CHICAGO, ILLINOIS—The United States Men’s National Team bounced back on Tuesday, June 7 with a resounding 4-0 win over Costa Rica at Soldier Field in Chicago. This came on the heels of a very disappointing 2-0 loss to Columbia on Friday night.
The teams stars played how they are expected to play, and it paid dividends for the United States. Clint Dempsey had a goal and two assists to lead the team with three points.
Jermaine Jones, Bobby Wood, and Graham Zusi added one goal each to move the U.S. into prime position to move on to the knockout stage.
Costa Rica finished their Copa opener in a scoreless tie against Paraguay on Saturday. Although the tie did not hurt their chances of advancing, they lost key defender Kendall Watson to a red card, forcing him to miss the game against the United States.
The hot seat that U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann had been sitting on entering Copa America grew undeniably hotter after the loss to Columbia.
ESPN reported that U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati told reporters before the Costa Rica match that recent results for the men’s team “haven’t been what we would have hoped for, especially in the official competitions.”
Cooler heads prevailed and Klinsmann cooled his current seat situation, at least for the time being, with the result of the Costa Rica match. He felt the team played well against Columbia, but got a couple of bad breaks. He backed up this belief by starting the exact same lineup against Costa Rica as he did against Columbia. Obviously, there was something there.
The United States started the scoring in the contest just nine minutes in when Clint Dempsey drove a penalty kick past Costa Rican goaltender Patrick Pemberton, good for Dempsey’s 50th international goal.
The United States never looked back and dominated the entire match en route to a much-needed three points in the Group A standings.
The USMNT will take on Paraguay in Philadelphia on Saturday night. If the match results in a tie or better, the Americans should find themselves moving on to the knockout stage.