I think that for the first time in quite a while, the US lost in a way that made fans hopeful of what is to come in the future.
Now, I may be alone in that sentiment, but Costa Rica has always had the Americans' number, regardless of where the game was played. New head man Jurgen Klinsmann has created a much more aggressive side while at the same time making them a very vulnerable and susceptible to counter-attacking type of squad.
With risk comes reward, but the US had plenty of golden opportunities to put balls in the back of the net—they just were unable to finish. With that game came a lesson, and the result must be quickly removed from their memory even faster if they want to be able to make amends for their loss in Southern California.
The Americans head into Europe, where they have been less than stellar, to face a very talented Belgium side. Now, Belgium may not be putting their top side on display, but it will be a challenge regardless not only on the field, but mentally to bounce back so quickly from a tough loss on American soil.
Klinsmann has the right recipe for what the Americans need: pressure. It bit them in the backside, but against a team like Belgium, the Yanks should be very successful.
On Tuesday, American fans will see a very similar attacking philosophy with some different players plugged into the pitch. Klinsmann will see the arrival of Clint Dempsey, Steve Cherundolo and Kyle Beckerman, but with those additions, the Americans will be without American hero Landon Donovan.
Donovan already had a prearranged setup to not make the trip to Europe so that he could play with his MLS club side, the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Klinsmann is still in a trial-and-error type of stage to experiment with certain players and see who truly fits the mold of his system. Klinsmann has already won favor with many of the fans by being more fan friendly, showing he is willing to give many young players shots at the national stage and that he is determined to have a goal-scoring mindset.
Each game is a step toward World Cup qualifying, and even though fans would like to see consistent wins, regardless of the opponent, Klinsmann is showing that he cannot build a winning side in a day, but he does have the patience to improve a very average and inconsistent squad.
I cannot wait to get the game going and update you on everything US soccer for the USA vs. Belgium friendly coming up in less than 12 hours!
Check back for your live play-by-play, comments, reactions and constant updates right here, starting a few hours before kickoff.
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