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USMNT 1, Costa Rica 3: Match Highlights

Jermaine Jones

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The U.S. Men’s National Team saw their streak of 12 consecutive wins come to an end on Friday night as Costa Rica proved too much in San Jose, defeating the Americans, 3-1, at Estadio Nacional.

Two goals in ten minutes from Costa Rica doomed the USMNT as the visitors had to make due without the sudden loss of Michael Bradley in the lineup. Clint Dempsey cut the two-goal deficit in half with when he converted a penalty kick in the 43rd minute, but it wasn’t enough for the U.S. to earn points against a highly emotional and driven squad.

In addition to the defeat, Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron, and Jozy Altidore all were shown yellow cards during the match, ruling them out for Tuesday’s dual with Mexico in Columbus due to yellow card accumulation.

Here are the match highlights (after the jump):


  1. Worst game by Howard in a long time. He should not have conceded two of those goals. Foul on Fabian could have been a rd on the goalie for Costa Rica. He was close to be he last defender.

  2. The USMNT has been very fotunate that Costa Rica was the first team to expose the gaping weakness at outside back. I really don’t know who JK should start. Can’t believe how sorely missed Evans is at this moment. Evans and Beasley have clearly overachieved. I never would have guessed. I think JK pretty much has to go with Cameron or Parkhurst at right back, but neither is fast enough to plug the hole….and you can bet your… that Mexico will be loading the wings with speed. It’s a shame that FJ is simultaneously one of the most consistent attackers and one of very few options at left back.
    If this depleted squad comes out in the 4231 again, I will have no choice but to assume JK is incompetent. I hope he is kissing LIchaj’s butt about now.
    A combination of my hope and JK history
    EJ/2 with AJ at the slightest issue.

  3. Remember how most USMNT fans were talking after the loss to Honduras in February? I don’t understand how we’re basically back to that kind of talk. We had one bad game, both as a team and most of the players on the field. The string of positive results we’ve gotten since February still stands (even omitting the Belize and Cuba games). Our depth chart is the same as it was on Friday morning. We now have some adversity that we have to deal with. So what? Lets learn from the defeat and get ready for Mexico (a team in panic mode, compared to us). JK prolly made some bad calls, but he doesn’t go from great coach to village idiot in 90 minutes. We’ll be fine. This winnings streak was gonna end sooner or later. That’s mostly irrelevant to our goal of qualifying.

  4. I hate to complain about our goal, but why-oh-why put Dempsey on the PK spot? That is not his strength at all. He is about misdirection and opportunity. I’m not fully confident in Donovan either, but only because I have seen him miss a number of them (not sure of his percentage or recent PK form). Do others agree? Did we have better options?

  5. AJ

    Only 2 surprises would be Beasley for AJ which moves EJ up top and FJ to left mid and Beasley leftback. And if klinns keeps orozco for park. Also wouldn’t be surprised to see a Dempsey Donovan Zusi midfield.

  6. Let’s hope for a miraculous recovery for Bradley in time for Mexico.

    It might not be realistic, but after the hole he put himself in, If I were JK, I’d try these things:

    1. MB (fingers crossed) at DMid with Mix ahead of him.

    2. Jones as a CB, where he’s played before (infrequently) for Schalke. Brooks beside him.

    Fabian – Mix – Bradley – Bedoya
    Beasley – Brooks – Jones – Parkhurst

    • Jones can’t stay deep when he’s playing D-mid. I’d be frightened of him completely leaving the CB role and surging upfield.

      • Has Jones ever played as a wingback? He seems like he has the tools…. (Looking for a way to get rid of Beasley).

  7. Best thing that could have happened to the US in a way, a snap back to reality. Worse thing was Altidore getting himself a dumb yellow to be out for the Mexico game.

  8. It’s easy to be the Monday Morning QB, but…

    1. Why didn’t Mix or Bedoya replace Bradley (instead of Cameron)? If Jones had been injured, THAT is the spot for Cameron. Bedoya has played centrally (even at striker) for club in the last year.

    2. Better question. Why wasn’t Kljestan called in? I realize that US fans are always clamoring for the player that isn’t there, but Kljestan is on fire even moreso than last year for his club, AND he played very well against Bosnia. What more does Klinsmann want?

  9. Re: my previous post I meant Guzan, not Guzman, I think the auto corrector got me there.

    I realize after some reflection that Besler showed a little inexperience there. Correct me if I am wrong here, but getting a red for a DOGSO or a yellow would have the same result beyond that game: suspension against Mexico. So take the guy out! Do it as soon as you realize the keeper is not going to clear (that is what your peripheral is for) and hope you only get a yellow. The facts are that at that point a result was entirely possible and our discussion would be quite different today. Shame…

  10. Wow! I can’t be believe how badly FJ gotten taken out on the PK. We are fortunate he wasn’t injured. Why wasn’t that a red card? Even though it was obvious, I could imagine other concacaf refs deciding not to blow the whistle.

