HERRIMAN, Utah (Thursday, November 3, 2022) – As expected, Real Salt Lake defender Bryan Oviedo was named today to the Costa Rica roster for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Since arriving on the Wasatch Front in August, Oviedo has appeared in seven regular and postseason games for the Claret-and-Cobalt, starting five. Playing on both the left and right sides, in both a back four and as a winger in a back three setup, Oviedo notched both of his MLS assists in Real Salt Lake’s dominant MLS Cup Playoff-clinching 3-1 home win over Portland on “Decision Day.”
Sixteen of Oviedo’s 71 total appearances for the Costa Rican international side have come during the 2021-22 calendar years, as Oviedo helped "Los Ticos" qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, starting and playing a full 90 in the mid-June playoff against New Zealand, Costa Rica winning 1-0 to advance to Group E, which also includes Germany, Spain and Japan. Dates and local (MT) times for Oviedo and Costa Rica’s very difficult Group Stage matches in Qatar are as follows, with all games televised via FOX or Fox Sports 1 (English), Telemundo (Spanish) or streaming via the Fox Sports and Peacock apps:
• Wed., Nov. 23 – Costa Rica v Spain (9a MT)
• Sun., Nov. 27 – Costa Rica v Japan (3a MT)
• Thu., Dec. 1 – Costa Rica v Germany (12 noon MT)
Oviedo joins a glut of past Real Salt Lake players to have represented Utah on the world stage during the five FIFA World Cup competitions completed during the Club’s 18-year existence. Should he appear with Costa Rica in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Oviedo will become one of just six RSL players to participate in a FIFA World Cup, joining Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando (United States, 2014), Robbie Findley (United States, 2010), Eddie Pope (United States, 2006) and Douglas Sequeira (Costa Rica, 2006). A seventh RSL player, Alvaro Saborio, was named to Costa Rica’s 2014 World Cup roster, but broke a bone in his foot just prior to the Brazil tourney. RSL Academy product Carlos Salcedo represented Mexico in the 2018 Russian tournament but was not an active Real Salt Lake player at the time.
Prior to joining Real Salt Lake late this Summer, Oviedo arrived on the Wasatch Front with 12 Club seasons and 186 games played in England and Denmark, representing such storied clubs as Everton, Sunderland, Copenhagen and Nordsjælland.
Oviedo appeared in just seven games as a teenager with legendary side Saprissa before moving to FC Copenhagen from 2010-12 for 30 appearances, with another 14 matches on loan to Nordsjælland in 2011. Oviedo won five trophies with Copenhagen in just two years, helping clinch the 2009-10 and 2012-13 Danish Superliga trophies, and the 2010-11 and 2011-12 Danish Super Cup titles.
From 2012-17, Oviedo made 50 appearances with Everton FC in England, including scoring an 86th-minute game-winner away at Manchester United in 2013, giving Everton its first win at Old Trafford in 21 years. Oviedo’s 2014 season was lost – as was his 2014 Costa Rican World Cup candidacy – after suffering a broken leg in Everton’s fourth-round FA Cup tie against Stevenage.
During the early 2017 winter window, Oviedo made a permanent move to Sunderland AFC, where he made 70 appearances and scored twice before returning to Copenhagen in the Summer window of 2019. When his contract expired with the Danish side in June 2022, Oviedo had made 33 appearances for Copenhagen, helping his club qualify for UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2017-18.
Oviedo is the first Costa Rican to represent RSL since FW Alvaro Saborio (2010-15, 63 goals in 127 matches) in 2015 and just the fifth overall to play with the Utah side. Others were MF Douglas Sequeira (2006, 1 goal in 18 matches), FW Jafet Soto (2006, 1 goal in 8 matches) and DF Daniel Torres (2006-07, 26 matches). There are currently eight Costa Ricans playing in Major League Soccer, making Oviedo the ninth. Including Oviedo, four play in the Western Conference, including Julio Cascante (Austin FC), Randall Leal (Nashville SC) and Marvin Loria (Portland Timbers)
#36 – Bryan Oviedo
Pronunciation: BRY-an oh-VEE-eh-doh
Hometown: San José, Costa Rica
Date of Birth: 18 February 1990 (32)
Nationality: Costa Rican
How Acquired: Signed with Real Salt Lake as a free agent on Thursday, August 4, 2022
Utah’s Major League Soccer side returns in early January 2023, as RSL’s preseason preparations in Utah and Arizona advance the Club’s 19th regular-season kickoff on the weekend of Saturday, February 25 to kick off the 28thMLS campaign. Over the past two seasons, RSL has earned an 18W-7L-9T home record at what is now known as America First Field in Sandy, setting a new Club mark in 2022 with 17 sellout crowds in as many MLS contests at the 14-year-old venue.
2023 Season Tickets can be purchased at www.RSL.com/tickets, or by calling 844.Real.Tix.