CHICAGO, Sporting Alert – USA men’s soccer team heads into Tuesday night’s Copa American Group A clash with Costa Rica at Soldier Field needing a win to avoid an early exit from the tournament.
The host country went down 2-0 to Colombia in its opening game last Friday and will be eliminated from the tournament if they lose again to fellow CONCACAF rival Costa Rica, which played to a 0-0 draw with Paraguay in its opener.
Despite being under a lot of pressure heading into what looks like a must win fixture, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann remains optimistic about his team’s chance of advancing to the knockout round.
“They’re (Costa Rica) only one point ahead do us, there’s everything to play for in the last two games,” Klinsmann said at his pregame news conference.
“Hopefully you go through, and we are convinced we will. Then you start a whole new tournament again.”
The German added: “I think we all do understand what’s at stake. When you lose your first one there’s only two games left, so you’ve got to get your first three points, then you see how things will play out in the third game.
“For [Tuesday] night, we’re full energy, full of optimism to get those three points. As I said, again, we have respect for this Costa Rica team, but we’ve got to get it done.”
Meanwhile, Klinsmann has decided to stick with the same starting lineup from the first game, which mean USA will keep their 4-3-3 formation.
There were calls for the likes of Micheal Bradley, