The United States Men’s National Team will look to build on its thrilling 1-1 draw with Mexico last month, as they get ready to take on CONCACAF rivals Costa Rica on Friday at the Home Depot Center.
It will be the States’ second match under manager Jürgen Klinsmann, and the team will be looking to impress as they prepare to start World Cup Qualification for Brazil 2014.
The team will be missing Kyle Beckerman, Clint Dempsey, and Steve Cherundolo, all of whom will be joining the squad when they arrive in Brussels for Tuesday’s match against Belgium.
Other than that, the squad will be at full strength, with the notable inclusion of 21-year-old Brek Shea. The FC Dallas midfielder impressed in the second half of last months draw with Mexico, and he will certainly be eyeing a chance to do the same on Friday.
A name noticeably absent from the squad is Freddy Adu. The Philadelphia Union midfielder has been snubbed twice now by Klinsmann after an impressive display in the Gold Cup.
While the US will certainly be fancying their chances against their Central American opposition, this will, by no means, be an automatic win for the North American side.
In the States’ last match against Costa Rica, which was a World Cup Qualifier back in October of 2009, Jonathan Bornstein nodded in a Robbie Rodgers corner in stoppage time to secure a 2-2 draw.
While the result had no effect on the US, denying Costa Rica a win sent them to a playoff with CONMEBOL members Uruguay, who ended up denying the Central American nation an appearance in South Africa’s 2010 World Cup.
The Costa Rican’s will certainly have this memory on their minds as they get set to take the pitch at the Home Depot Center on Friday.
Player to watch: Brek Shea. The FC Dallas midfielder will be looking to improve on an extremely impressive showing in last month’s match against Mexico. In his five club appearances since that match, Shea has scored one goal and provided two assists.
Klinsmann Verdict: This match will certainly be one of great importance to the newly appointed manager. A home game against a talented, but beatable, opposition should ensure that the German tactician goes for a win and fields a strong squad.