Saturday was a disastrous day for US Soccer. Not only did the USMNT lose to Mexico and fail to qualify for the 2017 Confederations Cup, but the US U-23 team lost in the semi-finals of Olympic Qualifying to Honduras and now faces the possibility of missing the Olympics for the second time in a row. Saturday represents another major failure of Jurgen Klinsmann’s reign both as US manager and US Technical Director. With World Cup Qualifying beginning next month, the US needs to get their heads on straight after a soul crushing last minute defeat to archrival Mexico. That process begins with a friendly against Costa Rica.
The lone bright spot for the US from this weekend was the play of DeAndre Yedlin and Bobby Wood. Most of the starters played extremely poorly (with Jozy Altidore’s performance especially dire) and it was Yedlin and Wood who combined on the US second goal. With Klinsmann stating that most of the veteran players over the age of 30 can start expecting to be phased out, this friendly against Costa Rica provides an excellent opportunity for some of the younger players in the US pool to get some game time before the start of World Cup Qualifying.
Costa Rica comes into this game having endured a tumultuous year and a half since making the quarter-finals at the World Cup. They won the Copa Centroamericana in September of 2014 and not much has gone right since then. They have just one win in 2015, were eliminated from the Gold Cup by Mexico under dubious circumstances, and had Paulo Wanchope resign as their manager after he got into a fight in the stands at a Costa Rica youth team match. Most of the squad for this game are domestically based but some of the big guns are listed with Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas, defender Byran Oviedo of Everton, and Arsenal forward Joel Campbell all making the trip.
• The US is now winless in 4 of the last 5 games, all of which were on home soil.
• The US has not managed to score more than one goal against Costa Rica since 2009.
• Tuesday’s game at Red Bull Arena will be the sixth appearance at Red Bull Arena by a US team (Men’s and Women’s).
Red Bull Arena
Harrison, New Jersey
ESPN, UniMas and fuboTV.
Series even at 13-13-6
Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica
Costa Rica 3 USA 1
Next Game Up
USA vs. St. Vincent & the Grenadines
St. Louis, Missouri
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