The World Cup is ominously close! So that you aren't caught offside (they have that in soccer, right?), we're previewing all the participants, bringing you Four Things You Don't Know About Them. If you have a tidbit, send it along to tips@Deadspin.com. Today: Costa Rica! And for World Cup previews that are even better than ours, check out That's On Point, who helped us with these as well.
• 1. Not Quite A Guarantee To Win, But Close. In case you're debating whether to attend the WC opener between Costa Roca and Germany, Costa Rica's head coach Alexandre Guimares pledged recently that his team would play the "best game of their history." So that should put your doubts to rest. Costa Rica and Germany are joined in Group A by Poland and Ecuador. The Ticos are a solid, respected team, but got draw into an impossible group with the hosts and a very decent Poland team. All in all, they're a team thats just happy to have qualified.
• 2. Another Hallowed Kenny G. Record Is Gone. The world record for a musician holding a single note is held by Costa Rican saxophonist Geovanny Escalante of the famed local band Marfíl, which has played in Costa Rica for many years (like we had to tell you). In 1998, the then 24-year-old artist held a steady 'A' for 90 minutes and 45 seconds, almost twice as long as the previous record held by the US saxophonist Kenny G. — (thanks to LonelyPlanet).
• 3. They Subscribe To Chaos Theory. The fictitious islands from Jurassic Park were off the cost of Costa Rica. And on clear days from certain mountains you can see both the Pacific and the Carribean at the same time. — (thanks to Mike Cardillo).
• 4. Wanchope Could Hold They Key. Or Not. Paulo Wanchope is the Ticos' one true World Class talent. But he's something of an enigma, having had an up-and-down career in England, helping Man City up to the Prem, but then being sold off to Malaga in Spain, where he was the subject of bitter racial abuse. He now plays in the Qatari league, so who knows what kind of form he'll be in for Germany. — (thanks to Mike Cardillo).