L.D. Alajuelense

Alajuelense El mejor del mundo
Full name Liga Deportiva Alajuelense
Nickname(s) La Liga
Founded June 18, 1919.
Ground Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto,
El Llano de Alajuela
(Capacity: 17,895)
Manager Flag of Costa Rica.svg Oscar Ramírez
League Primera División, Costa Rica
Invierno 2011 1st (Champions)
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours

Liga Deportiva Alajuelense (L.D.A.), is a Costa Rican football club, currently playing in the Primera División de Costa Rica. It was founded on June 18, 1919. The team is located in Alajuela's downtown and they play their local games at the Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto.

Alajuelense was the first Costa Rican team to win a CONCACAF Champions' Cup in 1986. The club is known by their fans as "La Liga" and had the privilege to be the only Central American club to participate in South American competitions such as Copa Merconorte in 2000 [1] and the Copa Sudamericana in 2006.

They are the only club in Costa Rica football history with at least one Championship gained in each decade.



The team was created in 1919 when a group of friends that used to play in a team called "Once de Abril" (April the 11th) met at "Salon París", they wanted to give the city a team that could represent them at a national level. They played their first official game on august 2nd of that same year against CS Cartaginés getting their first victory, 3 – 1.

Alajuelense was part of the 7 teams that built and formed the National League in Costa Rica, back in 1921, along with La Libertad, Sociedad Gimnástica Española, CS Herediano, CS Cartaginés, CS La Unión de Tres Ríos, y la Sociedad Gimnástica Limonense. They won their first championship 1928. In 1960, the team made a tour around the world, leaving Costa Rica on September 17. In 78 days the team played 24 games, winning 12, losing 7 and the other 5 ended up tied. They scored 71 goals and received 47, with a remarkable performance from Juan Ulloa Ramírez, being the top scorer of this tour.

Throughout their history, Liga Deportiva Alajuelense has generated a lot of great players and stunning performances. They are known as one of the best teams in the Central America area. Their best decade was the 1990s, during which they won 4 Championships and 4 sub-championships as well. And also by the end of the 90's and the middle of the 2000s, they won 4 local championships in a row 2 Copa Interclubes UNCAF Throphies and a CONCACAF Club Champions, being the base for the Costa Rican football team in the Korea and Japan 2002 FIFA World Cup, with 9 players.

The club struggled with some financial problems in the second part on the 2000s decade, so they had to end contract with a lot of their regular players and started to built a team based on their younger divisions, but it is now free of debts and with a team averaging 24 year-old players is still one of the best teams in the area and one of the teams with most fans in Costa Rica, winning the last 2 championships in its country.

Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto en el Llano de Alajuela

The stadium is owned and operated by La Liga Deportiva Alajuelense nad Scotia Bank, and is located in El Llano de Alajuela. The project to find a proper site for a permanent home started in 1938, when the director of the club, Carlos Bolaños, proposed that the club should purchase its own land. The land was purchased in 1940, but the site would not be football-ready until 1942, when Alajuelense played its first match at the site. The first game was played on January 18, 1942, when Liga Deportiva Alajuelense played Club Sport Cartagines.

On July 20, 1966, due to a motion by the Municipality of Alajuela, the stadium was renamed to honor the great Alajuelense and FC Barcelona player Alejandro Morera Soto. On March 19, 1970, the stadium saw its first night game when Alajuelense faced Honduran club Motagua, beating them 4–1. The stadium is not only home to Liga Deportiva Alajuelense, but it is also shares itself along with Estadio Ricardo Saprissa as the home of the Costa Rican National team.

Until 2005, the Morera Soto's grass was known as the best natural one in Central America, but a conbination of fungus and hurricanes destroyed the grass and it never fully recovered. By the end of 2008, the management of the team decided to install a 5th generation synthetic grass, in order to have the field always ready and also have the availability to rent the place for concerts and/or special events and have the possibity for the younger division to train in the same field. The last game the team played at the natural turf was the first game of the 2008 winter's final, beating their archrival Deportivo Saprissa 2 – 0 on December 17, 2008. After a long delay, the field was ready to be used by July 18, 2009. The field's re-opening was held against Caracas FC from Venezuela, the game ended up with a tie 1 – 1.

In 2009, the club installed a synthetic turf called Xtreme Turf from ACT Global Sports. This football turf has achieved FIFA two star certification for approval for top international matches. This is the only FIFA two-star installation currently in Central America.

