Jurgen Klinsmann will get his second look at his new team when the United States take on Costa Rica. This will mark the first time since 1995 that these two teams have met in an international friendly. However, they are very familiar with each other, as they play each other in CONCACAF events.
The United States hold an 11-11-6 all-time record against Costa Rica, and Klinsmann will look to put the Americans ahead in the all-time series.
Klinsmann and the rest of the country will get their first look at Fabian Johnson, another former German who recently switched his allegiance to the United States.
Where: The Home Depot Center, California
When: September 2, 2011, 11:00 PM ET
Watch: ESPN2, Galavision
Live Stream: ESPN3
Biggest Storyline: Jurgen Klinsmann
This will be Klinsmann's second game as head coach of the US Men's National Team, and he will still be the big attraction for this game.
Most casual fans wouldn't take the time to watch this game if it weren't for Klinsmann being on the sideline.
Klinsmann is bringing a whole new level of excitement to the game, and that will only continue with a strong performance in this match.
Player to Watch for United States: Fabian Johnson
As mentioned previously, Johnson will be making his debut with the US after switching his allegiance recently. Johnson was a part of the German U-21 team that reached the U-21 World Cup Final just two years ago, but feels better fit in the long term plans of the United States.
Expect Johnson to get some quality playing time with his new teammates, as he looks to work his way into a full-time role with the Americans.
Player to Watch for Costa Rica: Alvaro Saborio
Alvaro Saborio is the most capped of all the players on the roster for this match, and he has plenty of experience playing in the United States.
Saborio is a forward for Real Salt Lake and is expected to be Costa Rica's most dangerous scoring threat in this match.
Key Matchup: Jozy Altidore vs. Costa Rica's Defense
Jozy Altidore will be making his first appearance under Jurgen Klinsmann and has been the most consistent striker on the pitch for the United States over the past few seasons.
This will be an important match for him as he looks to make a good first impression on his new coach. He has gotten off to a solid start with his new Dutch team and is coming off a two-goal performance in the Europa League.
He appears to be finding his form at the right time and should make a strong impact for the Americans.
What They're Saying:
ESPN's Scott French broke down the Costa Rican roster for the upcoming match and discussed the fact that Costa Rica is looking to use their homegrown talent more.
Interim coach Ronald Gonzalez, who stepped in when Ricardo Lavolpe terminated his contract earlier this month, has called in the usual blend of experience and youngsters you find at this stage in the four-year cycle—with several months before the Ticos' World Cup qualifying campaign begins—for next Friday's encounter at Home Depot Center.
The 24-man list, released Friday on Federacion Costarricense de Futbol's website, is heavily tilted toward home-based players, with five from champion Alajuelense, and features four players from Major League Soccer, including starting Chivas USA center back Michael Umaña.
Fox News takes a look at some of the issues that face Klinsmann in the near future,
Donovan isn't the only star who could take on a new role under Klinsmann. Clint Dempsey will get his first chance to work with the new US head coach, and the versatile Fulham star could wind up at any number of positions, from a central playmaking role to his familiar right wing spot. Where Klinsmann really has work to do is defensively, where he will try to move closer to settling on a starting back-line. Carlos Bocanegra and Steve Cherundolo are fixtures in the back, but figuring out who his left back will be and who will start in central defense remain serious questions. Fabian Johnson could be an option at left back, while Michael Orozco will try to build on a strong showing against Mexico.
|Tim Howard||Carlos Bocanegra||Kyle Beckerman||Juan Agudelo|
|Bill Hamid||Edgar Castillo||Clint Dempsey||Jozy Altidore|
|Timmy Chandler||Maurice Edu||Teal Bunbury|
|Steve Cherundolo||Fabian Johnson||Teal Bunbury|
|Clarence Goodson||Sacha Kljestan|
|Zach Loyd||Jeff Larentowicz|
|Michael Orozco Fiscal||Robbie Rogers|
|Heath Pearce||Brek Shea|
|Tim Ream||Jose Torres|
Costa Rica Roster:
|Danny Carvajal||Jhonny Acosta||Randall Azofeifa||Randall Brenes|
|Leonel Moreira||Carlos Johnson||Michael Barrantes||Josue Martinez|
|Keylor Navas||Jose Mena||Christian Bolaños||Daniel Colindres|
|Christopher Meneses||Allen Guevara||Winston Parks|
|Roy Miller||David Guzman||Alvaro Saborio|
|Jose Salvatierra||Kareem McLean|
|Roy Smith||Alvaro Sanchez|
|Michael Umaña||Rodney Wallace|
United States 2
Costa Rica 1