The United States takes on Costa Rica tonight in the final group stage match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. With both teams on six points after taking down minnows Belize and Cuba, this will be a struggle to see who retains first place in Group C. Thanks to the higher goal differential of the United States, Costa Rica need a win to grab first while the US only need a result to secure their first place berth.
Rodney Wallace, who is still with the Costa Rican National Team, could potentially feature in this match, particularly given his previous performance against the US, but it seems unlikely given his relative lack of playing time with Costa Rica this year.
Well, you all wanted a spot to talk about the USMNT, so here you go.
Watch it on: FOX Soccer
Kick off: 5:00 p.m. PST in Hartford, Connecticut
United States: 6 points in Group C, +8 goal differential.
Costa Rica: 6 points in Group C, +6 goal differential.
United States: Sean Johnson; Michael Parkhurst, Michael Orozco, Clarence Goodson, Damarcus Beasley; Alejando Bedoya, Stuart Holden, Mixx Diskerud, Jose Torres; Landon Donovan, Chris Wondolowski
Costa Rica: Coming Soon.
Neither team has faced a real challenge yet in Group C as Belize and Cuba are not teams that should be giving teams like the US and Costa Rica trouble. This will be the first real test of the tournament for both of these teams, but of the two the US certainly has more pedigree to bring to the table. With Landon Donovan starting to round into form and Chris Wondowlowski scoring goals in bunches against lower level opponents, Costa Rica will be hard pressed to outscore the US in a shootout.
If there has been one area in which the US has looked unstable it is the midfield. Although Jurgen Klinsmann has eventually found the right midfield pairing in each match so far, it has never been the starting midfield pairing. As a result the Americans have been starting off slow and Costa Rica could capitalize on that and put the US on the back heel from the start. If the US can weather the storm, however, their quality is likely to shine through.