Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.S. Must Get Results vs. Costa Rica

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.S. Must Get Results vs. Costa Rica

Article excerpt

For all the talk about possession, solid defense and offensive chances, the U.S. men's national team needs a win to validate the positive vibes coming from its camp.

And everyone knows it.

"The result is always the most important thing at the end of the day," coach Jurgen Klinsmann said.

The result of the United States' opener in the Copa America Centario was a 2-0 loss to Colombia on Friday that ramped up the importance of Tuesday night's game with Costa Rica. The Ticos played a scoreless draw with Paraguay on Saturday night, so the winner of Tuesday's all-CONCACAF matchup at Soldier Field in Chicago moves into an ideal position to grab one of two spots in the knockout round coming out of Group A.

The United States warmed up for a rare appearance in South America's championship with May victories over Puerto Rico, Ecuador and Bolivia by a combined score of 8-1. But it got mixed reviews for its Copa opener against Colombia, one of the top teams in the world.

The U.S. had good possession numbers, but a defensive lapse by Geoff Cameron left Cristian Zapata open on a corner kick, and DeAndre Yedlin was whistled for a hand ball that set up James Rodriguez's penalty kick for Colombia's goal later in the opening half.

It was more than enough to put away the Americans.

"If you base everything just by result, then it was a negative start," Klinsmann said. "But the performance was a good performance. We went through that game again. We talked the team through that game as well, and it was a lot of good stuff coming out of that game, which makes us very positive going into the next game, which is a very tough Costa Rican team that we all know, that we all respect."

The loss generated more criticism of the 51-year-old Klinsmann, who said last month that the Copa objective for the U.S. was the semifinals. But captain Michael Bradley brushed away any outside analysis before Monday's practice at the home of the NFL's Bears.

"We've got much bigger things to worry about than what goes on on the outside," he said. "I think since I've been on this team one of its strengths has always been the ability to respond on big days and be able to close the door, know who we are, know what needs to be better, understand that we're still good and get ready for whatever comes next. …

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