Top Stories

Slow start dooms USMNT in latest loss in Costa Rica


Photo by


SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — The U.S. Men’s National Team’s winning streak is over, but their winless run in Costa Rica? That remains.

Costa Rica defeated the U.S., 3-1, on Friday night in front of a jam-packed crowd at Estadio Nacional. A slow start doomed the Americans, who found themselves down 2-0 inside of the first 10 minutes and without midfielder Michael Bradley due to an ankle injury he suffered in pre-game warm-ups.

Johnny Acosta and Celso Borges both scored off of early headers and Joel Campbell made sure there would be no comeback for the United States with a goal in the 76th minute. Clint Dempsey tallied for the U.S. with a late first-half penalty kick.

The win now gives Costa Rica the top spot in the Hexagonal with 14 points and snaps Jurgen Klinsmann’s team’s 12-game unbeaten run. It also drops the U.S., on 13 points, to second place.

“It was an intense game, it was a hectic game and a game that anything could have happened,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “Obviously for us, it’s a little bit of a difficult start because of the injury to Michael Bradley right at the very end of the warm-up, so we had to make a last-second switch and it kind of shocked the team for a good couple of moments and then when you get in the game and you’re 1-0 down after a minute, it makes it even more difficult.”

As if the defeat wasn’t bad enough, the U.S. team saw three players pick up yellow cards that rule them out of Tuesday’s qualifier vs. Mexico. Geoff Cameron, Matt Besler and Jozy Altidore are all out after being booked on Friday night.

The Americans endured a nightmare start, as the Costa Ricans came out buzzing from the initial whistle before scoring an opener in the third minute. After the Americans scrambled to prevent a goal, Acosta rose up to meet the ensuing corner kick at the near post and nod it into the back of the net.

Seven minutes later, the Ticos doubled their lead off another header. Borges beat Tim Howard after a cross came in from the Americans’ right flank, where Michael Orozco was given a somewhat surprising start over Cameron at right back.

“We knew that was going to happen and we had to weather the storm and we didn’t,” said Landon Donovan of Costa Rica’s strong start to the match. “But give them credit, they made a great play on the corner on the goal, a good cross and good header, picked us a part a little bit on the second goal. From then on, I thought we actually played a decent game but when you give away two goals, it’s a tough hole to get out of.”

“Right now, it’s hard to analyze that, it really is, because we got hit so quickly,” said Howard. “It was chaos out there during that. It’s hard to kind of figure it all out. Once we go down 2-0, the game is a wash, we’re just trying to push and get back into it. We did a good job in the end but when you push like that, you leave yourself exposed.”

Feeding off the noise from its boisterous crowd, Costa Rica continued to show tons of energy and confidence. The Ticos put together a number of impressive passing sequences, were confident on the ball and threatened the U.S. goal constantly before tiring a bit near the half-hour mark.

That is when the Americans began to pick things up. Central midfielders Cameron, who started in place of the injured Bradley, and Jermaine Jones bounced back from their rough first 30 minutes and helped the overwhelmed U.S. team win more possession.

“I think towards the end of the first half, we got back in the game,” said Klinsmann. “Also, playing wise, we moved the ball around good, (the last) 10-15 minutes was really good, and also the second half I think we controlled the game and thought it was a question of time before we score the equalizer until that breakaway that came basically from a surprising element there.

“Obviously, their energy, the atmosphere, the stadium gave the Costa Rican team so much support and it was difficult to turn it around again.”

Klinsmann’s side still needed a big Howard save late in the first half to avoid going down 3-0, a play which opened the door for the Americans’ lone goal of the day.

In the 41st minute, a quickly-taken free kick was played by Graham Zusi to a streaking Fabian Johnson, who was clipped by Ticos goalkeeper Keylor Navas inside the penalty area. Dempsey, who again captained the Americans, converted the spot kick to give the U.S. a big lifeline and some momentum going into halftime.

The Americans came out looking much improved in the second half and nearly pulled level, but a Dempsey shot from about 18 yards stung off the post.

“We were a little bummed that halftime came because we were playing well as we got back in the game,” said Donovan. “In the second half, I thought we started very well. Clint’s good chance hits the post. I thought we had a chance to get back in the game and then we get one play where we fall asleep a little and that’s the way qualifying is.

“You’ve got to make your chances and if you don’t, you can get punished.”

Punished the Americans were. Campbell put the game out of reach 14 minutes from the final whistle, getting on the end of a pass played in behind the Americans’ high back line before slipping a shot past a helpless Howard.

The U.S. will now shift its focus to Tuesday night, as the Americans host arch-rival Mexico at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Mexico will be desperate for a win, having allowed Honduras to rally and pick up a 2-1 victory at Estadio Azteca on Friday night.

“We’ve been on a lot of ups and now this is a down,” said Donovan. “We’re going to see how we recover, we’re going to see what we’re made of and we’re playing Mexico now in a must-win game for them and we’ve got to see how we respond.”

If there was any consolation for the Americans on Friday night, it was that the results in the rest of the Hexagonal went as well as they could have hoped. Mexico’s loss and Panama’s scoreless draw at home vs. Jamaica were both positive results for the U.S., which can qualify for next summer’s World Cup on Tuesday if it beats El Tri and Honduras picks up at least a draw at home against Panama.


  1. The defending was just atrocious. When your on the post you need to be on the line or a little in front on the field. It doesn’t help standing inside the goal. On the second goal there is just a complete break down of defensive shape. Why is the CD Gonzalez defending a cross on the wing?Where was the RB Orozco? Too high up the field and out of position and didn’t make the recovery run fast enough so this pulls Gonzalez out of the middle to the right wing trying to defend against the cross. In the meantime Jones loses his mark and is caught ball watching. Besler too is caught ball watching while three Costa Ricans are sprinting for the far post. Doesn’t Tim Howard see this and communicate this to Besler and Jones to help Beasley out. Shouldn’t have Howard anticipated the cross to the far post once he sees three opponents streaking to his far post. I guess not since he appears to be ball watching like Jones and Besler. On the third goal why is Besler in front and to the side of the man he is marking? Because he is out of position . If he and Gonzalez did it right Besler could have been where he was but Gonzalez should have been closer to the opponent and behind him so that when the ball came up the field he would have made the opponent run around him and thereby slowing him down so that Besler could make a better recovery run and beaten the opponent to the ball. Worst case is that Gonalez impedes the forward and gets called for a foul and a yellow card way up the field by the halfway line rather than having a foot race that ended up being a goal.

