Former United States national coach Steve Sampson has arrived in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, to sign a four-year deal to manage the national side.

Sampson, who was in charge of the US at the 1998World Cup in France, has agreed the final details of a deal worth almost œ1million. He will take charge of the Ticos’ qualifying campaign for the 2006 World Cup.

“I am very proud to be here and I understand the great responsibility that I will have in Costa Rica,” Sampson said.

“We will start working immediately.”

Alexandre Guimaraes, coach at the 2002 World Cup, turned down a contract extension after claiming that local officials made too many demands on him, such as supervising Costa Rica’s youth teams.

Guimaraes’ assistant Rodrigo Kenton will remain in temporary charge for an exhibition match against Ecuador on November 20. Sampson will start work on December 1.

Sampson is the first American coach to take charge of a foreign national side.