FOOTBALL: Youthful U.S. men’s National Team hosts Costa Rica in San Jose

Gregg Berhalter and the U.S. celebrate a 3-0 win over Panama (Photo: U.S. Soccer)

The second game of the Gregg Berhalter Era for the U.S. men’s National Team comes on Saturday at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California against a much better foe (maybe): Costa Rica.

The American youngsters – five debuted in the starting line-up against Panama and two more came in as substitutes – won 3-0 on 27 January, but Costa Rica is a different story. In the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, Costa Rica defeated the U.S. by 4-0 and 2-0 scores; the inability of the U.S. to make it to the 2018 World Cup ended the U.S. coaching careers of Jurgen Klinsmann and Bruce Arena.

The last U.S. win vs. Costa Rica came on 7 June 2016, with a 4-0 whitewash in Chicago. This will be the 38th meeting between the teams, and Costa Rica has a 16-15-6 edge.

The U.S. got goals from Djordje Mihailovic, Walker Zimmerman and Christian Ramirez against Panama; those three players had a total of four U.S. appearance – all by Zimmerman – coming into the game.

Costa Rica also has a new coach in Gustavo Manotas and just a couple of players on the roster for Saturday played on the 2018 World Cup team. Eight of the 23 players on the Costa Rican roster have not yet played for the national team.

The game will be shown at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow on Fox, UniMas and UDN.

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