    • Great points and break down of each goal. The whole point of having Gonzalez is too keep him in the middle and head away those type of balls into the box away. You’re almost better off just letting them cross it rather then having him close down someone knowing Beasley is all you have on the far post.

    • calling out the CBs? hmmmm. yes, it was a team loss, but the CMids were truly poor, both outside backs struggled to defend, and the right flank was a sieve. The CBs were left exposed all the time because of the innumerable turnovers in midfield (again, Jones and Cameron…good players, very poor last night tho)

      thought Gonzo was one of the bright spots for the US last night actually

  2. Pathetic! Simply pathetic! Didn’t watch the game but screw all this Costa Rica is a good team crap. They may have a few quality players but we should be dominating thse CONCACAF teams. Straight up BS and we can all forget that talk about possibly making a deep dream run at the WC. Shoot, we might not even make it.

  3. frustrating loss. CR played really well when it attacked, and did enough aggressive defending to disrupt the flow of the majority of the US attacks. For a team that boasted confidence coming into the game, we looked scared and flat.
    Clearly MB’s injury was devastating.
    We need one #6 who will actually play destroyer 100% of the time, and not get lost or fail to track his man all the way to goal (ahem, Jones on the 2nd goal) or throw his hands up in the air when he loses the ball (both Cam and Jones). We need to keep one player with speed near enough to the back line to bail out our CBs. We need LD and CD and FJ to not all occupy 5 yards of space together in an ugly ballet surrounded by 5 slide happy defenders. We need to stay calm and avoid the over the top long balls if the field isn’t fit for it.

    Next game, I’d start…
    —————Beckerman or Jones——————–
    ————–Landy cakes——-Dempsey cakes—-
    I’d rather start Bacon cakes over Dempsey cakes, but I know it won’t happen and we need someone tall enough to win a header or two. If Bradley is out, I put D-cakes back and bring up Iced Bacon Cakes or that dude with the bad hair.

    • Ugh that backline will get torn up by Mexico.

      Id also sub Landon and Corona and you HAVE to see what Aron Bacon does and hopes he pulles a Charlie Davies circa confed cup,

      • You have a better backline? I’d say the still green and untested JAB, if he’s around. Besler is out, Orozco may redeem himself at CB, who else is there?

        I’m still hoping that Bedoya gets a year of RB under his belt and can start there in the future.

    • If next line-up includes Dempsey + Zusi + Beasley, US will lost again (guaranty). However, JK may not see that.

      Never having Beckerman + Jones or Cameron in midfield like today (3 are wipers) – If Bradley cannot start then Mix D (or Jose) along with the wiper; otherwise we will see the same result as today. Those 3 cannot connect and provide good ball to strikers.

      But the first priority is cut Dempsey off from the USMNT period, he is no longer a good player

      Please look at the whole game + past several games: Dempsey cannot control, pass or provide any support to others. Most of the time he likes to play “stupid art and complaint” rather than play soccer (do not expect to see him as a leader, he is not a player himself)

  4. stupid stupid decision to put Altidore in!!!!!!!! Everyone knows Count Chocula was going to look to card him!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now we have no defense and no Altidore for Tue!!!!!!!! FIFA plan to give Mexico a lifeline all along was to put Count Chocula in for the game and was clearly gunnin to card Jozy.

    Klinsi screwed the pooch and screwed two games by his decisions today. how times change Jul 1 it looked like we had riches in mid with Holden and Bradley.

    Oh well it Aron Bacon time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Dempsey is such a garbage captain. Soooo many times when the game gets tough he disappears. It’s almost like playing down a man. EJ is sooo overrated its not even funny. Our defense is a mess. Tim Howard is too complacent and needs to lose his spot. Jones is just I dunno how to described how bad. I saw a 4 year make a better pass the other day. Despite my anger I still love the usmnt and on to the next!!

    • If next line-up includes Dempsey + Zusi + Beasley, US will lost again (guaranty). However, JK may not see that.

      Never having Beckerman + Jones or Cameron in midfield like today (3 are wipers) – If Bradley cannot start then Mix D (or Jose) along with the wiper; otherwise we will see the same result as today. Those 3 cannot connect and provide good ball to strikers.

      But the first priority is cut Dempsey off from the USMNT period, he is no longer a good player

  6. We gave up an early goal on the road against a very well organized team and lost our best player that pretty much everything runs through minutes before the start. A good number of questions going forward but it’s not anything that can’t be fixed.

  7. Relax it was one game played against a good team, the USA has put them selves in a spot where they only need 3 points from 3 games. The other results we great so all is well as for qualifying. If they beat Mexico they are in.

  8. Hey Landon Donovan you wanna step your fukcing game up and score some goals you stupid motherfukcer!?!?!? Yeah I’m drunk fukc you too.

  9. Not the end of the world, and probably a necessary wake up call. But I think some truths came out tonight. Howard isn’t the man he was 4 years ago, and you have to wonder how solid his hold on the #1 spot is. Cameron is not a DM. Orozco is the latest failed attempt at RB. Questions about Beasley at LB against tougher competition are legitimate. We came out of the Gold Cup raving about depth. The depth was put to task tonight. Dempsey/Donovan Stryker combo wasn’t effective. EJ is not the best option off the bench no matter how many chances JK gives him. Terribly immature decision from Jozy.

