Kenneth Vargas to stake his Copa America claim as one of four Hearts men called up ahead of a big tournament

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The forward is on course for a busy summer with his country

Kenneth Vargas is the fourth Hearts player called up for international duty this month after being named in the Costa Rica squad. He is included in a 32-man pool named by coach Gustavo Alfaro for a training camp and three friendly matches.

Vargas enjoyed a fine debut season at Tynecastle Park after arriving on loan from CS Herediano. He scored nine goals and claimed four assists from 42 appearances for Hearts and the club converted his loan into a permanent transfer in March.

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The forward also made the breakthrough at international level and now has four caps in total. He faces an intense few weeks as Costa Rica prepare for next month’s Copa America with three friendly games. They host Uruguay in San Jose on 31 May before the visit of Saint Kitts and Nevis six days later. Then they travel to Grenada on 9 June.

Vargas and his compatriots begin their Copa America group stage campaign on 24 June against Brazil in California. They are in a difficult section with other experienced South American nations Colombia and Paraguay.

Vargas joins the Scotland triumvirate Craig Gordon, Zander Clark and Lawrence Shankland in being selected for his country. Those three are in Steve Clarke’s squad ahead of the European Championship in Germany. All four will hope to make the final squads for their respective nations and take part in major finals over the next few weeks.

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