United States vs Costa Rica
Avaya Stadium — San Jose, California
February 2 — 1:30 PM MT
Coming off a rousing 3-0 debut win against Panama under Gregg Berhalter, the US national team are back in action on Saturday afternoon with their final match to conclude the January training camp, a friendly at Avaya Stadium against Costa Rica.
The first game showed a glimpse of promise for the future for the USMNT under Berhalter. Tactical wrinkles were deployed for the first time in game action, Djordje Mihailovic and Christian Ramirez scored debut goals and another from relative USMNT vet Walker Zimmerman set the tone for the year ahead.
United States Outlook
One game down, one solid performance for the US.
Wins aren't necessarily the main priority for these January camp friendlies, but after a rocky 15 months for the program, getting started on the right foot was certainly a welcome sight.
Berhalter handed out a slew of senior-team debuts against Panama, including the Chicago Fire's Mihailovic, LAFC striker Ramirez, Daniel Lovitz of the Montreal Impact, NYCFC’s Jonathan Lewis and Jeremy Ebobisse from the Portland Timbers. While there are several more players waiting for their own shot, Berhalter said he would not necessarily ring the changes against the Ticos. Stay tuned for the new manager's approach in the second game.
Costa Rica Outlook
Gustavo Matosas called up a fairly inexperienced roster for this match for Costa Rica. New Timbers signing Marvin Loria is getting his first nod with Costa Rica's senior team. The 21-year-old midfielder played for Portland's USL Championship side last season. He's joined on the Ticos roster by Timbers teammate David Guzman, Minnesota United captain Francisco Calvo, Seattle Sounders defender Waylon Francis, D.C. United defender Joseph Mora and newly inked FC Cincinnati midfielder Allan Cruz.
With what looks like a new generation of players, Costa Rica are in a similar position to the US, trying to work in a new group of players alongside some experienced hands, with one eye on the Concacaf Gold Cup coming up this summer.
Costa Rica hold a slight edge in the all-time series, at 16-15-6. They last played in the fateful Hex round last World Cup cycle, with Costa Rica winning 2-0 at Red Bull Arena on Sept. 1, 2017 through a Marco Ureña brace.
Players to Watch
United States — Nick Lima: The most interesting man on the field against Panama, the versatile right back, already one of the best crossers in MLS, got to show a full arsenal of skills in Berhalter's fullback-happy system. He divided his time between right back and auxiliary defensive midfielder, and stole the ball and hit a beautiful early cross to set up a goal that reminded many of a certain Wayne Rooney play for D.C. United. There's a chance Lima could be rotated out for this game, but given his impressive performance and the fact he'll be returning to his home stadium in San Jose, there's a good chance he'll get another run to show if that debut can be replicated.
Costa Rica — Allan Cruz: The 22-year-old could get his first truly national exposure ahead of his MLS debut in this match. The defensive midfielder will likely have his work cut out for him on the day, but after making his senior team debut for Costa Rica last year, the new FC Cincinnati man will look to make a mark on the game, one way or another.
United States Roster
|GK||Sean Johnson||New York City FC||5/0|
|GK||Zack Steffen||Columbus Crew SC||6/0|
|D||Reggie Cannon||FC Dallas||2/0|
|D||Nick Lima||San Jose Earthquakes||0/0|
|D||Aaron Long||New York Red Bulls||2/0|
|D||Daniel Lovitz||Montreal Impact||0/0|
|D||Mark McKenzie||Philadelphia Union||0/0|
|D||Keegan Rosenberry||Colorado Rapids||0/0|
|D||Auston Trusty||Philadelphia Union||0/0|
|M||Paul Arriola||D.C. United||17/2|
|M||Corey Baird||Real Salt Lake||0/0|
|M||Michael Bradley||Toronto FC||142/17|
|M||Russell Canouse||D.C. United||0/0|
|M||Marky Delgado||Toronto FC||6/0|
|M||Jonathan Lewis||New York City FC||0/0|
|M||Sebastian Lletget||LA Galaxy||5/1|
|M||Djordje Mihailovic||Chicago Fire||0/0|
|M||Cristian Roldan||Seattle Sounders FC||5/0|
|M||Wil Trapp||Columbus Crew SC||11[/0|
|F||Jeremy Ebobisse||Portland Timbers||0/0|
|F||Gyasi Zardes||Columbus Crew SC||40/6|
Costa Rica Roster
|GK||Marco Madrigal||San Carlos|
|D||Pablo Arboine||Santos de Guapiles|
|D||Francisco Calvo||Minnesota United|
|D||Waylon Francis||Seattle Sounders|
|D||Joseph Mora||D.C. United|
|M||Jose Miguel Cubero||Alajuelense|
|M||Allan Cruz||FC Cincinnati|
|M||David Guzman||Portland Timbers|
|M||Marvin Loria||Portland Timbers|
|F||Jose Guillermo Ortiz||Herediano|
|F||Jean Scott||Guadalupe FC|