    For Mexico, I’d start this way:
    Bedoya Dempsey Landon
    Jones Mix (or call in Sacha)
    Beasley Brooks Gonzo Fabian

    • I like that lineup a lot, but probably too many changes for Klinsi…

      Would’ve liked to see Brooks get the 90′ sub, just to finally cap-tie him (unless Klinsman is convinced he’ll start on Tuesday).

      I hate that the boys completely lost composure after the Ticos’ third goal. They had been playing so well for 20-30 minutes — you could smell the equalizer. A quick strike while the Ticos were still celebrating, and we’d have been right back in the same 1-goal-to-steal-a-point position we were in earlier. Instead, we reverted to that god-awful first half form.

      And Jozy — you broke my heart with that immature move.

      Bacon over EJ all day long — it’s not even close.

      • The problem with playing Aron is if we have this same midfield he’ll never even get a touch. EJ can at least win a few headers. I don’t know a lot of things to sort out.

    • After watching the CR game, I don’t see how Mexico doesn’t come out with a high line and press the hell out of our D and our mid’s. We need more presence on the ball and better skilled players on the pitch. I also am very disappointed in the impact (or lack thereof) of the veterans. Guys like Donovan, Dempsey, Howard, and Beasley were either mediocre or worse. Maybe we should be getting some of the younger guys into the game. I would love to see AJ up top, with Zusi, Donovan, and Dempsey behind. Then I would go with Mixx and Beckerman in the CM roles with Fabian, Gonzo, Fiscal, and Bedoya (playing RB for Nantes). Lastly, I would give Guzan the chance. He pitched the shutout in Azteca and would do the same in Columbus…

      • Bedoya payed one ga,e at wing back in a formation not even remotely close to ours.

        He is not a RB, he is not playing RB for Nantes, and he won’t play it for the US.

    • seriously, it’s hard to say the striker combo didn’t work when the midfield and right flank were both so totally and comprehensively dismantled in that first half, and much of the game. US was fortunate not to be down more than just 2 goals in that 1st half

    • Not the first goal Howard lets go between his legs if memory serves me right. That third goal is the only one I feel he could have done better on. Really besler was caught napping on that play.

      Btw did anyone see what besler did or didn’t do to get a yellow card.

    • Just came back from the stadium (started writing this last night) and I must say I’m very disappointed. We played scared. We played uncertain. We played like we were Mexico and not the leaders of the Hex.

      First off, HUGE LOSS in the middle with Bradley injured. Can’t stress that enough. HUGE LOSS!! I think it’s safe to say there is no cog more important in this machine than Bradley. With him in the middle, the match would probably have had a different narrative.

      With that being said, I think you’re really reaching with your “truths”. You can’t be serious with your assessment of Howard. Really? You call it a truth that his hold on the #1 spot is in doubt?? Please tell me what Howard did wrong tonight. Give credit where credit is due. Costa Rica showed up to play and really took it to us. They came out to attack from second 0:01 and never let us settle into any kind of rhythm. It’s really that simple. Guzan’s time is coming but not yet. Howard is still the #1.

      As for your assessment on Cameron, I guess you must not have followed him in his Houston Dynamo days when he played DM before moving to CB. However, I do think this was a mistake. Cameron should have gotten the nod at RB over Orozco who was thoroughly outmatched. I really don’t know what Klinsmann was thinking.

      On Orozco, see above. I agree with you but your observation is just preaching to the choir. It’s an obvious one but to add more substance, I would have gone with Parkhurst instead. His lack of playing time at the club level is what probably relegated him to the bench for this match but in that case, start Cameron at RB and Beckerman in the middle with Jones. That was the most obvious solution to the Bradley injury!!! Orozco was absolutely horrid out right.

      I wouldn’t say Beasley had a terrible game yesterday. To call him out as one of the poorer performers is innacurate and unfair. There were a few others you didn’t call out who had worse performances at their positions than did Beasley (e.g. Fabian Johnson). Yes, Beasley has lost a step but he is by no means ill-equipped to compete at this level against this level of opposition.

      As for depth, it’s better now than it was under the Bobby B era. The Bradley injury forced the staff to scramble for answers but the depth IS better now.

      I’m not going to disagree with you on EJ. I thought he was ineffective off the bench.

      I never really saw Dempsey as the target striker. I would have started EJ as the target and put Dempsey out left. Call me crazy but I’ve always liked Dempsey in his Fulham days when he would attack from the left and then cut in…his most prolific days, mind you. If not EJ as the target man, then try Johansson in that role. I like what I’ve seen from him so far.

      Ditto on Jozy. What a waste of a call-up. 19 minutes and out for the Mexico qualifier.

      Again, we did not show up and Costa Rica took it to us. Give them credit.

  10. No one blames Beckerman for this loss? I know he didn’t play but that never stopped us before. What’s the world coming to. That use to be USMNT staple. I sure do miss it.

    Go Go USA!!!!

    • As much as I hate to say it, I agree. MB90 should be the captain, these guys obviously feed more off his energy seemingly more than any other player on the USMNT. Too often in this game Dempsey just came off as the lazy stereotype that people had painted of him in the past, and in a game that was going to need their captain to step up and be an emotional leader…he just didn’t seem to do that imo.

      • absolute BS, Fred the MB fanboy. You and other tro!!a-la-las posting on this board trying to bring down Clint to promote your boy.

      • In a game in which Michael Bradley didn’t play in the midfield, and we crumbled, and Dempsey was supposed to lead the offense, and didn’t, this seems a bit out of place.

      • If you think Dempsey is a better or more important player for the USMNT than Bradley at this point in time, I think you need to look in the mirror when handing out the fanboy label.

      • I absolutely think MB90 is THE most important player in the lineup for the team. The team can win and play well without Donovan. The team can win and play well without Deuce. We’ve seen the team do well against high caliber opposition without both of these two.

        Show us the match against another quality side’s A-team where the USMNT has played well without Bradley.

  11. The only player Klinsmann has never really left out of a line up is Jones. He calls on him no matter what, and I just don’t see it. Every touch was 5 yards past him. Kicking half his passes out of bounds. Klinsmann has some tough choices to make.

