USA vs Costa Rica Live Stream US Men s National Team Friendly Match Preview Start Time TV Channel
February 2, 2019
By: The Daily Gawk | 35 minutes ago Follow @thebiglead
The US Men’s National Team will cap off January camp with a visit from CONCACAF rivals Costa Rica in coach Gregg Berhalter’s second match in charge. After a convincing 3-0 win over Panama last Sunday, one would expect the USMNT to be confident heading into this fixture. But for those who have closely watched the program since the 2018 World Cup Qualifying debacle, confidence does not come to mind. Progress, a sensible systemic approach, and the hard work ahead are the focus now.
How to Watch US-Costa Rica
Date:Saturday, February 2nd, 2019
Kickoff Time:3:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel:FOX, Univision Deportes Network, Unimas
Live Stream:fuboTV (watch for free– no contracts required)
In a refreshing change from previous managers, Gregg Berhalter looks like a man with a plan. After much frustration from the fanbase and players alike, Earnie Stewart and US Soccer finally hired their man on December 2nd of 2018. This was after over a year under interim manager Dave Sarachan, and many in and out of the program felt that the long wait for a new coach after the failure to qualify only served to further stymie progress – when the program had the opportunity to start rebuilding earlier than most national teams.
Camp cupcake – as the January USMNT camp is often referred – historically only features domestic US players, as those plying their trade in Europe are in the middle of their seasons. This doesn’t only apply to the US, however, as other Concacaf foes such as Panama and Costa Rica have players in foreign leagues as well. However, other than Keylor Navas on Costa Rica, the volume of potential starters missing from the USMNT is considerably higher. Christian Pulisic continues to help out a title-chasing Borussia Dortmund, while fellow Bundesliga participants Weston McKennie and John Brooks have consistently impressed for Schalke and Wolfsburg, respectively. Tyler Adams recently made the switch from the NY Red Bulls to the Leipzig iteration, and DeAndre Yedlin is coming off a fine performance for Newcastle United against defending EPL champions Manchester City.
This is a great opportunity to see what Berhalter can do with a B squad consisting only of MLS players. And after the team’s performance in a 3-0 victory over Panama, many are impressed. Five US players started in their international debuts – Nick Lima, Daniel Lovitz, Corey Baird, Djordje Mihailovic, and Jeremy Ebobisse – with Nick Lima looking particularly impressive at wingback and Mihailovic opening the scoring in the first half. In the second half, debutant Christian Ramirez was introduced and scored just minutes later.
While Panama did go to the World Cup, they were one of the worst teams present, and the US defeated them 4-0 in World Cup Qualifying. Last Sunday they were extremely poor on the ball, consistently losing it in the midfield – as seen before the first US goal – and rarely threatened going forward.
Costa Rica will offer more of a challenge. They’re typically far less porous than Panama in the back and have the ability to jumpstart a dangerous counterattack once they recover possession. Undoubtedly, Berhalter will have a plan for providing pressure up top as long as the trade-off is additional cover behind. Don’t expect the US to blaze forward time after time on Saturday unless their defense has some midfield help to fend off a potential Costa Rican response.
We’ll likely see more debuts and more minutes from these MLS upstarts. Fans will be looking for more of the same from the US – a sound tactical plan that plays to our strengths and exploits the weaknesses of the opponent. The USMNT isn’t anywhere close to ready for any international competitions, but they have at least taken one step forward.