals

Foreigners

Retired numbers[edit]

20Costa Rica Mauricio Montero, defender (1987–98)

Personnel[edit]

Current technical staff[edit]

Position Staff
Manager Flag of Costa Rica.svg Oscar Ramírez "El Machillo"
Assistant manager Flag of Costa Rica.svg Mauricio Montero
Flag of Costa Rica.svg Harold López
Flag of Costa Rica.svg Gerardo Chavarría "Lalo"
Medical Doctor Flag of Cuba.svgFlag of Costa Rica.svg Alfredo Gomez
Physical Trainer Flag of Costa Rica.svg Pier Luigi Morera
Physical Therapist Flag of Costa Rica.svg Fabián Calvo Redondo
Props Flag of Costa Rica.svg Walter Alonso Rodríguez Vega
Flag of Costa Rica.svg Mario José Chávez González

Last updated: 2 August 2013
Source: LD Alajuelense

Notable coaches[edit]

Management[edit]

Office Name
President Raul Pinto
Vice president Jose Aquiles Mata Porras
General Management Federico Rojas A.
Commercial Management Casildo Camareno A.
Financial Management Santiago Aguilar
Sports Area Management Luis R. Sibaja
Treasury Rolando Cordero Vega

Last updated: 2 August 2013
Source: LD Alajuense

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]