    • He completed 63/80 passes. Half did not go out of bounds. That said, 63/80 is not great for a CM, he had a poor game and was In my opinion hard done by being asked to play a linking attacking role. I want one game where he plays a much more simple, traditional DM role. His ability in that role is to much to leave off the field against Mexico.

      • The problem is that Jones sees himself as a box-to-box CM, and not a traditional destroyer. That’s why Bradley ends up having to defer to him so much when they play together, to the team’s detriment, IMHO.

        And Jones got his pocket picked twice in the defensive third early in the match as well. He played better in the 2nd half. But his beginning was shocking.

        That said, if Bradley can’t go against Mexico, it’s Jones/Beckerman in the Midfield, by the process of elimination.

      • You are certainly correct that in your assessment of how Jones chooses to play. I just don’t buy into that as a reason why he can’t be counted on as a Destroyer.

        What it comes down, is Klinsmann as a coach (a) deciding we are much better with Bradley going forward and Jones playing a role he has proved more then capable of playing, a “destroyer”
        then (b) going to Jones and telling him quite simply the role he’s gonna play if he wants to contribute to this team going forward.

      • I don’t think Jones CAN’T play destroyer. He certainly can.

        I’m saying he REFUSES to play the role for the team. He’s convinced he can play box-to-box, even when he should be the #6.And in the current set-up, he should be the one deferring to Bradley, but Bradley to him.

        I think Jones needs to be sat down and told, “Understand who you are to this team.” And when he gets it, put him back in as the #6.

      • I’m saying half the balls he tried playing to guys going forward on the wings went out. Of coarse he made some simple passes and back passes. We just got destroyed and over run in the midfield.

      • No Cameron got destroyed in the midfield. You cant expect one central midfielder to excel when the other is playing horribly. Watch the game again cameron was one of the worst players on the pitch for either side

      • Thats why jones plays on a top team in a top league? Where does Cameron play? The fact is coaches know more about the players and the game than you, and two extremely high level coaches value and rate jones, your opinion means jack

      • whatever Matt. I know where Jones plays. I like his game and defend him here all the time

        Just rewatch the game since evidently you missed his performance last night. Jones was awful in that first half.

        I think it’s hilarious you attack me when it was Jones and Cameron who stunk. any 10 year old could tell you that too

  12. A couple of thoughts:

    – I can’t believe Jozy just got himself kicked out of the Mexico game with 30 seconds to go. For an extracurricular shove. Another chance for Iceman to make his mark.
    – Is it unreasonable to start and question Howard’s lock on the GK spot? When does Guzan get a legitimate shot at the first team?
    – Eddie Johnson coming in for Zusi had a real, tangible effect on the offense. A negative one.
    – I don’t know that Dempsey should take our PK’s.
    – Has it ever been more clear that Bradley is absolutely the key to our team? And now that Geoff Cameron is out for the Mexico game, lets pray Bradley is good to go, or… uh oh.
    – I wonder if Orozco or Brooks starts at CB for Besler? I’m hoping for Brooks. And I would like Cameron at RB, but obviously he’s out. I guess that means we get Orozco again, but I don’t think I like that.
    – Man it will feel good if we eliminate Mexico. Oh man.

    • I don’t think the US can eliminate Mexico. There are two games left to play after next week’s game and positive results in the final two matches would get Mexico in the Final Four of the Concacaf Group. The fourth place team has to play a NZ in a home-and-home series.

      • Mexico will be fine, even if they lose. I think they’ll be fine even if they lose out the rest of the Hex. I honestly don’t see Panama getting any points from their final 3 matches. And Mexico won’t have any problems with New Zealand.

    • You’ve hit on most of my thoughts. Honestly, I think it’s time to give Guzan a start. Timmy has not looked like a world-class keeper in a year. There was a time when the one place we knew we were better than every team in CONCACAF was between the sticks. That time ain’t now. Howard was flat-out outplayed by Navas today. And that is quite possibly the difference in the match, fairly or not.

      Jones and Cameron were so out of sorts for the first 20 minutes, they provided the defense with no cover. They both had their pockets picked at least twice. And neither one of them knew where they other would be.

      I agree, EJ for Zusi was a head-scratcher to me. Zusi created the penalty in the 1st half with his deft FK. He looked like he was getting the better of the CR left in the 2nd half. Then EJ comes in and…well…he looked decent in the air. But everything got congested in the middle of the park. Deuce, Donovan, EJ, Fabian, Jones, and then Altidore all practically stood on top of each other.

      There was no variation. The only moments of creativity came from when Altidore or Donovan pulled themselves out wide. But those were the people you wanted on the END of chances. Deuce had the one great move where he lost two defenders and almost scored. But after that, he looked gassed.

      And God, that grass! It almost made me long for turf.

  13. I’m looking forward to hear what those who blamed the old turf from the Monster’s cave for the USMNT inability to get favorable results in Costa Rica… I’m sorry folks, but you are out of our league. It will take decades for you to understand how the our hearts beat at the rhythm of the drums, and how a whole nation breathes, transpires and tears *football,* the sport that was tarnished by the freak snow show that you helped to put together last March in Denver. And to the American Outlaws… you got the response that you deserved for the snowballs that you cowardly threw at Navas. You guys will need centuries to reach the heels of la “barra tica.”

    • Your kidding yourself if you think costa rica is ahead of the US in soccer the US has the advantage the US is the better team. Bradley was hurt, Dempsey is not 100%, Evans was hurt

      • Let the guy have his moment, they played good counter attacking soccer tonight. You’ll get no excuses from me. We’ve got to be more lethal in possession and disciplined against those quick incisive counters.

      • I never said that Costa Rica is ahead of the US. I am totally aware of the US outstanding performances, such as in the WCs of 2002 and 2010, and the Confederations Cup of 2009. I am referring to WCQ games played in Costa Rica. The best result obtained by the USMNT was a draw back in 1985, which was followed by 8 consecutive losses. In addition they were outscored 17-6. In the same time period, Costa Rica has collected two draws and one win in WCQ games played in american soil and was outscored 10-4.

