Across the Caribbean Sea, the 21-year old Matarrita starred for Costa Rican powerhouse Alajuelense, where he got his first taste of MLS from playing D.C. United and Montreal Impact in CONCACAF Champion’s League play in 2015. His high level of play prompted an offer from New York City FC and a call to play for the Costa Rican national team. He has seen a meteoric rise at left back for Costa Rica, receiving eight caps since his first call up in September 2015. Following the team’s run to the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup, Costa Rica has dominated 2018 World Cup qualifying play thus far, going undefeated through four matches with Matarrita starting every game. In upcoming Copa America action, Costa Rica will rely heavily on the young defender when they face heavyweights Paraguay, Colombia and the United States in group play.
Lawrence and the Red Bulls next travel to take on D.C. United at RFK Stadium in Viernes de Futbol action on Friday, May 13 (7:00 p.m. ET, UniMás), while Matarrita and New York City FC head west to take on defending MLS Cup champion Portland Timbers at Providence Park on Sunday, May 15 (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1/FOX Deportes).
The two players will then meet for the first time in the highly anticipated Heineken Rivalry Week match at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, May 21 (3 p.m. ET, FOX).