As LAFC heads to Costa Rica to enter the first leg in the Round of 16, here’s what you need to know about Costa Rican powerhouse ALAJUELENSE. Alajuelense was founded in 1919 and has become one of the most successful teams in Costa Rica and Central America. They have won 30 national championships, and two Concacaf Champions League Titles.
LAFC will be heading into the infamous Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto, which hosts nearly 18,000 rabid fans and opened in 1942.
Top of the Table
Alajuelense is currently on top of the Costa Rican Primera Division with a 8-2-1 record. They have lit up opponents for 31 goals, while only allowing eight goals against.
They Know The MLS Opponent Well
While this is the first matchup all-time between the two teams, Thursday marks the 10th time Alajuelense will face a MLS Club in Concacaf play, including the Concacaf Champions Cup era (1962-2008). The last win for Alajuelense in Concacaf Champions League came eight years ago in a 4-2 semifinal matchup against the Montreal Impact, however they lost on aggregate that was ultimately determined by total away goals.
Since 1962, Alajuelense has 69 total wins in 138 Concacaf matches, good for a .500 winning percentage
A Dominating Force in Scotiabank Champions League
Alajuelense’s aggregate-loss to Olimpia in the 2022 Concacaf League Final that clinched their spot in this year’s editions of the Concacaf Champions League, marked the end of a 15-game unbeaten streak in Concacaf League play.
Alajuelense Has A Top Scorer:
With Alajuelense forward Johan Venegas posting 17 goals and four assists in Scotiabank Champions League play in 2022, it marks his third time in four years to appear atop the leaderboards. Venegas also ranked No. 1 in total shots and attracted the most fouls in 2022 league play.
If Venegas sounds familiar, that’s because he also appeared on MLS rosters from 2015-17, where he posted two goals and five assists in 54 games played with the Montreal Impact and Minnesota United.