    • I’m drunk, so I’ll try and keep this as non-over the line as possible.

      Get out of here. Seriously.

      You want to talk about tarnished? Tarnished is your official federation preventing us from practicing. It is keeping game equipment away from us out of spite. It is attacking our vehicles.

      Your hearts don’t beat anything. And it won’t take decades to understand anything. Because your passion is diving, cheating, flopping garbage. Passion? You cheat. You disgrace the game with every breathe on the pitch.

      You’re a nothing on the global stage. You think you’re anymore special than any other Central American second world country? Special passion? Please. You can’t even match Honduras, let alone Mexico.

      Your nation took a soccer field investment from China simply to denounce the vary existence of Taiwan. Tarnished? You’re a for sale, third world country.

      • No one prevented the US from practicing. According to the FIFA rules, the only training field that the home team’s federation should provide involves visiting the game venue at least 24 hours before the game, where the visiting team is provided with the balls to be used in the match. There is no justification for the eggs that were thrown to the bus. I must agree with you. However, both the egg-throwers and the snowball throwers are a disgrace to the game. I won’t respond to your political comments. They do not belong to this forum.

    • This guy here, yeah you guys are so much better than the US (rolls eyes) that you got beat by them a few months ago and have yet to make it to the knockout stages of the World Cup in how long? Costa Rica were prepared and the US was not plain and simple…and yes Costa Rica dominated the US.

    • the US doesn’t control the weather, so STFU

      you aren’t going undefeated in the HEX no matter how many passionate about the game your fans are

      • Anyone with at least two neurons knows that the US does not control the weather. My complain is about the people who wrote things such as “both teams played under the same conditions” and similar non-sense. The beautiful game that both you and I enjoy deserves some respect. However I do understand that you did not have anything to complain about after you collected that win, given how tight the competition is in this final round. BTW, I will be cheering for the USMNT on Tuesday.

    • Get off your damn soapbox! So you won, congratulations. This victory does not make your National team better than ours. Enjoy your little victory, what? Do you guys think your Spain now?

    • hahaha, “centuries?” you speak like a scared child. Congrats, you won, don’t get used to it, or rather continue to pretend a ridiculous superiority, and it will be all the more sweet in the next five to ten years, when you can’t even pretend with us anymore.

      • Speaking of respect, tell me how many times the USMNT has won a WQ game played in Europe, let alone against an European Team. Also, it would be nice to know how many MLS teams have qualified to the FIFA tournament and finished in 3rd place.

    • LOL.

      Your team deservedly won. They were the better team.

      But “Out of our league”? What a joke. You can wax poetic about your soccer culture all you want, but if your national team’s results are a product of your passion, then why hasn’t Costa Rica ever really accomplished anything in international soccer? Are your hearts not beating hard enough?

      • I am specifically talking about WC games played in Costa Rica. If you read my original comment, I was mocking the people who blamed Saprissa for the US unimpressive record in Costa Rica. Now, they will have to find a better explanation.

  14. After a summer of 12 games of terrific soccer, this was a major disappointment. Costa Rica deserved to win. They were the better team tonight.
    – I expected at least one card from the referee, and I figured he met his quota after Cameron. But Besler and Altidore? For what? I think JK’s pre-game comments were accurate.
    – No MOTM tonight. No one exceeded expectations, no one excelled.
    – If Bradley can’t go Tuesday, the center midfield will be in very rough shape.

    • Altidore earned a card. It was extracurricular and unnecessary.

      Besler’s was strange. But it might have been persistent infringement. He fouled enough to earn one.

      • I agree. The cards weren’t outrageous but I wish they had shown a replay of what actually happened when Besler got the card. I wouldn’t have been shocked if it was a dive. Something wasn’t right there.

  15. Jones – Mix vs Mexico.

    Let’s see what that young man is made of, I ‘d wager that he’ll step up to the challenge.

    Also, for this pairing to work Klinsmann would need to be blatantly clear that, for a least one game, Jones play as a pure DM.

    • Good luck with that, seems impossible to get him to do anything consistently – it’s maddening. Honestly, against Concacaf competition I’d rather have Beckerman. Totally disciplined and can make a decent pass.

  16. Klinsmann’s pretty much gotta play this lineup based on who’s available. Johansson can come on for one of the top four in the second half. Beckerman will play with Bradley and Cameron out and to cover for the back four. This team also needs a target in a game where Mexico may keep more possession that’s why EJ gets the nod. That false-9 Dempsey and Donovan combo didn’t work. One of the two needs to play wide. Bedoya comes in for his defensive work on the right and pushes Johnson to LB. Parkhurst is a safe option at RB. He’s not a worldbeater but at least we know he will work hard in defense.


    • But wait just a second. Why do you have Beckerman at DM. Doesn’t he play DM for his club? That is not Klinsmann’s style. Klinsmann the Tinkerer will probably be trying Beckerman at right back against Mexico.

      • Give it a rest biff. JK tinkers yes but there is logical reasoning behind every choice he’s made right or wrong. More often than not he’s been right too.

      • Really? Beckerman’s been DM every match he’s played.

        And Klinsmann’s tinkering hasn’t been all bad. It blew up tonight, but that’s as much from a forced change as anything else. Hard enough for the Yanks to play without MB90 anytime. But minutes before kickoff? That was brutal.

      • Every time you use this argument you simply convince more people that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  17. I’m exhausted with Tim Howard. And the excuses for him. And all his fanboys. Take a step back and actually watch him for a change. I don’t care if you make spectacular saves, I want you to make ordinary saves.

    The 2nd goal was a slow looping cross. Howard should have come out. The third goal was a 50 yard through ball and Howard stayed on his line. That’s terrible. All this talk about Howard being a top 5 in the world guy.. I look at someone like Neuer and I wonder if ANY of those three goals would have happened.

    So, out of position constantly, gives up big goals over and over, a crappy leader of an inexperienced defense. We need a change. Great guy, Tim Howard, but not a great keeper.

