We're just not as good as we thought or hoped we'd be. That much was clear after a humbling defeat to a spirited Costa Rican side last night at Estadio Saprissa by the score of 3-1.
The U.S. players were too slow, did not react quickly enough, did not defend as a unit, and were caught out of position several times and got behind early after just 78 seconds.
What really bothered me and some other U.S. fans was the lack of heart, passion, and pride; the U.S. simply was unprepared and did not show up to compete in Costa Rica.
Yes, we were playing on a horrible field turf, in very hostile and intimidating conditions, but we never should have gone down so quickly and looked so downtrodden in just the first half. Where was the courage...the pride? We didn't want this game and it was written all over our faces and by our half-hearted play.
Give Costa Rica a lot of credit too—they played outstanding and were confident—but this game made you wonder which team was ranked No. 14 and which team was ranked No. 41 by FIFA.
For the U.S., the time for soul-searching and resolution of issues needs to be completed now. Unfortunately, there is not much time for this, as Honduras comes to Chicago's Soldier Field on Saturday in a game the U.S. must now win to right the ship.
Several questions need to be answered before and by Saturday:
1. Who can replace DaMarcus Beasley, Pablo Mastroeni, and Marvell Wynne in the lineup after their horrible performances?
2. How will the U.S. be able to deal with the speed of Honduras after getting burned by Los Ticos last night?
3. Who will replace Michael Bradley in the middle of the park now that he will miss the Honduras match due to yellow card accumulation?
4. Will the young players who played well, Charlie Davies and Freddy Adu most notably, get more of a shot on Saturday?
5. Can this team recover physically, mentally and psychologically from this embarrassing loss and get a much needed home win against a tough opponent?
These next few days will tell us a lot about this team, most notably if we have the mental toughness and will to be a team that can challenge the best teams in the world or merely an average team in our own region.
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