Arrieta eyes Costa Rica call-up for October qualifiers
Columbus Crew forward Jairo Arrieta has gotten the call.
Costa Rica national team manager Jorge Luis Pinto has recently been in touch with Arrieta to let him know that he has been keeping an eye on his MLS performances.
"This happened a day or two before the last call-ups for the two games against Mexico," Arrieta told the latest edition of the FutbolMLS.com podcast Tiro Libre. "He spoke to me and told me that he was watching me and observing me and that he knew I was at a good level of play and he was evaluating me and my work here."
Arrieta says he only has three caps under Pinto, all coming in friendlies. He is hoping he will be counted on to help Costa Rica in the final round of must-win group matches they face in October with the hexagonal on the line. Los Ticos currently sit in third place in their qualifying group, one point behind El Salvador.
"I hope to God that he trusts in me and he takes me into account in these two games," Arrieta said. "But if not, I'll just keep working for my club."
That club needs the 29-year-old Arrieta to keep up the form he has shown since joining MLS. The ex-Saprissa player, who will face former club teammate Josué Martínez on Saturday when the Philadelphia Union visit (7:30 pm ET, streamed LIVE online), has registered six goals and four assists in his 14 league matches, helping the Crew to within a point of the fifth and final playoff spot.
Columbus now play three of their final four matches at home, where Arrieta has three goals and three assists.
"I didn't need a lot of time to adapt in MLS — thank God it was like this," said Arrieta, who made his MLS debut on July 14. "The truth is that I worked well physically before getting here and physically I'm good. I didn't need much time and I've adapted quickly and have been able to provide goals and assists.
"Things have worked out and we're fighting to get into the playoffs," continued Arrieta. "We have a great chance and hopefully we can win the games that are left. And if we win, we have a great chance to qualify."