U.S. Soccer

USA Falls 2-0 to Costa Rica in World Cup Qualifier, Presented by Volpi Foods

HARRISON, N.J. (Sept. 1, 2017) – The U.S. Men’s National Team fell 2-0 to Costa Rica on Matchday 7 of the Final Round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying in front of a sold-out crowd of 25,600 at Red Bull Arena. The U.S. will look to rebound quickly with a fast approaching Matchday 8 encounter at Honduras on Tuesday (5:30 p.m. ET; beIN Sports, UNIVERSO).

A tight opening to the match included a legitimate penalty shout from Jozy Altidore in the 24th minute. A good bit of possession led to Christian Pulisic finding space on the right, before he centered looking for Altidore in stride. With his body between the goal and Kendall Waston, Altidore was set to receive the pass and was hauled down from behind by the Costa Rica defender before the following appeals went begging. 

Costa Rica caught the U.S. off guard to take the lead on the half-hour mark. A ball out of the back was taken down by Bryan Ruiz, who played a simple pass for Marco Ureña to run into the gap in the U.S. central defense. The San Jose Earthquakes attacker held off Tim Ream before scraping his effort from the right inside the lower, left post in the 30th minute.

The U.S. fired back when a nice bit of skill from Altidore up the right allowed him to set up Christian Pulisic in the area, but his first-time effort was blocked at the near post by Waston, allowing Costa Rica to take a 1-0 lead into halftime.

Ream nearly made amends for the Costa Rica goal after the break. An early second-half corner kick from Graham Zusi picked out the center back, who rose at the six-yard box where he nodded his effort down, only to see it bounce over the cross bar.

With the U.S. still looking for a goal after the hour mark, Clint Dempsey entered the match and sent a deflected free kick into the path of Pulisic whose first-time shot was only kept out thanks to a sweeping paw from sprawling Costa Rica ‘keeper Keylor Navas.

Navas came up big again in the 81st minute when Altidore got on the end of a long ball from Geoff Cameron, only to see the Real Madrid backstop come up with a point-blank stop at the top of the six-yard box. The Ticos struck the fatal blow just a minute later when David Guzmán intercepted a pass out of the back quickly slipped a ball through the U.S. backline to find Ureña in stride, who tucked home his effort in the 82nd minute to provide the final 2-0 score line.

Next on the Schedule: The MNT looks to rebound quickly when it heads to Honduras for a Matchday 8 encounter vs. Los Catracos on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Kickoff from Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula is set for 5:30 p.m. ET and can be seen live on beiN SPORTS and UNIVERSO.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram; Snapchat (ussoccer_mnt)

Goal Scoring Rundown:
CRC – Marco Ureña (Bryan Ruiz), 30th minute:
Costa Rica broke through on the half-hour mark when Ruiz picked out a gap in central defense and laid a path towards goal for Ureña. The speedy striker was tracked by Tim Ream, but created enough space in the area to fire a low effort that beat Tim Howard inside the lower, left post. USA 0, CRC 1 [WATCH]

CRC – Marco Ureña (David Guzmán), 82nd minute: Costa Rica would kill off the game when Guzmán stepped up to cut out a U.S. pass out of the back and sprung Ureña through the U.S. defense before the striker slipped his second of the game past Howard and inside the left post. USA 0, CRC 2 [WATCH] FINAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
CRC – Francisco Calvo and Kendall Waston, 26th minute: Just moments after a penalty shout from Jozy Altidore went begging, the MNT came close with its first clear cut chance of the match. High pressure in midfield paid off when Michael Bradley did well to read a pass from Bryan Ruiz, chesting down the effort as he strolled toward goal. With numbers moving forward, Bradley slid the ball to Altidore on the left, who drove to the end line before centering a ball looking for Bobby Wood, only to see Calvo and Waston turn the effort away inside the six-yard box.