    • Agreed on the third goal; he should have came to the ball

      Dunno about the second goal though; would have probably needed a perfect reaction to save it

      Everyone else is fighting for starting positions on the team, and GK should be no exception
      Give Rimando or Guzan a try

      • Yeah, I think coming out into the crowd on the 2nd goal would have been futile. He wouldn’t have gotten near the ball.

        But his play on the 3rd was mystifying. He looked as old as Friedel on that one.

    • Guzan has been ballin’ at Villa for a whole year now. He has proven his quality for the national team as well so I wouldn’t mind a change.

    • Yeah, I agree. Not coming out for the 3rd goal.. the keeper should be pushing up a bit anyways down 2-1, no sitting flatfoot on his line. I love Timmy, but he was terrible last year at Everton and he was terrible tonight. I think Guzan is a better option at this point. Nothing to do with the sky falling or whatever, I’ve thought this for months now.

    • Well.. Our defense was atrocious tonight… That said.. you mentioned Neuer.. I wish we had a keeper like Neuer. We don’t, though. Howard is completely average these days,, sadly, he’s no Keller, he’s no Friedel, he’s not even a Meola. I think putting Guzan in is the best choice and one to stick with. And also maybe some defenders who arent awful!

  18. Midfield was a disaster and Jozy taking that yellow was beyond idiotic. Cameron is a back up at best at all positions he plays for the USMT. He is a utililty infielder jack of all rrades master of none with a club fir a first touch and poor decision making (the reason he is a defender not a mid in the first place). Jones is a 6. WTF is Cameron supppose to be in this line up?

    Why is it that US coaches send out experimental line ups in CR? Start our best line up. Get the result and go to Brazil. Leaving Jozy on the bench is inexcusable. He was used as a sub…he should have started. Get the 3 points. This one is on JK in my book.

  19. Even though The USA had about 66% of the possession that slow star hurt. I think not having MB really hurt badly. I doubt Costa Rica scores the way they did with MB on the field. He just calms things down. Also, if CD could have equalized in the second half, it would have been a different ballgame. The U.S. should win the game against Mexico even with some key players out. I think Beckerman starts along side JJ. The back line needs to do better in general but at home, in Columbus, they should get the job done. It ill be a great way to burry Mexico once and for all.

    • I would assume Kljestan and Boyd for sure. Probably Goodson as well. Although the thought of the PT challenged Parkhurst maybe starting against Mexico, could lead to an interesting callup for depth at RB. Perhaps a chance for Chandler to get out of the doghouse, or Lichaj to earn a shot. Granted, I think there is not a great chance for the defensive callup to be someone other than Goodson, but the logic exists for someone else.

  20. Beasley was completely under whelming tonight. He looked like he was asleep on the corner kick where he scored the own goal. He never made a threatening run on offense and played like he did just before he lost his USMNT roster spot. If Besler wasn’t already out for Tuesday night, I’d have bet Beasley would have been on the bench.

    The midfield without Bradley or Beckermann was extremely disorganized and unable to get the ball to Dempsey or Donovan. Cameron looked a little better in the second half, but it was still a sad performance overall.

    • I think your post should read:

      _________ was completely underwhelming tonight.

      Really, who wasn’t underwhelming tonight?!?! Poor team performance for sure.

    • Spain has the players for that formation. We have to match our formation to the players we have and when a player is OUT OF POSITION it throws a monkey wrench in the weakens it overall. Can any coach out there put in $.02?

  21. Was not just a slow start. Nobody showed up. Beasley a LB? LOL. Zusi a starter in midfield? LOL Orozco a RB? LOL Once again we play with only one forward up top. When we played with two forwards against Bosnia-Herzigovina we opened up the defense (in other games as well). Klinnsman is stubborn, but when he gets things dialed in the team really improves. Sorry folks…but Fabian Johnson is not the answer to LB and neither is Beasley. Beasley is a LW and should backup F Johnson. Orozco is not a RB. Should the US not qualify for Brazil I can only look at Klinnsman. He is too stubborn.

    • I agree with some points and, yes, Klinsi can be stubborn but not qualify? LOL!!! They will qualify and they will do it easily, starting with Mexico on Tuesday.

    • Orozco was the real problem. He pulled everyone out of position by being up way too far. He caused the second goal and helped make issues on the corner for the goal.

    • The problem is our depth on the flanks is still very shallow especially in the back. We have no standout outside backs and a lack of tried and true options on the left midfield. If you move Fabian to the back, which I do support because Beasley is a poor defender whose only saving grace is his speed and his teammates (said that since he’s started there) who do you play on the flank? Maybe Bedoya or swap Donovan over there I guess but that would be a totally new combo. If you have Fabian at LW you have no standout LB. The RW in better with Zusi and Donovan able to play that spot (giving Zusi the benefit of the doubt since he’s coming off injury and has played well before). But absolutely no one has stood out as a reliable option at RB except Dolo who hasn’t played for us in ages now and quite possibly might not ever again.

      Who are this players that JK is supposedly holding back?

  22. Overall, we are still in good position… We are currently 2nd and our next 3 qualifiers are against the 3 weakest teams (based on the standings).

    • The weakest team or team on the bubble are the most difficult games to play. If the players and coaches do not get there rear out of there head we will be only a ‘fringe’ team.

  23. if this was my first time ever watching soccer you couldn’t even convince me with money that jermaine jones is a player who plays on a team that plays in the most prestigious club competition. So disappointed with this performance. Gonna continue getting drunk at the bar I watched this game at.

  24. Two subs for F. Johnson and Zusi was terrible : USNT lost possession and creative attacks Cameron needs to sub, and Dempsey isn’t forward or fit right now.

  25. When it was revealed that Bradley was out, I knew we were in for a rough night. Our most important player by far. We are a completely different team when he is not on the field. The game against Mexico will be an intense affair, considering how the results went.

