CS Herediano – Match Report Vs. Pacific FC (23/08/2022)

Herediano eventually triumphed over Pacific FC on penalty kicks in CONCACAF League action. Herediano, having won the first leg 1-0, seemed content to try and strangle all life out of the game. They set up with a quite defensive 5-4-1 and rarely committed numbers forward. This strategy almost proved to be a fatal mistake as the 10-man Pacific drew level on aggregate with a late strike from Gianni Dos Santos. But the Costa Rican side managed to triumph from spot kicks. Pacific F.C played a 4-4-2 but the lack of a true #9 made it difficult for them to break down Herediano’s defence until Dos Santos’ long-range strike. 

Ratings:

  • 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

Anthony Contreras

Player Profile

  • Nationality: Costa Rican
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth: 29/01/2000
  • Current Club: Herediano
  • Career: Herediano (Y), La U Universitarios, Grecia, Guadaloupe FC, Guanacasteca
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Anthony Contreras played as a striker in this match and I left it not entirely sure how to feel about him. He had some undeniable good moments but there were also long stretches of the game where he was invisible. In his defence, Herediano did not play a style that was conducive to him, or any striker, having success. Contreras was the lone striker and was usually being asked to try and dribble past four players on his own or chase down hopeful long passes.

The two wingers, John Ruiz and Gerson Torres gave him very little in the way of service. Despite this, he managed some good moments. He fought valiantly for loose balls and was pretty good in the air despite competing against centre-backs who are a lot bigger than him. He showed some good movement in the box and probably would have had a goal if not for the timely intervention of Amer Didic. He also had one really fantastic moment of dribbling skill but it came to nothing because he had absolutely zero support and had to just put it on goal from long range. That was about it. On the one hand, there were some signs that he could be successful playing in a system that was a bit more conducive to providing him service. But that caveat rings a bit hollow when you consider the context of the match.

Herediano is currently top of the Costa Rican league, generally considered the third best league in CONCACAF. They were playing at home against a team from ostensibly a smaller league who were down to 10 men for a large portion of the match. Contreras was playing directly against a centre-back pairing who were both cut by MLS teams. I think it’s fair to ask for more than one shot inside the box in these circumstances for a player looking to take a step up. 

Rating – B1

I just can’t confidently recommend Contreras to a team at a higher level. He has some definite ability but the numbers are not there and from this game, and the others I have seen him in, he isn’t a consistent threat throughout the match. Perhaps he could succeed if he made a lateral move in terms of level to Europe and played for a team with a more sophisticated attacking style. But I don’t think his reported price tag would make him worth the risk for such a team. 

Orlando Galo 

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Costa Rican
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth: 11/08/2000
  • Current Club: Herediano
  • Career: LD Alajuelense
  • Position: Centre-back
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Orlando Galo played as a right-sided centre-back in this match. He showed some strong on-the-ball skill but I can’t say I was totally convinced by his defending. Galo was mostly comfortable passing out of the back, though he did occasionally join with his teammates in aimlessly punting the ball forwards. He showed a good range of passing, able to play good passes over short ranges and longer ranges with decent accuracy. His first touch and control were generally solid.

Defensively, however, I have some concerns. Galo is quite short for a centre-back, at 5’7, and has played most of his career as a right-back. He had several unconvincing headers. Because he had to leap so much, even against relatively small attackers like Josh Heard, he couldn’t always make good contact with the ball. So there were a lot of times when he just ballooned the ball straight in the air or otherwise wasn’t able to get the ball clear. He was also frequently taken out by pick plays that allowed Pacific to cause some problems for the Herediano defence. He also got beaten in 1v1 situations quite often. Particularly he had trouble against Marco Bustos, whose low centre of gravity and quick changes of direction gave him fits.

Wyscout data suggests that this is usually a strength of Galo’s so perhaps I caught him on a bad day, but in this match, he was not at all convincing as a defender. If Pacific had not recently sold Alejandro Diaz I think Galo could have struggled quite a bit more. 

Rating – B2

It was not a very convincing performance from Galo. He had some technical skill but for a full Costa Rica international I would have hoped to see dominance against this level of opposition. 

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