Monday Kickoff: Costa Rica wins Copa Centroamericano; Bayern struggling with injuries; and more

Monday Kickoff: Costa Rica wins Copa Centroamericano; Bayern struggling with injuries; and more

European Soccer

Monday Kickoff: Costa Rica wins Copa Centroamericano; Bayern struggling with injuries; and more

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Photo by USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

After surprising the world at this past summer’s World Cup, Costa Rica have earned another chance to impress on the international stage.

Los Ticos defeated Guatemala, 2-1, Saturday in the finals of the Copa Centroamericana to earn a place in the 2016 Copa America, which is set to be hosted in the United States.

Costa Rica were led by goals from Bryan Ruiz and Juan Bustos, who combined to cancel out an early Carlos Ruiz penalty kick for Guatemala.

In other Copa Centroamericana action, Honduras earned a spot in the Gold Cup qualification playoffs with a 1-0 victory over Nicaragua in the fifth-place match, while Panama defeated El Salvador 1-0 in the third-place match.

Here are some more news and notes to kickoff your Monday morning:

ROBBEN DOUBTFUL, BADSTUBER OUT FOR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE CLASH WITH MANCHESTER CITY

With Champions League action looming, Bayern Munich appear to be heading into this week’s clash with Manchester City a bit shorthanded.

The German champions could be without Arjen Robben for Wednesday’s action, as the Dutch star is doubtful after missing Sunday’s training session with a knee injury. Meanwhile, starting defender Holger Badstuber is set to undergo surgery after tearing a thigh muscle tendon in this weekend’s 2-0 Bayern victory over VFB Stuttgart.

Robben and Badstuber are just Bayern’s latest injury casualties, as Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thiago Alcantara and Rafinha have each missed time to start the season. Meanwhile, Saturday’s victory over Stuttgart did see the return of Franck Ribery, who made his season debut after an injury layoff that saw the French star miss the World Cup.

Despite the injuries, captain Phillip Lahm is happy with his side’s progress, although he knows it will take a new level to top the Premier League Champions Wednesday.

“We know we have to improve further against Manchester City,” Lahm said. “They are a top team, they are English champions and we want to start the competition well. We are still missing a bit of rhythm.”

FORMER MAN UNITED STAR FERDINAND CALLS MOYES ‘EMBARASSING’

Following his now infamous Manchester United tenure, David Moyes has become one of the most criticized figures in the sport. Despite Manchester departures from both sides, former Man United star Rio Ferdinand has become the latest to voice his opinion on Moyes’ time at Old Trafford, which he labeled “embarassing”.

The Queens Park Rangers defender criticized the Scottish manager in his new book, revealing his displeasure with tactics employed by the former Everton boss during his time with Man United.

“He tried to impose a vision, but never seemed to be completely clear what that vision should be,” Ferdinand said. “Unintentionally, he created a negative vibe where, with Fergie, it had always been positive. He’d slowly lost us. I didn’t enjoy playing under him.

“Sometimes our main tactic was the long, high, diagonal cross. It was embarrassing. In one home game against Fulham we had 81 crosses! I was thinking, why are we doing this? Andy Carroll doesn’t play for us! Moyes’ innovations led to negativity and confusion. It was always how to stop the other side. Moyes set us up not to lose. We’d been accustomed to playing to win.”

Man United successfully played to win this weekend under new manager Louis van Gaal, as Ferdinand’s QPR were throughly beaten by his former side, 4-0.

QUICK KICKS

Despite impressive start, Chelsea striker Diego Costa knows his goalscoring burst is unsustainable. (REPORT)

Forward Nicholas Anelka is set to join Mumbai City of the Indian Super League. (REPORT)

Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas feeling “rotten” after loss to city rivals Atletico Madrid. (REPORT)

Arsenal’s Mathieu Debuchy is set to miss two months after suffering a left ankle injury in Saturday’s draw with Manchester City. (REPORT)

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has challenged his side to be the Premier League’s top scoring side. (REPORT)

What do you make of Costa Rica’s 2014 performances? How will Bayern fare in this week’s Champions League clash? Were Ferdinand’s comments out of line?

Share your thoughts below.

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