September 07, 2013

U.S. Soccer's 12-Game Winning Streak Ends: Costa Rica scored two goals in the first 10 minutes and traded goals in the final 80 for a 3-1 home victory over the U.S. in World Cup qualifying Friday night. Clint Dempsey scored the U.S. goal on a penalty kick shortly before the half. The loss ends a 12-game winning streak for the Americans, but they're in second place with 13 points and in strong position to move on with a win Tuesday against Mexico Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio.

posted by rcade to soccer at 10:46 AM - 13 comments

Payback for the Snow Bowl.

posted by jjzucal at 11:52 AM on September 07

The reeling and abruptly new-coach-having Mexico, that is.

posted by Etrigan at 12:05 PM on September 07

Long night. Anyone think Howard is really under threat of being benched for Guzan?

posted by rcade at 12:09 PM on September 07

That was a piss-poor performance by the USMNT--I watch almost all their games and this was as bad as I've seen them in many months. Losses happen and the team is far from the top tier of Spain and Brazil but for whatever reason* the guys just didn't seem to have the belief or determination to get a result I usually see.

* Reasons: 1 - Bradley's pre-match ankle injury was like a last second sucker punch because not only is Michael the field general, it showed the terrible state of the playing field and I think left the players unwilling to make the hard plants and turns one expects.

2 - Playing Orozco at right back instead of Cameron. Orozco has never played right back for the US, only central defense, while Cameron has several times and is the first choice right back for Stoke City (a team I'd expect to beat Puebla eight out of ten).

3 - Playing Dempsey as the target man instead of Eddie Johnson in order to start Graham Zusi on the right. This also left Orozco more exposed in defense because Zusi didn't get back fast enough to support him; I think even if you want Dempsey up top Bedoya is a better choice on the right.

All good things come to an end, blah blah blah, not complaining that we lost but rather that we didn't play our game and on top of that, because of yellow cards last night, won't have Cameron, Altidore and Belser on the field Tuesday. One can only hope Bradley gets healthy and John Anthony Brooks is ready to start against a Mexican side that is desperate and, as Etrigan, points out, has new coach that needs a win to distance himself from El Chepo.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:21 PM on September 07

@rcade No, because I don't think he played any worse than the rest of the side. A bad show Tuesday might get Guzan the next game if he keeps playing well for Villa but more likely it gets him the spot in the next friendly (which I believe is against Scotland in November in Scotland).

posted by billsaysthis at 12:25 PM on September 07

I certainly wouldn't want to discount a fine effort by the Ticos, but man, do we miss Michael Bradley when he isn't on the field.

I'll be at the match Tuesday in Columbus, and Mexico is backed into a corner. We'll see how both sides respond to disappointing results yesterday.

posted by bender at 12:58 PM on September 07

I wish the cameras had caught the incident that gave Besler the yellow. There was a lot of acting going on with Costa Rica.

posted by rcade at 01:54 PM on September 07

There certainly was. I was very amused by the yellow card that was given for the first dive, though about 4 minutes later because the ref didn't want to stop the play. Watching the game in a bar and unable to hear the commentators due to the crowd din, I wasn't quite sure at first what was going on.

I wasn't so sure about the yellow given to Costa Rica's keeper and the subsequent penalty kick, though perhaps the referee had a better view of that than the camera angles I saw.

posted by bender at 02:31 PM on September 07

It's somewhat amazing to think that a US win Tuesday over Mexico and a Honduras win Tuesday over Panama (both playing at home) would ensure that Mexico could finish no better than 4th and have to go to the playoff for Brazil. I suppose that happens when you score only once (that one in a loss) in four matches at home; they're lucky to have 3 points out of those performances.

posted by bender at 02:34 PM on September 07

New Zealand are rubbing their hands...

posted by owlhouse at 09:34 PM on September 07

I wish the cameras had caught the incident that gave Besler the yellow.

I wish Besler would've taken one for the team and taken Campbell down to prevent the breakaway on the 3rd CRC goal.

Also, I apologize if this isn't the proper forum but I have 3 tickets up for grabs in the US supporters section (well, one of the many US supporter sections) for Tuesday if any Spofites are interested.

posted by goddam at 09:54 PM on September 07

That's a fine use of SportsFilter, spreading soccer to the soccerless.

posted by rcade at 09:02 AM on September 08

goddam goddam, wish I could get to Columbus!

posted by billsaysthis at 11:31 AM on September 08

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