CRC – Kendall Waston, 38th minute: Galvanized after going down 1-0, the U.S. came close again after Zusi flicked on a nice pass in stride down the right for Altidore. The veteran forward held the ball up before playing a ball outside and split David Guzman and Calvo. With a free lane towards the end line, Altidore centered a pass at the near post for Pulisic, but his first-time effort was blocked by Waston inside the six.

CRC – Keylor Navas, 67th minute: Just seconds after entering the match, Clint Dempsey lined up a free kick 20 yards from goal. His right-footed take deflected into the area where Bradley laid it back for Pulisic whose effort deflected off Cristian Gamboa squirting through towards goal. There, Navas was already sprawling from the initial shot, but held his left paw up to keep Costa Rica ahead.

CRC – Keylor Navas, 81st minute: A ball over the top from Geoff Cameron saw Altidore muscle off Costa Rica defender Johnny Acosta to gain entry into the area. Altidore gained enough space to fire a point-blank effort, but Navas was alert off his line to turn it away at the six-yard-box.

NOTES:

  • The defeat snaps the U.S. MNT’s 14-match unbeaten streak in 2017 and is also the first loss of Bruce Arena’s second tenure as head coach.
  • The U.S. moves to 15-16-6 all-time vs. Costa Rica.
  • Altidore’s 79th minute yellow card was his second of World Cup Qualifying, meaning he will serve a one-match suspension during Tuesday’s game at Honduras.
  • Dempsey’s substitute appearance handed him his 40th career World Cup Qualifying cap, pulling him level with Landon Donovan for first on the U.S. MNT’s all-time list.
  • Altidore gathered his 39th qualifying appearance, leaving him just one behind Dempsey and Donovan.
  • Full backs Jorge Villafaña and Graham Zusi made their team-leading 12th appearances of 2017.
  • Matt Hedges, Cristian Roldan and Chris Wondolowski were healthy scratches from tonight’s 23-player roster.

- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Costa Rica
Date: September 1, 2017
Competition: 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying – Final Round
Venue: Red Bull Arena; Harrison, New Jersey
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 26,500 (so)
Weather: 66 degrees; partly cloudy 

Scoring Summary:    1          2          F                                                         
USA                            0          0          0        
CRC                            1          1          2

CRC - Marco Ureña (Bryan Ruiz)                  30th minute
CRC - Marco Ureña (David Guzman)             82 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 19-Graham Zusi (18-Jordan Morris, 84), 20-Geoff Cameron, 14-Tim Ream, 2-Jorge Villafaña (8-Clint Dempsey, 65); 10-Christian Pulisic (21-Paul Arriola, 87), 6-Darlington Nagbe, 4-Michael Bradley (capt.), 23-Fabian Johnson; 9-Bobby Wood, 17-Jozy Altidore
Subs not used: 12-Brad Guzan, 22-Nick Rimando, 3-Omar González, 5-Matt Besler, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 11-Alejandro Bedoya, 13-Dax McCarty, 15-Eric Lichaj, 16-Kellyn Acosta
Head coach: Bruce Arena

CRC: 1-Keylor Navas; 16-Cristian Gamboa (6-José Salvatierra, 71), 15-Francisco Calvo, 2-Johnny Acosta, 19-Kendall Waston, 8-Bryan Oviedo (11-Johan Venegas, 78); 7-Cristian Bolaños (4-Michael Umaña, 71), 20-David Guzman, 5-Celso Borges, 10-Bryan Ruiz (capt.); 21-Marco Ureña
Subs not used: 18-Patrick Pemberton, 23-Leonel Moreira, 3-Kenner Gutierrez, 9-José Ortiz, 12-David Ramirez, 13-Rodney Wallace, 14-Randall Azofeifa, 17-Yeltsin Tejeda, 22-Daniel Colindres
Head coach: Óscar Ramírez 

Stats Summary: USA / CRC
Shots: 14 / 9
Shots on Goal: 2 / 2
Saves: 0 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 10 / 18
Offside: 3 / 1 

