Liga Deportiva Alajuelense

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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)
Los Erizos (The Hedgehogs)
Los Leones (The Lions)
Founded June 18, 1919; 98 years ago (1919-06-18)
Ground Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto, Alajuela
Ground Capacity 17,895
President Fernando Ocampo
Head coach Benito Floro
League Liga FPD
2016–17 Invierno 2016: 3rd
(Second stage: 3rd)
Verano 2017: 7th
Overall: 4th
Website Club website

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 borough of El Llano, 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 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. Morera, who would later go on to become 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.

Alajuelense is one of the most successful 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 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.


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 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, Gimnástica Española, Herediano, 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.


The Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto is the home of Alajuelense and is owned and operated by La Liga Deportiva Alajuelense. It's located in El Llano neighborhood of Alajuela.

On July 20, 1966, due to a motion by the Municipality of Alajuela, the stadium was renamed in honor of Alejandro Morera, nicknamed El Mago del Balon, which means The magician of the ball. He was a notable former player of Alajuelense, Barcelona and Hércules, and for commercial purposes, in an agreement with the financial institution Scotiabank 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 Cartaginés; 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 March of Bricks in which every student would donate a brick to help build the walls and stands of the stadium. The first stands to be built were located in north, west and 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 existing stand and adding an additional stand over the dressing and conference rooms (south) and also adding a roof to the stands located to the east and the south. The project was fully completed in 1984. The stadium was re-inaugurated that year along with the new illuminations, which were amongst the best illuminations systems at the time.


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.


  • Shirt supplier
PUMA (for all divisions)
  • Shirt sponsors
ClaroTuasaRepretel – Tesoro del Mar – Toyota - Volaris


  • Youth Division sponsors
Banco Nacional de Costa Rica – Coca-Cola


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


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

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]


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)
4 Costa Rica DF Kenner Gutiérrez
6 Costa Rica DF José Salvatierra
7 Brazil MF Iago Soares
8 Costa Rica MF Luis Miguel Valle
9 Trinidad and Tobago FW Jamille Boatswain
10 Costa Rica MF José Luis Cordero
12 Costa Rica MF Pablo Gabas
13 Costa Rica DF Jameson Scott
14 Costa Rica DF Christopher Meneses
15 Costa Rica DF Steve Garita
16 Costa Rica MF Allen Guevara
No. Position Player
18 Costa Rica GK Mauricio Vargas
19 Costa Rica FW Jonathan McDonald (Vicecaptain)
22 Costa Rica DF Jean Carlo Agüero
25 Costa Rica DF Luis Sequeira
28 Costa Rica MF Arturo Campos
29 Costa Rica MF Kenneth Cerdas
31 Costa Rica MF Harry Rojas
33 Costa Rica GK Adonis Pineda
34 Costa Rica FW Bryan Jiménez

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 Carmelita)
Costa Rica MF Wilmer López (at Carmelita)

Notable players[edit]

Retired numbers[edit]

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


Current technical staff[edit]

Position Staff
Manager Flag of Spain.svg Benito Floro
Assistant manager Flag of Costa Rica.svg Cristian Oviedo
Flag of Costa Rica.svg Wilmer López
Medical Doctor Flag of Cuba.svgFlag of Costa Rica.svg Alfredo Gómez
Physical Trainer Flag of Costa Rica.svg Johan Salas
Flag of Costa Rica.svg Vinicio Rodriguez
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: 18 January 2016
Source: LD Alajuelense

Notable coaches[edit]


Office Name
President Fernando Ocampo
Vice president José Aquiles Mata Porras
General Management Marco Vásquez
Commercial Management Casildo Camareno A.
Financial Management Santiago Aguilar
Sports Area Management

Last updated: 28 December 2016
Source: LD Alajuense

See also[edit]



External links[edit]