US vs Costa Rica Instant Analysis

Join us periodically during the game for instant analysis on the happenings from Estadio Saprissa. This is not a live, running blog but commentary on a few critical key moments and issues in the game. As always comments are encouraged!


Howard; Wynne, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Beasley; Mastroeni, Bradley, Torres; Dempsey, Donovan, Altidore.

  • Veteran Pablo Mastroeni gets the start on the road as a holding midfielder.
  • Marvell Wynne makes his first full national team start on the road since the Copa America in 2007.
  • Jose Francisco Torres excellent form for Pachuca in the Mexican Clausura playoffs has been rewarded with a start at left midfield since DaMarcus Beasley has been pushed once againt o left back
  • Jozy Altidore replaces Brian Ching in the starting lineup.
  • Brian Ching has a hamstring problem and is out tonight.

First Half

The US looked flat footed on the Saprissa turf. The pity of the early goal is that this is the most attack minded lineup Bradley has featured on the road since taking over in 2007 and now we’ll never know how the US intended to play.

The second goal was after yet another US breakdown with the backline losing its shape and the holding midfielders arriving late.

The US has lost its shape totally at the back, with the holding midfielders totally out of position and the first touch of the defenders letting us down. Costa Rica’s attackers have acres of space to exploit and are not being challenged actively.

Jose Francisco Torres after a rocky start settled in and played very well in the second part of the first half. Perhaps Charlie Davies or Freddy Adu comes in at halftime for Beasley, pushing Bocanegra out to the left side of a 3 man backline, and pushing Donovan to the middle of the pitch.

The rest of my analysis can be found at Major League Soccer Talk.