Joseph Mora

Joseph Martín Mora Cortéz (born 15 January 1993) is a Costa Rican footballer who plays as a defender for D.C. United in Major League Soccer.

Joseph Mora
Personal information
Full name Joseph Martín Mora Cortéz
Date of birth (1993-01-15) 15 January 1993
Place of birth Carrizal, Costa Rica
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
D.C. United
Number 28
Youth career
–2011 Alajuelense
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2011–2012 Belén 15 (1)
2012–2013 Uruguay de Coronado 11 (0)
2013–2015 Belén 41 (0)
2015–2018 Saprissa 73 (1)
2018– D.C. United 50 (0)
National team
2009 Costa Rica U17 3 (0)
2011–2013 Costa Rica U20 20 (1)
2014 Costa Rica U21 3 (0)
2011–2015 Costa Rica U22 9 (0)
2015 Costa Rica U23 3 (0)
2018– Costa Rica 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12:10, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12:30, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

Club career

Early career

Mora made his senior debut with Belén in Costa Rica, at the end of the 2011 Invierno. He finished the year with 15 appearances, including a run of 11 starts in the Verano tournament. After the season, Mora moved to C.S. Uruguay, who were promoted from the second division. He made 10 appearances in the Invierno as Uruguay finished three points from qualifying for the second stage, but made just one appearance in the Verano and returned to Belén after the season. The 2013–14 season would be his best with Belén, as he made 34 appearances with the club, including 21 out of 22 in the Invierno.


In advance of the 2015 Verano, Mora was signed by Costa Rican giants Deportivo Saprissa, who were just coming off a tournament victory in the Invierno. Mora made his debut on March 2 against UCR, and would go on to make 4 appearances in the league that season with Saprissa. He also tallied his first CONCACAF Champions League appearance, coming off the bench against Mexican side Club América at the Estadio Azteca. Saprissa qualified for the second stage by finishing first in the Verano, but lost to Alajuelense in a reversal of the events which occurred in the Invierno. After the season, Mora was invited to train with Polish club Legia Warsaw, but he remained with Saprissa.[1] Mora was unused by Saprissa the following season until December while he was away with Costa Rica's olympic qualifying team.[2] He appeared in the club's final two games of the season, and following the suspension center-back Andrés Imperiale due to yellow card accumulation, Mora was given an opportunity to start in the second leg of the semifinal against Herediano.[3] Saprissa lost 2–0, but advanced to the final against Alajuelense. Mora came off the bench in the first leg to replace Imperiale, and Saprissa would go on to win their 32nd league title. An injury early in the following campaign to regular left-back Francisco Calvo opened the door for Mora, and he was given a run of 7 starts by manager Carlos Watson, who was his former manager at Uruguay.[4] Mora was given one more start the rest of the season, but an injury to Calvo allowed Mora to appear in the second stage against Alajuelense. However, Mora picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the first leg, and was suspended for the second leg as Saprissa bowed out of the competition.

Mora appeared in 11 games in the 2016 Invierno, and appeared 4 times in the first season of the league's new format, the quadrangular, which Saprissa won. As regular season champions, Saprissa did not have to play in a two-legged final, and directly won their 33rd league title. Mora also appeared in two of La S's group stage matches in the CONCACAF Champions League, as Saprissa advanced past Portland Timbers of MLS and C.D. Dragón of El Salvador. Following Calvo's departure to Minnesota United, Mora began the 2017 Verano as Saprissa's left-back. He picked up an injury on February 5 against Alajuelense, but he returned to fitness in time to face CF Pachuca in the quarterfinals of the Champions League on February 22.[5][6] The first leg finished 0–0, although Saprissa had a claim for a penalty when Mora was taken down in the area by Érick Aguirre[7] Mora would miss the quarterfinal due to injury, and ended up missing the next five league matches before returning on March 24 against UCR. Mora finished with 14 appearances in the first stage, which Saprissa won, and started the first five matches of the quadrangular, picking up an injury against Herediano.[8] He recovered in time for the second leg of the final against Herediano, but was substituted off as Saprissa lost 5–0 on aggregate.[9] Mora would make 14 appearances the following season, including scoring his first goal for the club against Liberia on November 19. He made 5 appearances in the now renamed Clausura, in addition to starting both legs of their Champions League duel with Club América before making his move to the United States.

