USMNT Study Guide: Costa Rica
USMNT vs Costa Rica
March 22, 2013 – 10:00pm ET
Commerce City, Colorado – Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
The home of the Colorado Rapids will be the site of the first home game in the Hexagonal for the USMNT and Costa Rica will be the guest. While the USMNT was topping Group A in the third round of CONCACAF qualifying, Costa Rica finished in 2nd place of Group B behind Mexico with 3 wins, 1 draw, and two losses. Both losses came to Mexico and only El Salvador was able to hold Costa Rica to a draw in their other games. Despite having two losses, Costa Rica was able to score a total of 14 goals and only allowed 5, of which 3 were scored by Mexico. Gaining points at home will be important for Klinsmann & Co. as they struggled more than supporters would have hoped in the 3rd round.
Costa Rica will come in with revenge on their mind after a last second goal by Jonathan Bornstein in the last Hexagonal forced Costa Rica out of automatic qualification and into the inter-confederation playoff with Uruguay, which they lose 2-1 on aggregate. The USMNT scored in stoppage time in both meetings with Costa Rica four years ago. Had Bornstein not netted an equalizer in the 4th minute of stoppage time, Costa Rica would have won both meetings and headed to South Africa.
Republic of Costa Rica
Independence Dates: September 15, 1821 from Spain, July 1, 1823 from the First Mexican Empire, and March 21, 1847 from the United Provinces of Central America. Recognized by Spain on May 10, 1850 and ratified their constitution on November 7, 1949.
Government Style: Unitary presidential constitutional republic
Current Political Leaders: Laura Chinchilla (President), Alfio Piva (1st Vice-President), Luis Liberman (2nd Vice-President)
Capital: San Jose, Costa Rica
Official Language: Spanish
Recognized Regional Language: Mekatelyu and Bribri
Population: 4.3 million
Geography: Located on the Central American isthmus, bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west, Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south-southeast. Costa Rica is also comprised of several islands. Calero Island is the largest and Cocos Island the farthest from the continental landmass. Over 25% of the country is protected by the National System of Conservation Areas.
Federacion Costarricense de Futbol
Costa Rican Football Federation
Ticos, La Sele (The Selection)
Member of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) as well as the Central American Football Union (UNCAF).
Primary Kit: Red top with white and blue stripe down sides, blue shorts, red socks
Secondary kit: White top with red and blue stripe down sides, white shorts, white socks
Head Coach: Jorge Luis Pinto
Stadium(s): Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica was completed in 2011 and is the first modern sport and event arena to be built in Central America. It seats 35,000 and features grass. There is also a 160 square meter HD screen on one side of the stadium.
Current FIFA Ranking: 66
Highest FIFA Ranking: 17 (May 2003)
Lowest FIFA Ranking: 93 (July 1996)
World Cup appearances: 3 (’90, ’02, ’06)
Best Finish: Round of 16 (’90)
Overall Record: 10P, 3 W, 1 D, 6 L
Gold Cup/CONCACAF Championship appearances: 16
Best Finish: 3-Time Champions (’63, ’69. ’89)
Overall Record: 79 P, 34 W, 23 D, 22 L
2014 World Cup Qualifying:
Bye to 3rd round
Second place in Group C (Panama, Canada, and Cuba) finishing with 3 wins, 1 draws, and 2 loss.
Roster for qualifier vs USMNT:
Midfielders: Celso Borges (AIK, Sweden), Osvaldo Rodríguez (Santos de Guápiles), Cristian Bolaños (Copenhagen, Denmark), Ariel Rodríguez (Perez Zeledon), Keylor Soto (Perez Zeledon), Yeltsin Tejeda (Saprissa), Michael Barrantes (Aalesund, Norway), Diego Calvo (Alajuelense), Bryan Ruiz (Fulham, England), Mauricio Castillo (Cartagines)
Forwards: Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake), Joel Campbell (Real Betis, Spain), Jairo Arrieta (Columbus Crew
It’s tough to imagine that the second game of the Hexagonal is a must win, but that is what the US is faced with.
The Costa Rica roster is loaded with midfielders, but they have 3 very capable forwards on the roster. Bryan Ruiz is the most talented player on the roster and could give the inexperienced USMNT backline some trouble if given space. Look for Costa Rica to attack down the wings to try and take advantage of the USMNT injuries.
USMNT 2-1 Costa Rica
Altidore – 44′ & 84′
Ruiz – 15′