Misconduct Summary:
CRC – David Guzman (caution)         13th minute
CRC – Francisco Calvo (caution)      67
USA – Jozy Altidore (caution)            80
USA – Clint Dempsey (caution)         90+1 

Officials:
Referee: John Pitti (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabriel Victoria (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Ronald Bruna (PAN)
Fourth Official: José Kellys (PAN)                              

Budweiser Man of the Match: TBD


Read more
MNT Sep 1, 2017

- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Costa Rica
Date: September 1, 2017
Competition: 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying – Final Round
Venue: Red Bull Arena; Harrison, New Jersey
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 26,500 (so)
Weather: 66 degrees; partly cloudy 

Scoring Summary:    1          2          F                                                          
USA                            0          0          0         
CRC                            1          1          2

CRC - Marco Ureña (Bryan Ruiz)                  30th minute
CRC - Marco Ureña (David Guzman)             82 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard, 2-Jorge Villafaña (8-Clint Dempsey, 65), 4-Michael Bradley (capt.), 6-Darlington Nagbe, 9-Bobby Wood, 10-Christian Pulisic (21-Paul Arriola, 87), 14-Tim Ream, 17-Jozy Altidore, 19-Graham Zusi (18-Jordan Morris, 84), 20-Geoff Cameron, 23-Fabian Johnson
Subs not used: 12-Brad Guzan, 22-Nick Rimando, 3-Omar González, 5-Matt Besler, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 11-Alejandro Bedoya, 13-Dax McCarty, 15-Eric Lichaj, 16-Kellyn Acosta
Head coach: Bruce Arena

CRC: 1-Keylor Navas; 2-Johnny Acosta, 5-Celso Borges, 7-Cristian Bolaños (4-Michael Umaña, 71), 8-Bryan Oviedo (11-Johan Venegas, 78), 10-Bryan Ruiz (capt.), 15-Francisco Calvo, 16-Cristian Gamboa (6-José Salvatierra, 71), 19-Kendall Waston, 20-David Guzman, 21-Marco Ureña
Subs not used: 18-Patrick Pemberton, 23-Leonel Moreira, 3-Kenner Gutierrez, 9-José Ortiz, 12-David Ramirez, 13-Rodney Wallace, 14-Randall Azofeifa, 17-Yeltsin Tejeda, 22-Daniel Colindres
Head coach: Óscar Ramírez 

Stats Summary: USA / CRC
Shots: 14 / 9
Shots on Goal: 2 / 2
Saves: 0 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 10 / 18
Offside: 3 / 1 

Misconduct Summary:
CRC – David Guzman (caution)         13th minute
CRC – Francisco Calvo (caution)      67
USA – Jozy Altidore (caution)            80
USA – Clint Dempsey (caution)         90+1 

Officials: 
Referee: John Pitti (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabriel Victoria (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Ronald Bruna (PAN)
Fourth Official: José Kellys (PAN)                              

Budweiser Man of the Match: TBD

{DB716D73-4585-40E2-A29C-BEA5CCB872A9}

After Costa Rica Defeat, MNT Focused on Bouncing Back vs. Honduras

As the U.S. Men’s National Team walked away from Friday’s 2-0 World Cup Qualifying defeat to Costa Rica at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., there were no excuses coming from the home side.

“We obviously didn’t play well tonight,” MNT head coach Bruce Arena said in his post-game press conference.

“You give them credit. They came in here organized, tactically setup in a way to make the game difficult,” added captain Michael Bradley.

Known well for lining up five men on the back line and clogging up the midfield with four more players, Costa Rica executed well on the defensive side and took advantage of two U.S. mistakes which led to Marco Ureña’s goals on both sides of halftime. The San Jose Earthquakes forward’s two strikes were the Ticos’ only two shots on target through the entire 90 minutes.

Even with Costa Rica in its defensive shell, the U.S. had its own chances. In the 24th minute, Jozy Altidore appeared to be fouled in the area just as he was set to receive a pass from Christian Pulisic, but the offense wasn’t deemed penalty-worthy by Panamanian referee John Pitti.

