Top Stories

SBI Friday Rewind: Finding Altidore’s replacement; Costa Rica advances; and more

Chris Wondolowski


The U.S. Men’s National Team is just two days from their second group stage match and the big question from Sao Paulo, Brazil has been, who will replace injured target forward Jozy Altidore? SBI’s Franco Panizo heard from forwards Chris Wondolowski and Aron Johannasson about the prospect of filling that role against Portugal on Sunday. Meanwhile, Michael Bradley was looking to improve after what he admitted was a poor showing in the USMNT’s opener against Ghana.

For the second time in their team history, Costa Rica is heading to the World Cup knockout round. The CONCACAF nation stunned Italy to ensure Costa Rica will advance and eliminate England after just two matches played.

Elsewhere, it looked like CONCACAF would be able to boast another team rising to the occasion — but Ecuador intervened and overcame a deficit to win and put Honduras on the brink of elimination.

Here is a rundown of all the stories featured on SBI today:

Wondolowski, Johannsson ready to fill in for injured Altidore

Bradley poised for bounce-back performance against Portugal

Ruiz header gives Costa Rica stunning victory over Italy

World Cup Man of the Match: Christian BolaƱos

Valencia brace rallies Ecuador past Honduras

SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Enner Valencia

France takes control of Group E with dominant performance against Switzerland

SBI World Cup Man of the Match: Karim Benzema

World Cup Day 9: Your Running Commentary

World Cup Day 9: A Look Ahead

Friday Kickoff: Xavi to leave Barcelona; Suarez calls win “a dream”; and more

U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round Recap: MLS bounces back from early upsets

NWSL Week 11: A Look Ahead



  1. Costa Rica an Mexico have been very impressive in this world cup, exceeding expectations by a long shot. I hope these results are brewing up a storm in the US camp, making them come out and explode dynamically against Portugal. The important thing to take away from this is
    to look at the similarities, the style of play that’s causing so much problems for top 10 teams. Costa Rica and Mexico have players with good individual skills, good dribbling abilities able to turn UP field and take players on, great one touch passing, CONFIDENT control on the ball like they deserve to be there, discipline backline……..etc. No more sitting back and getting pounded with wave after wave of vicious attack, No more thinking about damage control rather than attack. CONCACAF teams are no longer “group fillers” in the world of soccer…..

    “its not about the size of the dog in the fight, its about the size in the fight in the dog”….and CONCACAF teams, even when they’re going down they go down swinging.

    • agree it’s the style of play that makes the difference.

      would venture to say that Costa Rica’s D the best in the World Cup so far. I know no other team tries to do it on D the way they do. Mexico was saved by Ochoa, but it was their commitment to defending as a team that gave them a chance and frustrated Brazil; it wasn’t their old ideas of attacking with abandon based on false belief that they were better than they actually are (typical Mexican national team for decades). Herrera is truly an amazing coach to get that mentality transformation to occur imo

  2. Let’s stop talking about possession and attacking soccer. We don’t don’t have the players to play anything but bunker and counter attack.

  3. Woohoo! — glad I put money on Costa Rica to win their group at 40/1. And at some point, these performances should no longer be “shocking.”

    I found it funny earlier today to see noted eursnob Bob Ley struggling to come to grips at how Costa Rica would be able to even be on the same field as Italy and Uruguay, let alone beat them and outplay them. He brought up the teamsheets and the clubs they play for. Hey Bob (and all of you defending our mentality against Ghana): the game isn’t played on paper. Here’s another thought: Maybe, just maybe, there are good soccer players playing outside the top 4 leagues in Europe. And there’s also the fact that it’s a team game, in a tournament (not a year-long league format).

    One other point: Costa Rica and Mexico are showing us how it should be done. You apologists say the pragmatic approach is what we have to do, and yet Costa Rica and Mexico disagree — playing positive and unafraid against far superior competition than the 38th ranked team in the world. They are getting deserved results, while I doubt we will be so lucky as we were in our first game should we keep that same mentality.

