Costa Rica 3 USA 1: Same Old Story at Saprissa

04 June 2009

If US fans are looking for a powder puff piece from notes given by USSF to it's only credentialed writer in San Jose, you've come to the wrong place. If you're a US fan who expects me to treat this game like the US is now a big shot footballing power, read on and be prepared to be severely angered. If you're a US fan looking for a place to blow off some steam, you've come to exactly the right place.

I quite frankly don't know where to start with this game, so I'll start with some of the comments I've seen on other blogs lately. You should know the types 'we will get something out of our trip to Costa Rica', 'we are the best team in CONCACAF and will wipe the floor clean with Costa Rica and then Mexico at Azteca', oh and the 'it's time for people to realize we will have no problems getting out of our group at the World Cup'. They simply make me laugh to the point of tears. Tonight's performance better wake a few people up to the realization we still have a long way to go and getting to this upcoming World Cup isn't as guaranteed as you first thought prior to the 10:06 kickoff.

I have to admit when I saw the lineup I was a little bit pleased. I was happy to see Torres and Altidore start, I was not happy the US played DeMarcus Beasley in the back. The lineup read of going all guns a blazing in only hope. Hope only sprung eternal for 80 seconds. When Mastroeni and Torres were beaten and Saborio took that 30 yard shot, I knew it was going to end up in the back of the net. It was a shot that no keeper in the world would have ever saved, a special goal goal. At least it was a special goal. Eleven minute later the US go down 2-0, and in all honesty it was a goal that should have been avoided. The entire backline was to blame for failing to clear a ball that should have easily been cleared.

The US was severely fractured for the rest of the first half with no flow to their play. Costa Rica should have had at least two more goals before halftime, except Tim Howard did his best to keep this squad in a match that never looked winable. The US made sure they didn't have a prayer to win with their sub of Jose Francisco Torres for Sasha Kljestan. To date, it could be Bob Bradley's worst substitution.

The US had their share of the ball in the second half, but couldn't do anything with it. Costa Rica added a third for good effect, while the United States saw Michael Bradley and then Sasha Kljestan get yellow cards that will see them out of the game against Honduras on Saturday. Landon Donovan's penalty conversion only helps their goal difference. Even sadder was their first shot on target was only a couple of minutes prior.

Alot of glaring things stand out to me. The first thing is DeMarcus Beasley needs to be as far away from this national team. He has completely regressed as a player and now Bob Bradley is inventing excuses for playing him at left back. Secondly, Freddy Adu and Jose Francisco Torres have to start in the same midfield. Bob Bradley will have no excuse against Honduras because his two personal pets won't be able to play. Thirdly, Jozy Altidore has to be the central striker. Playing him out wide was nothing more than a cop out getting him in the starting lineup. Besides Landon Donovan, Altidore was the only other player who looked like he cared.

The US may have played their best game down in Costa Rica since the green concrete was laid, but the red white and blue are no where near a side that can be taken seriously on the international level. If you think this performance was bad, wait until we get taken to the cleaners in Mexico City. US fans have got to be more realistic in their expectations. The game against Honduras and the road trip to Mexico will more than likely between them only lead to one point, three points at the most. At most, we will only get one point in the Confederation Cup, and if you want Cousin Jurgen as manager, then expect worse performances than we saw tonight.

Tonight's performance disgusted me. The only problem is it didn't disgust me as much as the comments I saw before kickoff.


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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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