Following the dramatic Concacaf Nations League triumph on Sunday, the United States men’s national team is diving straight into an international friendly against Costa Rica on Wednesday. With only four days between the matches, the USMNT is looking to build stamina ahead of the Gold Cup and subsequent World Cup qualifiers.
Costa Rica, on the other hand, has not won a match since the November 2019 victory against Curacao during the Concacaf Nations League group play. Their ten-game losing streak haunts them as the nation tries to improve prior to World Cup qualifiers.
This is the 40th all-time meeting between the two nations, with the United States leading the record at 17-16-6.
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The United States recently triumphed against Mexico 3-2 in the Nations League final, their first competitive win over El Tri since 2013. Head coach Gregg Berhalter celebrated his biggest win yet with the American side, inspiring excitement around the new 'golden generation' of the USMNT.
This is also the first time in a while that the United States faces such a quick turnaround in preparation for a larger competition. Though the country failed to qualify for the 2020 Olympic games, the United States will feature in the Gold Cup and World Cup qualifiers later this summer.
Berhalter will need to make tough roster decisions ahead of the match against Costa Rica, debating whether to rest players like Weston McKennie and Christian Pulisic who played an integral part in the demanding 130-minute final against Mexico. The team’s depth might be the decisive factor against Costa Rica.
Key players: Weston McKennie (Juventus), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) and Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
Costa Rica form & team news
Despite Costa Rica’s current track record, they continue to stand as one of Concacaf’s strongest opponents. Los Ticos were merely penalty kicks away from eliminating Mexico in the Nations League semifinal, holding El Tri to a 0-0 draw during regular time. Though head coach Ronald Gonzales has much to improve on his side, the potential is there.
Costa Rica’s roster features six MLS players: Francisco Calvo (Chicago Fire FC), Luis Diaz (Columbus Crew), Ariel Lassiter (Houston Dynamo FC), Randall Leal (Nashville SC), Giancarlo Gonzalez (LA Galaxy) and Joseph Mora (D.C. United).
Key players: Giancarlo Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Joel Campbell (Club Leon) and Francisco Calvo (Chicago Fire FC)
How & where to watch on TV & live stream
Kick-off time: 7pm Eastern, 4pm Pacific
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium Sandy, Utah
Live stream: ESPN2/Watch ESPN (English) UniMas/TUDN (Spanish)