Now the Stadium has a gym, museum with pictures, wallpapers, banners and approximately 500 trophies, physiotherapy center, clinic, meeting rooms, press conference room and two additional smaller pitches so all the first division and their minor divisions can have the same treatment. The size of the field was shrunk a little bit, it used to be the biggest in Costa Rica.


L.D. Alajuelense Marketing Logo

The team is now represented by a Lion. In every home game, the mascot comes out at the pitch and plays on the field with fans, walk through the pitch with models giving away gifts from their sponsors and cheers the team with a huge flag. Before the game starts and during the half-time break, the Lion walks among the crowd and poses for pictures with the children. The original mascot used to be a Mango because the team is located in Alajuela that is known as "La Ciudad de los Mangos" ("The Mangoes' City") because of the high amount of Mango Trees that could be located in the province due its weather, but later on, the mascot was changed into a Lion.

It represents four main attributes of the major king of the jungle, that are reflected on the teams vision and mission: Courage, Strength, Dynamism and Fidelity.

Notable players


Alejandro Morera Soto – Costa Rica's most historic soccer figure ever and the Alajuelense icon. Signed by FC Barcelona in 1932. Scored 63 goals in 76 games with the catalunia's team.

-Note: Froylan Ledezma Signed by AFC Ajax in 1997 for around 4,5 million euros. (Record for a Costa Rican Football player in that moment).

-Note: Bryan Ruiz Is currently the most valuable player for Costa Rica (15 million euros).


Retired numbers

20Costa Rica Mauricio Montero, defender (1985–1997)

Notable Coaches

-Note: Javier Delgado led LDA to several titles:



1928, 1939, 1941, 1945, 1949, 1950, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1970, 1971, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1990–91, 1991–92, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05, Invierno 2010, Verano 2011
  • Runner-up (20):
1930, 1938, 1944, 1952, 1957, 1962, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1972, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2007–08, 2008 (Apertura), 2009 (Clausura)

Costa Rican Short-Tournament Championships:

  • Apertura (5): 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2010
  • Clausura (6): 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008
  • Copa Argentor (1): 1928 (One of the oldest and important titles of Costa Rica, since in this tournament the clubs participated of first, second and third divisions of the country eliminating itself to each other)
  • Copa de Campeones del Futbol Nacional (1): 1967

Tournament Cups

  • 3 Costa Rican Great Britain Cup
  • 1 Costa Rican Tournament Cup
  • 2 Relampago Tournament
  • 1 Estadio Nacional Cup
  • 1 Borsalino Trophy
  • 1 Guatemala Cup
  • 1 Camel Cup


  • CONCACAF Champions' Cup: 2
1986, 2004
Runner-up (3): 1971, 1992, 1999
1996, 2002, 2005
Runner-up (2): 1999, 2000

LocationAmericas.pngInteramerican Cup: 0

Runner-up (1): 1986

Other Internacional Championships

1961: (Central American & Caribbean Champions)
1992: (Central American Champions)
2000: (Copa LG Uncaf (Panama) Champions)

Friendly Tournaments:

2004: Copa Taca de Campeon de Campeones de America, against Once Caldas (former Copa Libertadores Champion)

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Costa Rica GK Patrick Pemberton (3rd Captain)
2 Costa Rica DF Elías Palma
3 Costa Rica DF Geancarlo González
4 Costa Rica DF Kenner Gutierrez
5 Costa Rica MF Cristian Oviedo (2nd Captain)
6 Costa Rica DF Jose Salvatierra
7 Costa Rica MF Diego Calvo
8 Argentina DF Mauro Castro
10 Brazil MF Marcelo Sarvas
11 Costa Rica FW Alejandro Alpizar
12 Costa Rica MF Pablo Gabas (Captain)
13 Costa Rica MF Luis Miguel Valle
14 Costa Rica DF Cristopher Meneses
No. Position Player
16 Costa Rica DF Allen Guevara
17 Costa Rica MF Kevin Sancho
18 Costa Rica MF Fernando Sequeira
19 Costa Rica FW Jonathan McDonald
21 Costa Rica FW Argenis Fernández
23 Costa Rica GK Ivan García
24 Costa Rica DF Porfirio Lopez
25 Costa Rica DF Jhonny Acosta
26 Costa Rica MF Vianney Blanco
27 Costa Rica FW Alejandro Aguilar
28 Costa Rica MF Juan Gabriel Guzmán
29 Costa Rica MF Jorge Davies
32 Costa Rica GK Alfonso Quesada

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
30 Costa Rica FW Jean Carlos Solórzano (on loan at Melbourne Victory)


External links

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