Copa America day 2: USA-Costa Rica

This is already a must-win for the US National Men’s Team. Any other results will likely jeopardize US chances to advance to the knock-out round in the tournament they are hosting. Stakes are high for Klinsmann and his squad and after a poor entry to the tournament punctuated by a 2-0 defeat to Colombia, pressure is on the coach to deliver at home. Costa Rica is nowhere near an easy opponent and USMNT will have to play at their best to come up with the win.

Coach Klinsmann feels the pressure and is ready :

“We were very disappointed there after the game, absolutely, because we thought we actually played a really good game. Then you obviously read the final result and a lot of opinions go different ways then.

There’s everything to play for in the last two games, and then hopefully you go through, which we are convinced we will. You start a whole new tournament again because the knockout stage is a completely different tournament than the group-stage phase.

Costa Rica is a team that you give them two, three chances they usually put one in. That speaks for them. Got be very, very alert about that. … It’s going to be a tough one tonight.

“The other thing is the learning curve for all players coming fresh into this program is there’s no space really. You saw Darlington coming in and you see how Colombia squeezes the field defensively. Suddenly Darlington sees there’s no space to go in. Where should I go? What should I do? He has to learn now how to find solutions with dealing with far tighter space than he’s used to in the MLS. That learning curve is just happening now. Give him some time. I’m very, very positive he’ll figure it out.

It’s a must-win situation. When you lose your first one, you know there’s only two games left, so you got to get your first three points and then you see how things will play out in the third game. Tomorrow night we are full of energy, full of optimism to get those three points.

As I said again, respect for this Costa Rica team, but we’ve got to get it done tonight here.”