D.C. United

Mora was acquired by Major League Soccer side D.C. United on March 7, 2018, joining former Saprissa teammate Ulises Segura, who was signed in December.[10] Interested in Mora earlier in the offseason, United had to wait for Saprissa's Champions League hopes to fade, which happened after they lost the first leg against América 4–0.[11] His touch, athleticism, and attacking prowess all lauded by the club, United were keen to incorporate Mora, and he was inserted as the team's left-back ahead of Oniel Fisher after less than two weeks of training, making his debut on March 17 against Houston Dynamo. Mora was sent off in his sixth game for the club, coming on May 12 against Real Salt Lake.[12] Following his suspension, Mora was left on the bench by manager Ben Olsen, but was immediately called into action when Nick DeLeon picked up what ended up being a long-term knee injury against Los Angeles FC on May 27.[13] Mora started the team's final 20 games at left-back, as D.C. United surged to a fifth place finish in the Eastern Conference on the back of their long run of home games at the new Audi Field and their summer acquisition of former England forward Wayne Rooney. D.C. United lost in the first round of the playoffs against Columbus Crew SC on penalties.

On March 31st, Joseph's jaw was broken during a game against Orlando City SC. After nearly out for three months, Mora finally returned to the field for D.C. United in a U.S. Open Cup game against the Philadelphia Union on June 12, 2019.

International career

Mora was appeared in the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup and the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup, starting all of the team's matches in both tournaments. He also appeared in the 2011 CONCACAF U-20 Championship which served as the qualifying tournament for the U-20 World Cup. Costa Rica advanced to the final of that tournament against Mexico, and Mora scored the opening goal of the match. Costa Rica conceded a minute later, and Mexico went on to win 3–1.[14] Mora's third tournament of 2011 would be the Pan American Games, in which Costa Rica finished fourth. Mora played with the under-21 team at the 2013 Central American Games in Costa Rica, as the hosts finished runners-up to Honduras. Mora was not included in the squad for the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, but did appear in the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz as Costa Rica went out in the group stage. Mora played in the 2015 Toulon Tournament with Costa Rica, who did not advance out of the group stage. Mora took part in Costa Rica's attempt to qualify for the Olympics in 2016. They advanced out of Central American qualifying zone, but fell in the group stage at the CONCACAF Qualifying Championship.

Having amassed 38 youth caps, Mora was given his first senior call-up for a set of friendlies in November against Chile and Peru.[15] He made his debut against Chile, coming on as a late substitute for Rónald Matarrita.


  1. Grzelak, Krystian (27 July 2015). "JOSEPH MORA BĘDZIE TRENOWAŁ Z LEGIĄ". Legia Warsaw.
  2. "Andrés Imperiale suma dos partidos seguidos sin jugar". Bolivisión. September 28, 2015.
  3. Calderón, Miguel (December 14, 2015). "En Saprissa dicen que el peor error sería ir a defenderse al Rosabal Cordero". La Nación.
  4. Jiménez, Daniel (February 19, 2016). "Joseph Mora le lleva la delantera a Francisco Calvo en puja por titularidad para el clásico". La Nación.
  5. Mendoza, Adrián (February 10, 2017). "Lesiones, salidas y retiros afectan al Saprissa". CR Hoy.
  6. Castro, Felipe (February 15, 2017). "Marvin Angulo y Joseph Mora estarán listos para enfrentar al Pachuca". Teletica.
  7. Segura, Geovanny (February 22, 2017). "Joseph Mora sin palabras ante un penal que solo el árbitro no vio". La Prensa.
  8. "Saprissa esperará hasta lo último a Joseph Mora". Monumental. May 16, 2017.
  9. Fonseca, Graciela (May 21, 2017). "Así alinean Saprissa y Herediano en la Final Nacional". CR Hoy.
  11. Goff, Steven (March 16, 2018). "D.C. United waited to land Joseph Mora. Now it's hurrying to get him in the starting 11". The Washington Post.
  12. Goff, Steven (May 12, 2018). "United scores first — then it goes downhill in a hurry in 3-2 loss to Real Salt Lake". The Washington Post.
  13. Goff, Steven (May 27, 2018). "Darren Mattocks's late goal gives D.C. United a 1-1 draw at 10-man Los Angeles FC". The Washington Post.
  14. "Mexico reclaim another crown". FIFA. April 11, 2011.
  15. Murillo Arce, Rodrigo (November 16, 2018). "¡Bajo la mirada del jefe!". Diario Extra.
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