USMNT: Hard Times in Costa Rica
No sugar coating it, last night was bad.
It looked more like Costa Rica was the team riding the 12 game winning streak with all the confidence in the world. Riding the raucous crowd it was 2-0 before the USMNT had a chance to get their feet set beneath them. Once Klinsmann’s squad was able to steady themselves there were plenty of chances to get back into the game, but in the end it was only the one PK that was finished and Costa Rica made sure to finish off the game.
So what happened to bring about such a perfect storm against the red, white, and blue? Well there more than a few reasons/excuses/places to point the blame when looking over the debacle that was last night.
Michael Bradley’s injury just before kickoff caused the team to not be able to settle in to the game right away.
In Brad Evans’ absence, Michael Orozco Fiscal was the wrong choice to fill the right back spot.
The USMNT strategy was far too open for an away CONCACAF qualifier.
Without a true target striker up top there was no presence to the attack.
The team was ill prepared to deal with such a hostile environment.
DaMarcus Beasley can’t let a goal go between him and the post on a corner kick.
Tim Howard should have come out on the second goal.
The passing all over the midfield was sloppy.
Matt Beasler fell asleep on the third goal.
The ref was biased towards the USMNT’s next match against his home country, Mexico.
And I could really continue to go on and on of all the reasons I have seen on various forms of social media, but I’m going to leave it at those that were most common.
Are any of these really the reason that the USMNT was run out of San Jose? No, but it was a combination of them that really did in the national team. None of the USMNT players really stood out. Every single player was at fault for sloppy passing, lack of execution, and just being outplayed overall. In sports though it is key to have a very short memory. This is the same squad that will need to turn things around when they take on Mexico in Columbus on Tuesday night.
The only carry over from last night to Tuesday night will be the suspensions due to yellow card accumulation. Jozy Altidore, Geoff Cameron, and Matt Besler all picked up their second yellow card of the Hexagonal and will be forced to sit out the next match. There has been much talk of the mystery Besler yellow and there are rumors of the US Soccer Federation appealing the suspension if they have a good enough replay that shows there was no contact between the players. Depending on that appeal Klinsmann will be without his top striker (Altidore), top midfielder (depending on Bradley’s injury), one of his starting center backs (Besler), and the player that would have replaced either the defender of midfielder (Cameron).
It will be a busy weekend for those involved with the USMNT as they gather themselves and look ahead. You can do the same with our USMNT vs Mexico preview coming up at the beginning of next week! In the meantime, here are the current standings after all of last nights games. Feel free to let us know in the comments what your take aways from the USMNT/Costa Rica game were and what you are expecting from them on Tuesday against Mexico.
CONCACAF Hexagonal Standings After 7 of 10 Games
1. Costa Rica – 4 W – 2 D – 1 L – 14 pts – +6 Goal Differential
2. United States – 4 W – 1 D – 2 L – 13 Pts – +2 GD
3. Honduras – 3 W – 1 D – 3 L – 10 Pts – 0 GD
4. Mexico – 1 W – 5 D – 1 L – 8 Pts – 0 GD
5. Panama – 1 W – 4 D – 2 L – 7 Pts – -2 GD
6. Jamaica – 0 W – 3 D – 4 L – 3 Pts – -6 GD