    I think it’s a noteworthy difference compared to the US, who finished above both CR and MEX in the hex (we don’t have the players, but Costa Rica does?). I realize there were other factors at play, but there are no excuses come Sunday. I won’t hold my breath that we’ll see anything more than USA circa 1994, considering the chasm between the words from Klinnsman and team, and their actions. I desperately hope I’m wrong and we come to play soccer.

    • Didn’t see it but Bob Lee should talk about the leagues that the English team plays for.
      All those first division in England guys look real impressive.

    • So you attack people for not giving Costa Rica credit while then also down playing and not giving any credit to Ghana. interesting.

      Costa Rica pretty much sat on there goal in the second half of that match. A number of times a forward got free on the wing to find himself all alone. Without even anyone to cross it into. They had a great match but you’re kind over stating there attacking football.

      Also I’m sure it’s easy for Mexico to just go out an attack because lets face it, they have nothing to loose. They’re just lucky to even be in Brazil. Also the headlines I saw weren’t about Mexico’s attack. It was Ochoa having the best goal keeping performance of the tournament. With out him they loose 3-0 easy.

      • Jack, you described the WC super tough competition pretty well in regards to the teams who represent our region. Every WC game is different because of the different players, styles and efforts you are facing. The US played a very difficult Ghana/African team which most countries have a difficulty time playing physically. Additionally, the US early lost its striker Jozy, Dempsey played a long time with a broken nose and at the end we lost a defender (which turned well because of replacement Brooks’ great header!!). For Sunday, I hope our two striker replacements will work out, Bradley has a super game, we lose fewer passes, and the US defense keeps track of the speedy Portuguese forwards and gets A BIG USA WIN to add to this WC’s many upsets!!!

      • totally overstating the attacking part of Costa Rica since it’s their D that got them thru that game! and frankly, same with Mexico vs. Brazil! I love the internets

    • These are the posts that make the internets what they are. You want to open up a track meet with a physical and talented Ghana team in the heat be my guest. Oh wait, you’ll never have to because the extent of your part in this is to simply watch the game and make false equivalency posts all while demanding proper soccer and calling people apologists.

      Each game is different. Italy were tired and did not want to chase after Costa Rica in the heat and…presto, Costa Rica looked great in their win and they deserved every bit of it. Mexico and Brazil have a well documented history, which I am sure you are aware of but bringing that up defeats the purpose of your post.

      If Portugal plays us as flatly as Italy played Costa Rica then yes, they will be punished. Each game poses its own issues and challenges and smart teams, good teams adapt to take advantage of the situation. Excellent teams just do their thing regardless. I’m not delusional enough to think we are excellent just yet. We are in a tough group and whether you want to acknowledge that fact or not it’s team’s first priority, the coach’s first priority is to secure the points to get out of the group. So this apologist will forgive them if in doing so they fail to meet your demands by not giving you whatever it is you refer to as “come to play soccer”.

    • So Costa Rica qualifies behind us, but somehow they are a level above us? There is no gap anymore between US, CR, and Mexico.

      I never had them winning the group. I saw a possibility they’d get 0 points. I saw the same possibility for us.

      I’m a big CR fan. They play with purpose and skill, unlike teams like Honduras I want the teams in our region to become powers who play attractively because it can only help us.

    • I’m just saying that the U.S. was better than Mexico and Costa Rica in the qualifiers but now they are better. We have completely regressed.

      • The trolls only start to pop up when they are afraid. The U.S. has passed you’re beloved Mexico, get over it! and quit acting like you are a U.S. fan, smh.

  4. CONCACAF – four wins, a tie and two losses – and one of the wins was against Italy and the tie against Brazil. Not too shabby. Hopefully we’ll keep that rolling in a couple days.

    • If we make it and the team where the fans toss bags of urine does, it might get CONCACAF 4 spots instead of the current 3.5.


Leave a Comment