Lineup: Cristian Roldan is starting after Berhalter makes only two changes. New to the lineup are Will Trapp (for Bradley) and Paul Arriola (for Jeremy Ebobisse). Former Sounder Aaron Long remains the captain.
Sounders left back Waylon Francis is starting for Costa Rica.
The United States men’s national team closes out the January national team camp with a friendly in San Jose against Costa Rica. Sunday saw the USMNT beat Panama 3-0 in Phoenix. Panama played a very young squad and gave up a multitude of chances that could have seen the USA put up 6 or 7 goals, if not for some poor finishing. While Costa Rica is not bringing their first team to San Jose, California, they should have a much better squad than Panama and will be a step up in competition for the USMNT.
Three Big Storylines
- Only two coaches in USMNT history have won their first two matches in charge. Gregg Berhalter will be trying to join Bob Bradley, who won his first three in charge starting in 2007, and Robert Millar, who beat Belgium and Paraguay to open the 1930 World Cup en route to a third place finish in Uruguay. Berhalter received nearly unanimous praise after Sunday’s match against Panama, and the USMNT looked like it had a tactical plan. It’s a sign of how far things fell during the Jurgen Klinsmann era that the new USMNT coach was praised for having any plan at all, but that’s where we are at as the 2022 World Cup cycle starts.
- What’s the plan for 2019? Borrowing this headline from last week’s Three Big Storylines, let’s follow up a bit. With a Gold Cup looming this summer the biggest challenge will be how does Berhalter integrate DeAndre Yedlin, Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Josh Sargent and the rest of the Europe-based USMNT players into the base that he is starting to build with this month long camp? While it is a good problem to have, the integration of bigger-name talent and all the egos that come along with that is always a challenge. The nature of the Gold Cup’s group stage (not exactly a gauntlet of world soccer powers) means that Berhalter will likely have three extra competitive games in addition to any friendlies leading up to the tournament before the stakes are raised.
- Seven players earned their first USMNT cap on Sunday against Panama. Five of them — Corey Baird, Jeremy Ebobisse, Djordje Mihailovic, Nick Lima, and Daniel Lovitz — were on the field at kickoff, earning a start from Berhalter. Jonathan Lewis and Christian Ramirez came on during the second half. Ramirez made the most of his six minutes, scoring his first USMNT goal. Four players on the camp roster are still looking for their first cap, so don’t be surprised if Berhalter finds a way to give Russell Canouse, Mark McKenzie, Keegan Rosenberry and Auston Trusty some playing time.
From a Sounders Point of View
Cristian Roldan is with the USMNT and Waylon Francis is with Costa Rica. Roldan started and went 90 minutes against Panama. It is unclear whether Berhalter will run out the same lineup, rotate some players, or mix up the entire starting XI today. But maybe look for everyone who did not play against Panama to get game minutes after an almost month-long training camp. The Sounders’ main focus will be getting Roldan and Francis back and healthy.
With the recent news that S2 is now the Tacoma Defiance, it’s worth going back to the opening game in S2 history. No one in the stands at Starfire that day probably thought they were seeing a future USMNT captain (Aaron Long wore the captain’s armband on Sunday) and USMNT regular (Roldan will be earn his seventh cap today if he sees the field) play in the inaugural S2 match, but both Long and Roldan started that game at Starfire.
DEFENDERS (8): Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 2/0), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 2/0), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact/CAN; 0/0), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Keegan Rosenberry (Colorado Rapids; 0/0), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 4/1)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 17/2), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake; 0/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 142/17), Russell Canouse (D.C. United; 0/0), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC/CAN; 6/0), Jonathan Lewis (New York City FC; 0/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 5/1), Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 5/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 11/0)
FORWARDS (3): Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers, 0/0), Christian Ramirez (LAFC; 0/0), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC; 40/6)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Esteban Alvarado (Alajuelense; 11/0), Kevin Chamorro (Carmelita; 0/0), Marco Madrigal (San Carlos; 1/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Pablo Arboine (Santos de Guápiles; 0/0), Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United FC/USA; 43/4), Waylon Francis (Seattle Sounders FC/USA; 5/0), Keysher Fuller (Herediano; 0/0), Jaikel Medina (Saprissa; 0/0), Joseph Mora (D.C. United/USA; 2/0), Yostin Salinas (Saprissa; 2/0)
MIDFIELDERS (9): José Alfaro (Carmelita; 0/0), Ronaldo Araya (Cartaginés; 0/0), José Miguel Cubero (Alajuelense; 51/2), David Guzmán (Portland Timbers/USA; 52/0), Marvin Loría (Portland Timbers/USA; 0/0), Jimmy Marín (Herediano; 3/0), Néstor Monge (Cartaginés; 5/0), Barlon Sequeira (Alajuelense; 1/0)
FORWARDS (4): Jonathan McDonald (Alajuelense; 11/1), José Guillermo Ortiz (Herediano; 6/2), Jean Scott (Guadalupe; 0/0), Yendrick Ruiz (Herediano; 8/0)
How to Watch
Time: Saturday, February 2nd, 12:30 PM Pacific
Venue: Avaya Stadium — San Jose, California
Available TV: FOX, UniMas, Univision Deportes
Join the Discussion
This is your Sounder at Heart USMNT versus Costa Rica gamethread. Watch and discuss with us.