Three Big Storylines:
- Both the United States and Costa Rica have been accused of having lackluster Gold Cup performances so far. Each team has progressed to this stage fairly uneventfully but neither team has played the dominant open soccer that is to be expected by their respective supporters against some of the lesser teams in CONCACAF. One team is going to put that behind them and go to the final to play the winner of Mexico versus Jamaica tomorrow, while the other team is going to get an early trip home as CONCACAF thankfully eliminated the third place game.
- Costa Rica is a familiar opponent for the USMNT in World Cup qualifying (their 4-0 blasting of the USA on November 15th of last year was the last straw for the Jurgen Klinsmann regime as he was subsequently fired following the match) but they have not played in the Gold Cup as often as one would expect. This will be the 8th meeting between the teams and the USA holds a 7-0-1 record including a 2-0 win in the 2002 Final. That was Costa Rica’s only Gold Cup final appearance, Bruce Arena’s team got goals on either side of halftime by Josh Wolff and Jeff Agoos in front of a sparse 14,432 fans at the Rose Bowl. All but one of those eight meetings were in 2005 or before, in 2013 the USMNT earned a 1-0 win behind Brek Shea’s first ever USMNT goal.
- Bruce Arena is now unbeaten in twelve games with a 7-0-5 record to start his second tenure as national team manager. After the Gold Cup ends the next match will be an important home World Cup qualifier on September 1st against this same Costa Rica team. The Ticos sit in second in World Cup qualifying with 11 points from six played while the USA is in third but with much less margin for error with 8 points from six played. Despite the hot start to Arena’s second tenure, these two results against Costa Rica will likely determine how his initial year in charge of the team is viewed.
From a Sounders Point of View:
Clint Dempsey started and went 90 minutes in Wednesday’s win over El Salvador notching an assist for the game. Jordan Morris came on in the 66th minute for Paul Arriola. Dempsey is currently one goal behind Landon Donovan for the all time USMNT scoring record.
National TV Listings:
Date/Time: Saturday, 7:00 PM
Location: AT&T Stadium - Arlington, Texas
TV: FS1 & Univision
John Strong will be on the call alongside Landon Donovan and Stu Holden as in game analysts. Jenny Taft will be the sideline reporter.
If you are on the cutting edge of technology, this is the first match being streamed in virtual reality. You can watch the game with up to three Facebook friends inside the virtual reality suite.
This is your Sounder at Heart USMNT v Costa Rica and Gold Cup semifinal gamethread. Watch with us.