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World Cup Qualifying

USA vs. Costa Rica: SBI Match Night Commentary

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By IVES GALARCEP

COMMERCE CITY, Colo.– It might sound strange for the second match of a 10-match tournament to be considered “Must-win” but that is what the U.S. Men’s National Team faces tonight when they take on Costa Rica at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park tonight (10pm, ESPN/UniMas).

Amid a swirl of controversy surrounding the team following the publishing of a scathing article by the Sporting News, which included several unnamed national team players allegedly criticizing Jurgen Klinsmann’s coaching methods and claiming divisions in the locker room, the U.S. team has had to fend off that distraction and prepare for a match with a team missing several players due to injuries and lack of playing time on the club level.

The list of absences is considerable. Tim Howard, Fabian Johnson, Timmy Chandler, Carlos Bocanega, Steve Cherundolo, Michael Parkhurst, Jose Torres and Danny Williams are all missing the match, leaving Klinsmann to try and build a patch-work defense capable of containing Costa Rica’s attack.

SBI will be providing live commentary from tonight’s match, as well as a two-hour pre-game tailgate, so feel free to join us before the match, and during the match, to talk all things USMNT as well as all about tonight’s showdown in Colorado.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions, before and during the match, after the jump.

Enjoy the action (and join us on the SBI Match Night Commentary after the jump):

241 comments
  • Mig

    The worst part of this win is that it is random and doesn’t provide the test that Klinsman should have had to face. If he lost, you can’t fire him because this is stupid. If he wins, everybody says “Oh, it’s all good” without ever having a legitimate win.

    This is the worst thing for the US in terms of having a clear picture of where things are. No tactics required, random results, what does this mean? yeah, we get the points but are we any good? No way to say.

    Like

    • Old School

      Would you go have a nice cold glass of water and wash away your negativity?

      Every post you’ve made tonight is bitching about something. Out of curiosity, were you one of the “anonymous” sources, too?

      Like

      • Old School

        Would you go have a nice cold glass of water and wash away your negativity?

        Every post you’ve made tonight is whining about something. Out of curiosity, were you one of the “anonymous” sources, too?

        Like

    • David JS

      if the complaints were that Klinsmann’s team had lost the “American style” of winning with sheer effort and determination, maybe this game was just what they needed to remember what it’s like to win a game that wasn’t going to be decided on ‘beautiful’ play and skill.

      Like

      • Old School

        Mig is simply looking for something to complain about.

        Both teams played in the conditions, on the surface and through the chaos.

        One team took 3 points.

        Like

      • Mig

        I know you’re excited and and you’re a JK fan. That’s cool. But to take anything away from this 1-0 win on a good bounce in these conditions just means we don’t know anything about the team. It was random “One team took 3 points.” the other gets zero from no fault of their own.

        Like

      • Old School

        I’m a JK fan because I’m not looking for something negative to say every post?

        Ok, guy.

        Don’t project because you’re innately unhappy…with, I don’t know, everything.

        Like

      • Mig

        dude, you look for an argument all the time on this board. You don’t like my take on this game, fine. But let’s be clear, I am not rooting against the US (or even their coach), I just think the the test that JK has to face eventually was not faced tonight and that this is meaningless as an assessment. Tha’ts all.

        Like

      • GW

        Mig,

        Here;s what I know about this team.

        They have three points now.

        Anything else is irrelevant because that three points just bought the US some time.

        These games aren’t about learning somethiing. They are about getting points anyhow, anyway, anywhere.

        Like

      • Mig

        David JS, that is a very reasonable tack to take. There is an argument for this win being gritty (I think it was just random but there is plenty of argument for it being tough). So yeah, I like the points and I like that the US played HARD tonight. Cheers,

        Like

    • Kosh

      Dear Lord…seriously? Right now?

      You see how its hard for everyone right now and we got 3 points on a tough night. 3 points!!

      Man.

      Like

      • Kosh

        Let’s hear it for the 12th man tonight – the grounds crew. They helped us in a big way on an ugly night.

        Cheers!

        Like

      • Old School

        In fairness to the website, perhaps the snow covered the lines of where this post should have gone too.

        Come on grounds crew! Posts are going random places!

