SAMARA, Russia — Costa Rica defender Ronald Matarrita will not play in the World Cup because of a right hamstring injury.
The Costa Rican federation says Matarrita will be replaced on the Ticos’ roster by Kenner Gutierrez.
Following training at the team’s St. Petersburg camp, the left back had an MRI which confirmed the injury. Matarrita, who plays for the MLS club NYCFC, will miss at least two weeks.
Costa Rica is preparing to play Serbia in its World Cup opener on Sunday in Samara. The Ticos are hoping to improve on their finish at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, when they advanced to the quarterfinals.
Matarrita was one of six players from Major League Soccer on Costa Rica’s roster.
Gutierrez plays for Alajuelense in Costa Rica’s top division.