USMNT vs. Costa Rica
Location: Red Bull Arena, (Harrison, NJ)
Time: 6:30pm ET (coverage) / 6:55pm ET (KO)
TV: ESPN, Unimas, UDN
The USMNT heads into New Jersey before another crucial World Cup Qualifier against Costa Rica. The belief amongst USMNT fans is that we need to get three points here, no excuses. The Ticos currently sit in 2nd place one spot above the US with 11 points from six games, just 3 points better than the US. In fact, a 3-0 win takes the USMNT into 2nd in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying, albeit by goal differential. Realistically, six more points(14 points total) may be enough for an automatic World Cup spot, but we still want to contend as group winners.
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Last November’s 4-0 beating in Costa Rica was awful, and ultimately led to the sacking of Jurgen Klinsmann. Since that match, the USMNT is unbeaten, which speaks not only to Bruce Arena and his staff but the determination of the boys as well. And with July’s Gold Cup win is still fresh in the mind of US fans, expectations for qualifying have never been higher. This team has the talent and work ethic to get three points here and further our expectations for next summer’s World Cup.
Here are the teams:
GK: Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Nick Rimando
DEF: DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Hedges, Eric Lichaj, Tim Ream, Jorge Villafaña, Graham Zusi
MID: Kellyn Acosta, Paul Arriola, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Fabian Johnson, Dax McCarty, Darlington Nagbe, Christian Pulisic, Cristian Roldan
FOR: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris, Chris Wondolowski, Bobby Wood
GK: Leonel Moreira, Patrick Pemberton,, Keylor Navas
DEF: Johnny Acosta, Francisco Calvo, Cristian Gamboa, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Kenner Gutierrez, Bryan Oviedo, Jose Salvatierra, Michael Umaña, Kendall Waston
MID: Randall Azofeifa, Cristian Bolaños, Celso Borge, David Guzmán, Bryan Ruíz, Yeltsin Tejeda, Johan Venegas, Rodney Wallace
FOR: Daniel Colindres, Josê Ortiz, David Ramírez, Marco Ureña
Bruce Arena continues to stick with the vets across the board. In fact, 10 players over the age of 30 are included in the side. But make no mistake, these old men will get the job done. The backline is a wealth of experience. Besler/Cameron/Gonzalez seems to have worked in whichever pairing, and Villafana/Zusi have looked good respectively. But will Tim Ream get some minutes in his former stadium? Arena will surely use the Acosta/Bradley pairing that was so effective in Mexico in June. How will Nagbe & Fabian Johnson get involved? Pulisic is going to Pulisic. Bobby Wood has had a good start to the season for Hamburg, and Jozy has been in good form for TFC. But Jordan Morris and Deuce have been scintillating the past few months.
Los Ticos also have some talent with the likes of Bryan Ruiz, Cristian Bolanos, and Bryan Oviedo. This side can and will be dangerous on any given day.
So, let’s do what we do. Get to the stadium, get to the bars, get your voices warmed. The boys will need us, as always.
We love you and the last 10 years of singing alongside each one of you has been the joy of our lives.