Costa Rica name former assistant as coach

June 30, 2008

SAN JOSE, June 30 (Reuters) - Costa Rica has named former assistant coach Rodrigo Kenton as the new head of the national soccer team, a spokesman for the Costa Rica Football Federation said on Monday.

Kenton, 53, who was in charge of Guatemala's under-20 team, takes over from Hernan Medford who was fired last week after a long losing streak in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

'Kenton will travel from Guatemala to Costa Rica on Wednesday and be officially presented as national team coach on Thursday,' national team spokesman Randell Vargas said.

Kenton coached the Costa Rican Olympic team in Athens in 2004 and served as assistant to Bora Milutinovic when the Serbian coached Costa Rica to a second-round appearance in the 1990 World Cup in Italy.

He also assisted Milutinovic in 1998 when he was coaching the Nigerian team in the World Cup in France.

Under Medford, Costa Rica went 12 successive games without a victory until they beat Grenada 3-0 on June 21 in the second leg of a World Cup qualifier. The two sides drew 2-2 in the first leg.

The win sent Costa Rica into the next round of qualifying against El Salvador, Haiti and Suriname.

Costa Rica have qualified for the World Cup three times.