Real España defeated Cartaginés 2-0 in CONCACAF League play. Cartaginés had the vast majority of the chances but a heroic performance by Honduras international Luis Lopez kept them off the scoresheet. Some good finishing at the other end sent the Costa Ricans out of the CONCACAF League. Real España had a player sent off in the 73rd minute. Cartagainés was listed as playing a 4-4-2 but in practice, Ronaldo Arraya played so narrow it was more like a 4-3-1-2. Real España played a 4-4-2.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Costa Rican
- Age: 23
- Date of Birth: 03/08/1999
- Current Club: Cartaginés
- Career: Cartaginés (Y)
- Position: Attacking Midfielder
- Preferred Foot: Right
Ronaldo Array played as a #10 in this match and was generally fantastic. Arraya created a large number of shots for himself and others, mostly by playing through balls but also with some decent crossing and set-piece delivery. He is extremely good at receiving the ball in pockets of space with his off-the-ball movement. He also has a strong first touch and a very tight turning radius.
All of these skills came together to form the main loop of Arraya’s game. Receive a progressive pass, turn, and then look to play in behind. He’s not necessarily the most efficient player, as he did have a lot of unsuccessful passes. But he always looked to play directly and make something happen so some missed passes are to be expected. The tradeoff was more than worth it as Arraya also created a lot of dangerous chances. Arraya was also very quick to press opponents and try to win the ball back if he lost it. His pressing was quite effective and he created a chance or two by winning the ball back high up the field. In addition to playing passes, Arraya also showed some good dribbling in this match. His low centre of gravity and close control helped him to run quickly with the ball and unsettle defenders.
Arraya was not afraid of a long-range shot and his movement also allowed him to get on the end of some passes into the box As the game progressed Arraya began to drop deeper to try and make things happen. He showed the ability to play longer-ranged passes as well as the short ones around the penalty area he showed earlier in the game.
Lower-level CONCACAF soccer is very chippy and low scoring. Arraya has been one of the few players at this tournament I have seen consistently able to create chances. I think he could succeed at a higher level, especially with better teammates in a more open league. I think he could probably do a job in MLS, though I’m not sure he would be more than a squad player. Costa Ricans have also been successful in Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia. He would be a good signing for lots of teams.
- Nationality: Costa Rican
- Age: 21
- Date of Birth: 11/04/2001
- Current Club: Cartaginés (On loan from Colorado Rapids 2)
- Career: Cartaginés (Y), Colorado Rapids 2, Cartaginés (L)
- Position: Centre Back
- Secondary Position: Defensive Midfielder
- Preferred Foot: Right
Daniel Chacon started this match as a centre-back and then moved into the midfield in the second half. My general impression was that he is better suited to playing in the midfield, though you could maybe get away with him as part of a back three.
Chacon is quite an aggressive defender but for the most part that did not get him into trouble in this match. He had a very good sense of when to step up and he was quick enough to get tight to players and knock them off the ball. He was good at using his body to Sheppard opponents away from the goal and was a strong 1v1 defender in general. But he was weirdly bad in the air. Chacon is not particularly small so that doesn’t account for his struggles. He just could not convincingly win a header, the best he could manage in this match was a draw. But fortunately, his good on-the-ground defending was matched up with good technical skills and passing ability. Chacon has a good first touch and he was able to play progressive passes with reasonable consistency. He was not necessarily splitting the defence open with his passing but he could reliably play an accurate outlet pass, even if under pressure. This is why he looked so much more comfortable as a defensive midfielder.
In the midfield, his height worked to his advantage because his long legs made it harder for people to get around him. Late in the match, Chacon showed some frustration, shoving an opponent after a whistle. This created a scuffle that finished with a Real Espana player being sent off so it worked out for him this time but letting his emotions get the best of him could just have easily hurt him with a different referee.
Chacon already has a move lined up to Colorado Rapids 2 in MLS Next Pro. MLS might be too big of a step right now but I think he’s way too good for MLSNP. So I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him in MLS before too long next season.