      • In absolutely no game or world is that not a PK, keeper made no contact with the ball and took our player out. Absolutely could have been a red card

      • Studs up two footed diving high tackle into someones shooting leg? A concacaf no call is possible, sure, but it easily could have been a red…

      • That tackle was a red card at any given spot on the field, much less in a potential scoring situation. Easily red.

  11. Why in the world does orozco start? Why didn’t altidore start? Fudge……. Klinsi is tripping out.
    U had johansson, diskerud who are different from and play better. The back line look terrible and Donovan did zero. I actually like the lineup that finished the game at Bosnia. Another thing, Dempsey looks out of shape and Donovan is out, plus they had more midfield speed without Bradley but diskerud could of easily taken that position. USA had it easy, nice field, fans away due to track, playing in the night, finding out Mexico lost 30min before ur game is over. Why klinsi, why. Klinsi has no tactical skills, if he make changes by the 30minute, it would be a total different game. By the way, Guzan can easily win his spot over Howard. Howard makes the stupidest mistakes

    • Altidore had an injury last week, Johannson has NEVER played against Costa Rica in their environment, He has ONLY PLAYED one game for the US Nats, why would you trust him as a started over players that have proven over years they produce? Donovan is out? your absolutely joking or you have no clue what Donovan brings to this team, it showed in the gold cup without a good linking midfielder it doesnt matter who is up top they wont perform because they wont be givin the opportunity to. Who was on the bench that you would have put in for Orozco? Orozco wasnt even the worst part of the game, Besler and Beasley directly contributed to/caused one goal each, Orozco didnt.

  12. In all fairness to Beasley, that first goal came in very fast and there was a crowd. He had a split second to react and he didn’t get it in time. He could have been a bit more on his toes but even then might not have saved it. And, on the second goal, Beasley was marking his man. It was the run from the midfield (who lost their player?) that had the momentum to rise and win the ball.

    And, Howard should have charged his ass off the line on that third goal. It was so clear that this was going to be a dangerous ball once it was released. While watching, as soon as it was lofted, my mind said “Howard, Howard, Howard” and I expected to see him fly into the screen and clear the ball. But, he stayed and it proved to be costly.

    • in all fairness Beasley was not on his post either, as a post player you should not be standing off of the post like that, that is the keepers area to protect

  13. Tim Howard was to blame for the third goal, not Besler. He should have had plenty of space and time to run forward and clear that ball. Guzman would have cleared it. Just like Keller in ’05, our #1 is starting to show some rust at just the wrong time.

    • You can’t be serious?

      Howard could have done better, but his defenders put him in that situation in the first place. By no means did Howard have a great night (I think goals 2 & 3 were savable by an elite keeper), but he was in a very tough situation on goal #3.

    • Against a quality stryker 9-10 times that’s a goal…keeper has no chance. Play the position and you’d know. Had to get through 10 before that point….Defender should have taken a yellow and pulled him down

  14. So the yellows for Besler and Camerron, does this mean we cap tie Brooks? Move Orozco to CB? Who plays right? More importantly, does Bradley play? Too many questions after game.

    • I think JK can call in some players. Goodson may be called in, although he certainly has surprised before. Gonzalez/Brooks tandem wouldn’t surprise me.

      I’d prefer Parkhurst at RB, no matter how little he’s playing.

      It’s truly amazing how much we miss Bradley.

  15. Horrible defensive positioning on all 3 goals. Simple high school mistakes made by defenders who should know better.

    This video reminded me of two things that I didn’t realize: Orozco’s defensive positioning was awful all night, and if Eddie Johnson doesn’t score, he has no use. His runs were off, and he brought nothing to the table.

  16. My infinite wisdom:
    Based on recent performance it’s mind boggling to me that Jermaine Jones is still starting under any circumstances.
    Starting two extremely similar players at the holding positions has failed many times at this point.
    4231 doesn’t work for the majority of the lineups JK has chosen.
    No one plays the lone striker position well enough to justify continually using this formation.
    It’s tough to admity it but Guzan > Howard

      • Probably. But last night was absurd. Jk has put 6 defensive minded players into an attacking formation many times now…. And it doesn’t work. Even bradley struggles to carry it. A 442 or a 41212, makes so much more sense.
        Also Beasley and Orozco simply aren’t strong enough defenders for them to risk going forward the way this formation demands.

  17. A lot of people here don’t like him, but I’m so happy Jones didn’t get a yellow. He is a very good player as long as he sticks to being a defensive mid. We will need him and I hope its kljestan on the field with him. Kljestan is smart player and we will need that.

    • I’m with you, except Kljestan is still in Belgium. He should have been there all along.

      Now, everyone was complaining about JK not calling Kljestan for a year, and when he finally did, Sacha was underwhelming. HOWEVER, that was a while ago. Sacha’s only played better and better for the USMNT since then (including against Bosnia).

      His reward? Not even getting the call as a backup when our #1, #2, and #3 midfielders are all sitting on YCs. Now, 2 of those are probably out the next game.

    • jones has been horrible. his defensive abilities are overrated and his attacking qualities are limited to long passes that are sometimes accurate


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