By IVES GALARCEP
The U.S. Men’s National Team and Costa Rica renew acquaintances tonight, meeting for the first time since the ‘Snow Game’ in March as they clash with first place in their Gold Cup group on the line (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel).
The Ticos come into the match riding a seven-match shutout streak, and have not lost since the 1-0 loss to the U.S. in March. Their stingy defense will look to shut down an American attack that has scored 16 goals in three matches, and has won a team-record seven straight matches. A streak that began with the
While both teams have already secured their place in the quarterfinals, tonight’s match carries plenty of importance because winning the match (or in the U.S. team’s case, tying the match) can secure them an easier path in the knockout rounds. Today’s winner will face Martinique in the quarterfinals (unless Cuba or Belize can win their match by five or more goals), while the loser (or Costa Rica with a draw) would face Honduras.
Chris Wondolowski has scored a tournament-leading and USMNT Gold Cup-record five goals, and will look to build on that against a defense that is significantly tougher than any he has faced recently.
Costa Rica is apparently intent on attacking the U.S., but the key to their approach today will be pressuring a U.S. midfield that has had a field day against recent weaker opponents.
SBI will be providing live commentary on tonight’s match so please feel free to follow along with us as we cover all the action. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (SBI Live Match Commentary is after the jump):