U.S. 0 Costa Rica 1
Staff Writer Phil Collin has the Game story.
The difference in the game in pictures
Missing in action: Landon Donovan and the U.S. rues another missed opportunity on goal Friday in Carson (AP Photos).
Howards End: Rodney Wallace blasts the ball past Tim Howard for the goal that was the difference in the game.
Was the U.S. – and perhaps Jurgen Klinsmann – schooled just a bit by a more experienced team Friday night?
Yes, a more mobile back four has improved, protected by a vigilant Maurice Edu on this occasion. Wingers Robbie Rogers and especially Brek Shea showed a willingness to take on opponents, penetrating and threatening, but not providing the final telling ball. And the forwards blustered, but couldn’t convert while Costa Rica nullified the high-energy, pressing U.S. game with 27 fouls and one finely executed counterattack.
“We’re buying into his system and his ideas,” said defender Carlos Bocanegra, a long-time Bob Bradley stalwart sounding like he was trying to convince himself of that, while declining to compare Klinsmann’s style to his predecessor.
“We’re going in with an open mind, which if the main thing,” he added.
But some players appear to feel more than a bit liberated under Klinsmann’s short tenure:
“He’s given me the opportunity to just play freely,” said midfielder Jose Torres. “And that gives you a lot of confidence.”
Next for the U.S.: Belgium on Tuesday in Brussels.