        Like

    • TomG

      I don’t know about MOTM but I must admit I was completely wrong about DMB. I thought it was crazy to play him at lb. he was awesome.

      Like

      • cps

        I was worried too but DMB is solid. After today he’s a no-brainer to start at LB at the Azteca. Don’t have to worry about him being intimidated.

        Like

  • PD

    fantastic effort. Goodson and Omar looked solid, as did DMB. Tremendous team effort.

    Like

  • A.S.

    Gotta say, win or no, this game should not have been played. Not a fair test of the 2 teams.

    I’m glad they won though.

    Like

    • David JS

      I agree that what happened was ridiculous, but they wouldn’t have been able to play in Denver for at least a week. If they postponed it and played in another city in a couple days, then both teams have 2 qualifiers in 3 days in addition to the extra travel. I’m not sure there was a better solution than just pushing thru the 90 minutes tonight. My only guess would be after they saw the forecast for a snowstorm, maybe move up the kickoff time to earlier today but that wouldn’t have been without problems also. Just was a difficult spot for all involved.

      Like

      • matt

        So it is ok to play in 98 degree weather with 90%+ humidity, but not in the snow? The heat is way more dangerous. Further, both teams (much to Costa Rica’s credit) wanted to continue the match. Stop looking for excuses and reasons to be negative.

        Like

      • Kosh

        No matt, because, you see, things going our way = bad.

        Forget the conditions when Honduras won – just how bad we were and the doom and gloom end of the world. Now, forget the conditions when we win – the game should have never been played.

        Sheesh!!

        Like

      • Nate Dollars

        you might have a point if someone had played in those conditions. i’m assuming you’re talking about the Honduras game, where conditions where not nearly that bad.

        the point is, it is fairly common to play games in heat and humidity, but not in a snowstorm.

        Like

    • TomG

      But it was sooooo cooool! How often do you get to see a big game in a full on blizzard?

      Like

  • Kosh

    Gonzo looked so much better than Cameron out there tonight. They all played pretty well out there.

    DMB!!!
    :)

    Like

  • Petaluman

    Hopefully they can take something from this and get a result in Mexico. That game will be a completely different world.

    Like

  • Mc

    So, is anyone mentioning that we completely sucked in the second half?
    “well, the conditions were…blah blah blah”
    Costa Rica totally outplayed us for about 60 minutes. Same weather for both teams.
    That needs to be addressed.

    Like

    • Casey

      Did you happen to mention no fouls were being called? Saborio was up to his old tricks. But let’s complain shall we….

      Like

      • Mc

        I won’t disagree there, every call was against us it seemed. True, true.

        Like

    • Kosh

      Not unless soccer is played for 105 min. I am not sure where you’re getting 60 min of being outplayed as we owned the 1st half.

      However, there were stoppages in the second so I guess I can see where your 60 min is coming from.

      Now we are going for style points. Bet you all the teams that had 1 point tonight would love 3. But I am with you – we are Brazil and we should have DOMINATED that game.

      Give me a break!

      Like

    • Mc

      I’ll let your win hangover subside so you can then understand what I am saying. I’m happy we won, too.

      Like

      • Casey

        What hangover? What game were you watching? At times there was just dirty play. But keep ignoring it.

        Like

      • Old School

        The US had a goal lead in chaotic conditions.

        Those stats are skewed and don’t reveal anything other than one team was down, and one team was up.

        Like

      • Kosh

        I think we should give Costa Rica 0.5 points and take 2.5 points because they possibly lead us in every other stat EXCEPT the one that mattered.

        Like

      • Mc

        True, true. I just wanted to see better passing, more possession in the second half. Maybe impossible in those conditions, but Costa Rica seemed much more dangerous. All I’m saying. Seems like we were pretty careless for the last 30. And for god sakes, I just want EJ to chase down one ball.

        Like

    • GW

      “So, is anyone mentioning that we completely sucked in the second half?
      “well, the conditions were…blah blah blah”
      Costa Rica totally outplayed us for about 60 minutes.I”

      Well then , I guess its a good thing the US beat them in the first half and then held them scoreless in the second half.

      We scored one more goal than they did and that means the US wins.

      Like

      • Mc

        And I am very happy about that. I’ll ease up on the criticism. My apologies.

