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Costa Rican Reality Check

US loses in frustrating fashion

Here’s how to beat the U.S. men’s national team:  camp out on defense and counter-attack when possible.  Other than that, don’t bother playing much offense.  Give the U.S. all the possession they want.  It’s okay, they won’t hurt you.  What about U.S. shots from any kind of distance?  No worries – they almost never shoot from outside the box.

Okay, I probably shouldn’t be that cynical.  I understand that this was a “building” match, a chance for Klinsmann to experiment with the lineup.  It’s basically a practice game.  A scrimmage.  These are the things we tell ourselves at least.  I know the U.S. wasn’t at full strength, etc.  But still.  We lost to Costa Rica!  I know Costa Rica is usually one of the toughest teams to beat in the region.  But still!  We shouldn’t lose to these size countries.  Ever.

Maybe I’m naïve.  Maybe we don’t have as much talent in the U.S. as I think we do.  Maybe we are still a decade behind the world’s elite in our soccer infrastructure and national team development.  But I don’t think that’s the case.  We need to be very tough on ourselves.  We need to raise the expectation level in this country!  We shouldn’t be okay with losses to Costa Rica even if it is just a friendly and even if we are using an experimental squad.

The U.S. should have won Friday night.  There were signs of life, particularly in the first half, but signs of life don’t cut it anymore.  Qualifying for the 1990 World Cup marked a turning point in American soccer history, but we’re twenty years beyond that, so it’s time to jettison all excuses, tighten up our big boy boots and assert ourselves a little bit.  Beating Belgium on Tuesday would be a good place to start.

Am I being too harsh/unrealistic in my assessment of U.S. Soccer?  Feel free to share your thoughts below…