USA will need it’s best effort of the tournament to knock off Costa Rica and reach the Gold Cup final.
The Americans have been uninspired and sloppy thus far at the Gold Cup, advancing to the semifinals after a sloppy 2-0 win over El Salvador. After starting group play with a draw to Panama, the Americans won their final two games to advance, beating the likes of Nicaragua and Martinique.
Surrendering two goals to the latter side didn’t inspire much confidence, and USA manager Bruce Arena recruited more senior talent to join the team for the knockout stage. The addition of Clint Dempsey made USA’s attack exponentially more dangerous, and Tim Howard returned to goal to bail his defense out at critical moments.
The biggest concern for USMNT is not just the quality of play, but the quality relative to the skill of the opponents. If USA want to own the continent, they need to be more overwhelming against the likes of Martinique and El Salvador. Those performances won’t work against Costa Rica, a side good enough to win the tournament with past success over USA. It wasn’t that long ago that Los Ticos dismantled the Americans, embarrassing them 4-0 during World Cup qualifying in November.
Costa Rica has yet to win a gold Cup, and is competing for a first finals appearance since 2002. Their defensive style has worked until this point, as the squad advanced over Panama without scoring a goal. An own goal gave the side a 1-0 quarterfinal win, as Costa Rica has only allowed one goal throughout the entire tournament.
Kickoff is scheduled for 10:00 p.m. Eastern, and lineups will be posted one hour before kickoff.
Here are the basics:
DATE: Saturday, July 22, 2017
CHANNEL: Fox Sports 1
KICKOFF TIME: 10:00 p.m. Eastern
LOCATION: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
LIVE STREAM: Click here for all live streaming information
USMNT: Howard, Villafana, Gonzalez, Besler, Morris, Zusi, Arriola, Acosta, Nagbe, Bradley, Altidore
Costa Rica: Pemberton, Salvatierra, Waston, Acosta, Gonzalez, Calvo, Ramirez, Guzman, Tejeda, Ruiz, Urena