        Like

    • DCisforboners

      Cool sarcasm bro. In all seriousness I’m sick of the rampant negativity that’s come out of the walls since the Hex began. The team won’t be in the top 3 in the group without a ton or work. We’re going to have to scrap to qualify. Welcome to a region where there is parity between the teams, as there is in most of the world. It’s not going to be easy, and it shouldn’t be easy. But winning in this more difficult group is going to give us a better change of making it through to the quarters of the world cup. That’s the goal.

      Like

  • Andrew In Tally

    Man of the Match. DMB. by a long shot. Troubling that after scoring early we didn’t create more chances late. Gomez had a poor game by his standards. Our crossing improved in the second half but the lack of a decent cross by Zusi and Cameron in the first half hurt our chances to get good shots. Would like to see Dempsey have more impact on the game. For long stretches in the second half his name was not called. Good energy by Jozy. The goal with come on Tuesday.
    And is was good to win. I shouldn’t be ungrateful

    Like

    • byrdman

      Bradley turned the ball over numerous times. Second bad game in a row for MB in my opinion. But conditions cause me to grant a pass for this one. really curious to see Tuesday’s trip to Azteca. Maybe the friendly win will allow guys to play with abandon and confidence.

      Like

    • Old School

      “Man of the Match. DMB. by a long shot.”

      Sorry, Goodson was lights out and stopped so many attacks and a point blank free kick. DMB played much better than I anticipated, so a lot of credit to him.

      “Troubling that after scoring early we didn’t create more chances late”

      May or may not have been due to the….blizzard…and the fact that we already had a goal.

      Like

    • D

      This is absolutely hilarious that anyone can nitpick about the technical side of this game…anyone who’s had to play competively in harsh conditions understands.
      Poor Crosses? Are you serious? There was 4″ of snow on the ground!
      Herc played great. So did Dempsey. Zusi and Cameron did their job. The only thing that you can be upset about is that we TRIED to play soccer at any point in this game.
      We won. Step off.

      Like

  • byrdman

    I am really disappointed in all the negative comments. MIG especially. Why is it ok for Honduras to play their home games on a glorified cow pasture where you can’t settle the ball, or evidently find the lawn mower. But for the US to try to take advantage of cold weather is shameful. The snow storm was terrible. Who controls that?

    How bout we SHUT UP and enjoy the effort from both teams. Gutsy, and for the most part classy. I’m not sure why Costa Rica encouraged the ref to continue play (maybe because of future fatigue in their home game next), but I am encouraged that all of CONCACAF does not dive, play the darker side of the game, etc….

    Good night and enjoy the weekend.

    Like

  • Andy Moonyock

    As far as I’m concerned, good on us. It’s called gamesmanship. Mexico has the azteca, Ecuador and bolivia has the altitude, to name but a few conmebol countries with advantages that are implicit. Lets go to the Azteca and let Herc run wild. COYY

    Like

  • natsalways

    We’ll all remember this game. Whether we remember it for the snow or as the game that turned this qualifying tournament around for the US remains to be seen.

    Now the playing of this game at altitude comes into play for the US. They should actually have better lungs than the Mexican team in Azteca because they have been at altitude for this whole week.

    When we went into Azteca last year and won it was with a patchwork lineup. We could see a very similar bunch on the field for the US this time around…against a desperate Mexico. Could it actually finally be the time we beat Mexico away in WCQ?

    Finally, I am not ready to buy into JK’s system just yet. But I don’t have to…if the boys do, then it could be a historic Tuesday.

    At least, I’ll be praying for that for the next 4 days.

    Like

  • D

    There’s a lack of credit here. Weather is part of the game..yeah, usually note accumilating snow, but understanding the conditions and knowing your role. We actually played good soccer in the beginnning when we probably shouldn’t have.
    Our organization was good. The backline looked great considering all that they were up against. And Guzan played very well for this type of weather.It takes a certain talent to win a game like that. It’s a talent that the US has been missing for a bit…might help us in the long run.

    Like

  • Rick

    Great game by the USA. I thought is was a pretty cleaver move to play the Costa Ricans in the snow knowing that the condition won’t suite them.:) I can see the return game playing mid-day in 100 degrees heat..

    Like

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