    Just imagine, we could have clinched our spot tonight…

  26. The first 20 minutes our midfield had wooden feet. It cost us time and again. But, what I don’t understand is why the US was so poorly disorganized on the second goal. Three men run into the box virtually unmarked. Also, Beasley was pushed just as he was getting set to jump. It caused him to jump late giving CRC a tremendous advantage. It was subtle, but effective. Unfortunately, there was no way the linesman or the ref were in position to see it.

    • Jones stopped tracking his man, as usual, and thus Beasley was left defending two taller opponents on a cross. I don’t get why people think so highly of Jermaine Jones, I have not seen him play a game this year that impressed me.

  27. After thinking about it this result wasn’t as shocking as thought it was. Playing away from home is difficult and Costa Rica is a tough opponent. More importantly though we’ve all known that we are weaker on D especially on the flanks and that for all the depth we’ve gained in the last year Bradley is still the only US player that can consistently control the tempo of a game. Just really unfortunate that all our weaknesses were exposed at once (and in Bradley’s case, suddenly). The small silver lining is that even after that awful start with a bit more luck on a few of our strikes things could have easily turned in the second half. Sadly, its quickly eclipsed by the thought of our now shorthanded squad playing without Cameron, Besler, or Altidore against Mexico.

    • I really hope they looked shell shocked at the beginning because of the timing of Bradley’s injury. Otherwise what is the deal with being so flat when be travel to South America?

      • Couldn’t agree more. Just shows how important MB is to this team. Besides this obvious, (the absence of him on the field) the team seemed mentally effected, and unsure of themselves without him. He has become this team’s security blanket of sorts. That being said, I think the players will have gotten past that by Tuesday, and will come ready to play no matter what line up is fielded.

    • We’re going to be just fine. We need one more win and Panama to lose just once and we’re qualified.

      There’s a reason we’ve never won in Costa Rica and it has NOTHING to do with the talent on the field.

    • I am not shocked we lost. This is CONCACAF. That’s usually how it works. However, I am shocked that we played soooo poorly. If we played a solid game and lost, I get it. But man, we were bad!!!!

    • ask the US midfield which showed a lack of quality without MB out there, and during this run of wins, without Beckerman out there. those two guys have fueled that engine during the win streak, and neither were there tonight, and it showed

      could have used Evans on the right as well

    • Landon was doing a hell of a lot of good work over 90 minutes, including defensively. But the midfield was horrible. That’s why Dempsey was non-existent (as he frequently is) and Donovan’s hard-work, recoveries, vision, and strong-passing couldn’t lead to a win.

  28. Jones-Cameron nightmare first half, in particular Jones who truly struggled. midfiled over run

    Orozco-Zusi right flank combo truly struggled. that side over run

    Besler-Gonzo fine until yellow card

    Adjustments to Bradley being out did not work; wow was he missed

    • I will say that I suggested earlier this week starting Beckerman for out-of-form Jones and Cameron at right back. With MB’s injury, the big question was who to play with Beckerman. Putting Jones and Cameron back there was a catastrophe and so unfair to Cameron, who is playing very well for Stoke as right back. Cameron simply looked lost as a midfielder. That said, I thought Orozco generally looked okay at right back, but Cameron would have been better. I think Mix and Beckerman would have been a better combo.

      • Jones was the nightmare in midfield that first half. I like JJ but wow, he was poor tonight unfortunately making Cameron’s own struggles all the mightier. so many turnovers and forced passes from JJ, better second half but by then the die was cast

        disagree on Orozco, who conspired with Zusi to lose that right flank outright to Costa Rica

      • I was very surprised to Orozco at right back.Thought it would be Cameron for sure.I also thought Beckerman should have replaced Bradley.When he went off there was no doubt in my mind that it would be him.I wasn’t too blown away when I saw that it was going to be Cameron though.

  29. Didn’t think Cameron did enough. Would’ve put Beckerman in there myself, considering that is the position that he plays week in and week out, and he is a better possession player than Cameron. He will probably be thrown in the fire on Tuesday we will see how he fares. Imagine Jones getting a yellow card too this game, talk about a depleted midfield core for Mexico.

    • yes, he could have distributed better in front of the defense and allowed jones to do more of his usual thing. But even the addition of Beckerman wouldn’t have done enough for the overall poor defending.

    • Why in the world wouldn’t you put Cameron in as defensive midfielder? Doesn’t it make perfect sense for Klinsmann the Tinkerer to play a man who is playing right back well for his club at DM? And also to play club attacking midfielder Beasley at left back and club left back Fabian as attacking midfielder. Yep, the genius of Klinsmann, folks.

    • In retrospect I agree, it would make more sense to put a guy that plays the position every game in a last minute adjustment. But at the time I wanted Cameron over Beckerman, so I can’t really fault Klinsmann. Hindsight is 20/20, I suppose.

  30. Howard is not playing well. Dempsey should not be playing.

    That field was even more dangerous than the snow or Saprissa. What. A. Joke.

    And the handball that led to their first goal? Pathetic. And that’s a red card for their keeper.

    And this crap was fixed. A yellow for trying to help someone up? Giving Jozy a yellow for nothing immediately before ending the game?

    Fixed. Well done CONCACRAP.

    • Ref had a fair game. I heard all the worries leading to game. But he was even-handed and fair. Altidore was foolish. Ref consulted with linesman, which made him give Besler yellow.

  31. Costa Rica played their hearts out. So are we saying brooks for besler. Beckerman in case Bradley’s out and johansson for altidore. Would also like to see Fabian at left back instead

  32. Thoughts from the match.

    1. Why is there so much lazy passing in the US team?
    2. Donovan makes numerous plays every game that create chances.
    3. Dempsey in yet another forgettable performance.
    4. Jones had a positive match in terms of few unnecessary fouls.
    5. Lots of slipping on, and kicking up, the pitch.
    6. Altidore’s yellow card made me smile and shake my head in disbelief.
    7. Backline was atrocious.
    8. Zusi was weak in the beginning and improved through the match.
    9. Howard could have done better on third goal, that run was clear immediately.
    10. It is a crappy result but you can’t win ’em all and Mexico has it worse.
    11. Crowd was awesome for Costa Rica.
    12. With such a weak midfield, I would have liked to see Donovan in center mid at start.

