Costa Rican World Cup goal scorer Marcos Ureña has joined the Central Coast Mariners for the A-League 20/21 season.
The 30-year-old most recently appeared for South Korea’s Gwangju FC, and will bring with him a swathe of experience from the MLS and European competitions, including UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League appearances with different clubs.
Ureña went to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil with the Costa Rican national team and scored in their 3-1 win over Uruguay in the group stages that year.
He has scored 15 times in 67 appearances for Los Ticos and has played predominantly as a striker although can also be used as an attacking midfielder.
Mariners Head Coach Alen Stajcic welcomed Ureña to the Mariners and said he would be a valuable member of the squad when he joins them after his quarantine period.
“We’re excited to welcome Marcos to the squad for this season, and I believe he can be a valuable contributor to this group,” Stajcic said.
“He brings a wealth of experience and scoring pedigree, including from a World Cup level, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do in the A-League.”
“Someone with his football background will prove a big benefit not just on the pitch, but also off the pitch where there is plenty that our young players can learn from him.”
With permission now granted for him to travel to Australia and a 14-day mandatory quarantine period ahead of him, Ureña said he is looking forward to linking up with his new teammates.
“I’m really excited to join the team as soon as possible and start this new experience,” he said.
“Every league has their own style of play and I’m looking forward to seeing how I can help the team in the best way.”
“I have been in different countries playing and have participated in two Youth World Cups and two FIFA World Cup tournaments, so I have a lot of experience at this level.”
“I hope I can help the young players and encourage them to continue their development, and I will share my experience and of course try my best to help the Mariners get better every time I play.”
Ureña’s announcement follows that of other visa players Michal Janota and Stefan Jankovic last week, and the staff and team are now fully focussed on the team’s season opener against the Newcastle Jets on New Year’s Eve at Central Coast Stadium.