After going into the locker room down a goal, Tim Ream nearly pulled the U.S. level with a nodded effort that bounced over the bar in the 47th minute. Then Keylor Navas took over, making two tremendous second-half saves on Christian Pulisic and Altidore to keep the visitors level before Ureña iced the match late.

“It’s a game of moments,” Bradley said about the way it all played out. “The first goal was always going to be big, and when they go up 1-0 you know it’s going to take a big effort in the second half to get back in the game. We pushed hard, couldn’t get back to 1-1 and they made a play at the end.”

Knowing that it should have taken more from the match, the MNT has no time to sulk as it faces another important qualifier on Tuesday in Honduras.

Nor do they intend to.

“We’re professional, we’re an experienced group,” goalkeeper Tim Howard said. “We’ll bounce back, forget about it and move forward.”

“We’ll move on,” added Arena. “This is how you deal in competition and sports. You don’t win every game, and when you get a bad result you’ve got to put it past you real quick and get ready to play the next game. That’s what we’ll do.”

Despite Friday night’s defeat, the U.S. still sits third in the Hex, but things have tightened up. Following Honduras’ own 2-1 win at Trinidad & Tobago on Friday night, the MNT is level with Los Catrachos on eight points, though still holds a sizable advantage in goal differential thanks in large part to the USA’s 6-0 win in the first meeting in San Jose.

Just behind those two teams is Panama, who still hold seven points after dropping a narrow 1-0 result at Mexico on Friday night. Los Canaleros will be expected to win when they host Trinidad & Tobago Tuesday in Panama City, making it even more imperative that the U.S. gets a result in San Pedro Sula before it welcomes Panama to Orlando on Matchday 9.

With Mexico clinching its World Cup berth on Friday and Costa Rica having one foot in Russia, Arena was simple in his assessment for the next three games.

“It’s going to be a battle amongst the remaining four teams," he said.

Luckily, the U.S. does have some history of success in Honduras. In 2001, Arena guided the MNT to a 2-1 victory at Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano, and eight years later the USA actually clinched its berth to the 2010 FIFA World Cup with a dramatic 3-2 win there. 

“The group is strong,” said Bradley, who appeared in the 2009 match. “The group is ready to respond to this in a big way.”

Read more
MNT Sep 2, 2017

GALLERY: MNT Loses 2-0 to Costa Rica in World Cup Qualifier, Presented by Volpi Foods

The U.S. Men's National Team fell 0-2 against Costa Rica, presented by Volpi Foods, on Friday, Sept. 1 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. 

Read more
MNT Sep 2, 2017

Auction of Game-Issued, Autographed Jerseys to Benefit Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Relief

CHICAGO (Sept. 1, 2017) – U.S. Soccer and the U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association will auction game-issued, autographed jerseys from tonight’s World Cup qualifying match against Costa Rica, presented by Volpi Foods, with all proceeds to benefit the American Red Cross’ Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in Houston and other impacted areas.

All 23 players’ jerseys are now available for purchase via an online auction at auction.ussoccer.com. The auction will be live until 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sept. 6.

The disaster in Houston has hit close to home for the Men’s National Team, as defender DaMarcus Beasley is currently in his fourth season with the Houston Dynamo and forward Clint Dempsey grew up in Nacogdoches, Texas, and has family in the Houston area.

The Red Cross has been working around the clock in Houston responding to Hurricane Harvey’s destruction. Currently, the organization’s priority is keeping people safe while providing shelter, food and comfort to disaster victims. The Red Cross has already served 250,000 meals and snacks with its partners, mobilized over 890 trailer-loads of supplies and activated 200 emergency response vehicles.

Financial donations are the best way to support disaster victims and the Red Cross depends on donations to immediately provide relief. You can help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org/ussoccer, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation, message and data rates may apply.

Read more
MNT Sep 1, 2017
×