When the Hex schedule was released many U.S. Soccer fans may have been overlooking Costa Rica with Mexico looming. However, it is the first home game, the U.S. Lost their first match, and there is a buzz surrounding the team after new information regarding the team was released this week. Costa Rica is confident and want to bring down the United States. There may still be a bitter taste in the Ticos mouth from the 2009 Jonathan Bornstein goal in CONCACAF qualifying. After an injury scare, they look to have one of their biggest attackers who is someone most fans in the U.S. Are familiar with from Major League Soccer.
Alvaro Saborio had an injury scare that may have been obtained through a celebration after he scored for Real Salt Lake last week. Saborio is a big reason that Costa Rica moved onto this stage along with Bryan Ruiz. Sabo will be looking to get service near the box and can be deadly. Ruiz is more dynamic and will surely test whomever the United States puts at left back. Although Ruiz could be lined up behind Saborio to start the match, the Ticos are very fluid up front with five of six midfielders or forwards given plenty of freedom. The U.S. Cannot give the Ruiz left foot any space.
The attack will also be spurred by Joel Campbell and Christian Bolanos. Campbell will provided the width and the service. He is an Arsenal man on loan right now. Bolanos will provide the speed. These players are the reason Costa Rica will want to press and not allow possession for the U.S.
Brian Oviedo from Everton could be the first choice at left back and be asked to fill in on overlapping runs. He could be key in the attack if he chooses his spots to make a rush against Geoff Cameron or whomever the right back is when the match starts.
However, much like the U.S., the back line is where Costa Rica can fall apart. A well timed run will show that this team has mental lapses. For more information check out the thorough breakdown by Shin Guardian.
With teams that have similar faults, the midfield play is amplified. The group that holds the ball longer and makes smart plays will tip the balance of play in their team’s favor.
Stay with us all day leading up to the match at 10 pm ET .