The US Men’s National Team posted an incredible 4-0 Copa America result Tuesday in Chicago that most Costa Ricans are ailing over right now. That was supposed to be a sure positive result for them and now they have to beat potent Colombia on Saturday to earn a spot into the elimination round.
Costa Rica will have to win and hope for a US loss against Paraguay Saturday. If the US wins, we are in. If the US ties, then we would have to hope that Costa Rica ties to be sure to advance.
The US played with passion. There is alot to say about the power of passion in sports. It is infectious, and the US put three goals in the first half on the darlings of the 2016 World Cup.
In the 9th minute, a penalty was called and veteran US player Clint Dempsey buried his 50th international goal. Dempsey in the 39th minute played well-timed ball to his left for Jermaine Jones who drilled a perfect shot giving the Yanks a 2-0 lead. The US wasn’t finished yet before halftime.
In the 42nd minute, Bobby Wood split three defenders and put in a tremendous shot from 20 yards out into the goal. You could see the passion of the players when they celebrated that goal. Wood especially played extremely well all game with skill and physical force.
The US game plan was to play high pressure and act like wounded tigers defending their cubs. It led to an open game with plenty of space and chances for the Americans to push into the final third.
The fourth goal was academic. Costa Rica was trying with all they had to at least not get shut out and had players pushed up. With only three defenders by the goal, veteran midfielder Graham Zusi was able to score in the 87th minute to add another tally to the goal differential in group play.
So now the critics of US Soccer, including myself, have to be quiet for a while. I don’t think this single result solves the problem, however. As I said in my last article, our players are well-coached and developed. The problem as I see it is that we don’t have the best American athletes on the field whereas everyone else, excluding Canada, does.
Also, I question whether Costa Rica was ready to play. Their open style left them vulnerable but I credit the hustle and effort of the US to crush their foe when the opportunity presented itself in abig tournament.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a true blue Yank. If they win Copa, it will be a great benefit to our game nationally because people do pay attention to Facebook and Twitter trends. If the wins continue, the internet will light up with good things to say for the US. As I said before, General Patton summed up the American sporting mentality with his saying, “Americans have never and will never tolerate a loser.”
The win sets up an exciting Saturday and keeps those who want USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s head on a platter quiet for a few more days. A loss Saturday to Paraguay would bring those guys out with swords. Let’s hope it ends with a party instead.
God Bless You and Your Family.