    • 13. Yellow on Besler was Mexican Ref’s weakening the US before we face Mexico.
      14. Bradley is the Key to the USNT’s success
      15. Overconfidence kills.

      • 14. Last time Bradley played in Costa Rica we lost. Ummmm 3-1. I don’t think if we had Messi, we would have won.

        3. Dempsey hit the post. If that goes in and we tie…..nobody is saying nuthin’.

      • True but unlike a player like Donovan who is constantly making big offensive and defensive plays even when he doesn’t score, Clint is a waste of space when he doesn’t.

    • 13. Questionable lineup from Klinsman with no hold up or target forward, a right back playing central midfield, a left back playing left midfield, and Orozco Fiscal just being on the field.

      • I couldn’t disagree with that statement more and that is after laying tons of blame on Zusi for our right side collapsing repeatedly.

      • Orozco was out of position on the second goal. If he was back like he should have been. Omar would have been in the middle heading the ball away instead of chasing wingers.

      • –I took out the leading swear word to hopefully get past moderation.

        ***** lineup from Klinsmann. No Bradley, no Jozy? Substitute like for like and keep it going. Instead, we got 3 CDMs, and we all know how well we play with that lineup, and 3 midfielders/withdrawn strikers (Donovan, Deuce, Zusi) playing the top line. Sheesh.


        Beasley had a pretty bad game tonight, own goal, and, well, trying to cover 3 guys on the 2nd goal. Reminiscent of our last outing in CRC, also 1-3.

        Lesson learned: Never play DMB at left back in Costa Rica. Plus the other stuff I outlined above.

    • An objective review. I am sorry that the review does not mention that the high motivation in Costa Rica´s team and fans originates in the lack of fair play of forcing the Denver match in conditions that are unacceptable for international professional soccer. As Costa Ricans we did not have to take the game to a stadium in the beach at noon in order to be clearly superior to the US squad. Next time, try to respect the fair play and look for a city in normal wheather conditions…

      • It is so naive to think that the wheather conditions (high probability of snow fall) were not taken in consideration in selecting Denver, instead of Boston or Stanford or Dallas….The intensive pressure that Klinsman and Co. applied on the salvadorean referree to force the continuation of the game was embarassing. At any rate, in normal wheather conditions it was clear which was the best team by far…

      • Next time just let us know your preferences in advance, in particular with respect to where we should schedule matches in our own country. Denver was chosen, on the occasion, because we normally practice in blizzard conditions.

      • Eric. You have no clue. Why don’t you play us next time without your best striker AND your best central mid in Seattle? “…clear which was the best team by far…” my foot. I saw a blatant clearance miss by Beasley, a blatant miss by our goalie on a weakside header, and a giveaway goal when we were pressing up. The game could have EASILY gone differently if Navas doesn’t save FJ’s shot or CD’s ball doesn’t hit post. So just quit with the smug superiority thing. You guys aren’t getting any further in the WC than us. AND PLEASE STOP BEING SUCH GIRLS ABOUT THE SNOW…BOO-HOO…there was white stuff on the ground…OH-NO it was cold. Both sides played in it and the MAIN reason the US scheduled the game in Denver was that it had the altitude to prepare us for Azteca. It’s pansies like you that make me embarrassed to tell American football fans that I play soccer…

      • we dont deny teams fields and refuse to provide balls. typical central american tactics.
        but i forgot most of our players are hockey players so you had no chance to begin with. rub some aloe vera it will help with the burning.

      • Fair play?

        How dare you open your mouth about fair play you whiny crap. Keeping us from proper practice facilities? Not giving us balls? Not having a safe pitch to play on?

        My god it’s incredible you even know what fair play means. You’re Costa Rica–you have none.

      • thanks for the hospitality when the USMNT visit down in Costa Rica. gamesmanship I think it’s call.

        no one here is whining about it. congrats on the win

        the snowstorm was not planned like your country’s soccer administration’s hospitality


      • Rest assured that what happened in Denver will not happen again, the Concacaf teams will not allow that U.S. Soccer Federation “hospitality” in the selection of a host city to be reprised in future qualifying games…
        Other than that, the games between U.S and Costa Rica will always have an attractive rivalry…
        Cheers and good luck…

      • I really don’t understand. Neither team practices in those conditions. Both teams had to play in it. Thousands of fans came despite the weather reports and stayed until the end. Both teams had to play in it.

      • If I remember correctly the CRC players protested to carry the game on. Go back and re-watch. They did.

        That said, we got out played. Michael Bradley get man of the match because he was the most important player for the usmnt.

      • Your guys played with heart, Eric, and very well and you deserved the win. Congratulations. And I will take heat for this from my fellow SBI posters, but, I agree, that game in Denver being played in a blizzard should have been postponed. And you also are right that Klinsmann and others were putting intense pressure on the referee not to stop the game. Klinsmann even admitted this after the game and was quoted in news stories saying just this.

      • Biff, thank you for your comment. The stats in WC games between US and Costa Rica show a pretty even situation. Our anger about Denver does not affect the fact that US is a great team and I am sure that both teams will qualify for Brazil… Regards and good luck…

      • Haha Costa Rica

        I hope you continue to play 5 at the back at the WC; a sure recipe for a 1 to 2 point total and quick exit

        Your players were quick to go to the ground tonight, which soured my respect for your side.

        Other than that, you guys were exceptional in the first portion of the match and deserved the 3 points

      • This is the best field your country has to offer!? Even in a snow storm the field in Denver was better to play on than this crap. The field tonight looked almost as bad as “the office” in Jamaica.

        Suck it up! Both teams played on the same fields. It wasn’t like CR played on a snow covered field while the US got to play on a pristine one.

      • I sympathize for your loss. But that game was awesome. Both teams had to play in it. I am happy it was played. And I would have been either way.

Leave a Comment