By FRANCO PANIZO
HARRISON, N.J. — Jurgen Klinsmann may have wanted to get a look at some newer and younger faces, but doing so came at a price.
A second-half goal from Joel Campbell pushed Costa Rica to a 1-0 victory in a friendly against the U.S. Men’s National Team at Red Bull Arena on Tuesday night. The Ticos had the majority of the scoring chances in the game played in front of 9,214 fans, but it took until the 70th minute for them to find a winner.
Campbell beat veteran U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard, who started in his first appearance since last summer’s World Cup, with a low curler following a pass from the right from Dave Myrie.
The defeat came three days after the Americans’ suffered a 3-2 defeat to Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup, and extends their current losing streak to three matches.
Costa Rica was more dangerous over the course of 90 minutes, testing the U.S. back line repeatedly. Howard and defender Brad Evans came up with key interventions to keep the Americans in it, however.
Oscar Ramirez’s side nearly struck in the 42nd minute. A low cross from the right zipped by Howard and U.S. centerbacks Geoff Cameron and Michael Orozco, allowing Johan Venegas to unleash a shot on frame that Evans’ blocked with his back.
The Ticos had another good-looking opportunity to take the lead three minutes after halftime when Marcos Urena raced in on goal before pushing a shot wide.
Howard came up with a solid 59th-minute stop to keep the game scoreless. After Danny Williams lost a ball in the Americans’ defensive third, Joel Campbell unleashed a hard shot that the standing U.S. goalkeeper pawed away with his right hand.
Poor finishing from Costa Rica kept the game level nine minutes later. A low ball was curled into the penalty area from the left, and Urena flashed a one-timed effort just wide.
Costa Rica eventually mustered up enough quality to find a winner. Myrie raced to the end line and set up an open Joel Campbell, who fired a low curler into the back of the net.
The U.S. could have fallen further behind in the 77th minute, but Evans came up with a sliding challenge to thwart a goal-bound shot.
The Ticos then nearly put the game out of reach a minute into stoppage time, but Howard denied Urena on a breakaway.
The U.S.’s best chance on goal was its first. Brek Shea whipped in a free kick from the right that found Tim Ream, but Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas was up to the task and stopped Ream’s low header.
What do you think of the USMNT’s 1-0 loss to Costa Rica? Who impressed/disappointed you? Worried about the state of the Americans right now?
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