The United States men’s national soccer team has never won a game in Costa Rica. On Friday night, they had a chance to snap that disappointing streak. The United States was on a 12 game winning streak leading up to the game against Costa Rica. Their opponents were not amongst the world’s best, but the streak says a lot about the United States team.
Last year, manager Jurgen Klinsmann wasn’t viewed as a great leader, after the US had trouble creating scoring opportunities in multiple games. This year, Klinsmann has changed his formation and created new opportunities for younger players. With American greats like Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan left out of certain lineups, the United States national team clearly was looking for a jump start. Although the young players excelled during the winning streak, the game in Costa Rica was a prime opportunity for Clint Dempsey to be in the starting lineup.
The game against Costa Rica would be Dempsey’s 100th career game as a member of the United Sates soccer team. Leading the U.S. to their first win in Costa Rica would be a great way to remember his 100th cap. With defensive midfielder Michael Bradley out with a sprained ankle, the U.S. had a tough fight ahead of them.
Costa Rica started the game strong, scoring two goals within the first nine minutes. Both goals came from lapses in the United States back line, which featured young center backs Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez. A penalty kick by Clint Dempsey in the 43rd minute gave the Americans their only goal of the game. Costa Rica added one more goal in the 75th minute to seal the game. The United States still remains at the top of their group in world cup qualifying, and big game against Mexico will be played on Tuesday night in Columbus. The U.S has a great opportunity to qualify for the world cup in Brazil next summer.