Welcome to your live thread for tonight's U.S. Men's National Team match against Costa Rica! This is the second Copa América group stage match for the Americans following a tough 2-0 defeat to Colombia Friday night in Santa Clara, CA.
With the U.S. needing at least a point from this game to keep its Copa hopes alive, expect the Yanks to come out aggressively and generate more scoring opportunities than they did last time out.
If coach Jurgen Klinsmann decides to tinker with the lineup, as he usually does, look for Darlington Nagbe to possibly get a start in this one. Every time Nagbe has come on for the Yanks in his brief international career, he has managed to make some sort of impact. Nagbe is the No. 10 that the U.S. has been lacking in the midfield. His passing and lethal finishing could be the key to unlocking a stingy Costa Rican defense.
If Nagbe is in the lineup, the Yanks could play a traditional 4-4-2 with Clint Dempsey and Bobby Wood up top. Dempsey was the most dangerous piece of a not-so-dangerous offense against Colombia, and had a header cleared off the line before seeing Colombian keeper David Ospina make a nice save to keep his free kick out.
On Friday, Wood was stationed out on the left and struggled to make an impact playing in a three-man front line. Should Klinsmann opt for two men up top, this would allow Wood to play in a more central role where his threat in the air, as well as his play with his back to goal, would be more useful.
While the team conceded two goals Friday, the defense played fairly well. The center back pairing of Geoff Cameron and John Brooks looked solid and played well off one another. They will need to have another good outing as the Costa Rican duo of Bryan Ruiz and Joel Campbell will be looking to score the first goals of the tournament for Los Ticos. The speed of Colombia kept both Fabian Johnson and DeAndre Yedlin from getting into the attack much last time out. This cannot be the case tonight. Both fullbacks will be expected to get forward and provide service from the wings.
Captain Michael Bradley came under scrutiny after the defeat to Colombia due to a very poor performance from the Toronto FC man. Playing in the No. 6 role suits Bradley far more than being in an attacking midfield position, but the captain has to be better with the ball at his feet and not turn it over much as he did against the Colombians.
Costa Rican center back Kendall Waston will miss the match tonight due to a red card he picked up against Paraguay in the match Saturday in Orlando.
The U.S. sits at the bottom of Group A after the first round of matches. A win against Costa Rica would put the Stars and Stripes right back on track to make it to the knockout rounds, but this will not be an easy match. Costa Rica has won the last two games against the Americans and has plenty of talent to give the U.S. problems once again, but the Yanks are 5-0-0 all time against CONCACAF opposition at Soldier Field, according to U.S. Soccer. This is a huge game for the hosts, and U.S. fans will definitely want to tune in to this one.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Ethan Horvath (Molde IK)
DEFENDERS (8): Matt Besler (Sporting KC), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Monterrey), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
MIDFIELDERS/FORWARDS (12): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg SV), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)
Goalkeepers (3): Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense), Leonel Moreira (Herediano), Dani Carvajal (Saprissa)
Defenders (9): Cristian Gamboa (West Bromwich Albion), Jose Salvatierra (Alajuelense) - Michael Umaña (Persepolis), Johnny Acosta (Alajuelense), Oscar Duarte (Espanyol), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps), Ronald Matarrita (New York City FC), Bryan Oviedo (Everton), Francisco Calvo (Saprissa)
Midfielders/forwards (11): Yeltsin Tejeda (Evian), Celso Borges (Deportivo La Coruña), Randall Azofeifa (Herediano), Esteban Granados (Herediano), Bryan Ruiz (Sporting Club), Johan Venegas (Montreal Impact), Christian Bolanos (Vancouver Whitecaps), Joel Campbell (Arsenal), Johnny Woodly (Carmelita), Alvaro Saborio (D.C. United), Marcos Ureña (Midtjylland)
How to Watch:
Match time: 8 p.m. ET
Venue: Soldier Field -- Chicago, Ill.
TV: FS1, UniMás, UDN
Live Stream: FOX Sports GO
Match Thread Rules:
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Enjoy the game. Go USA!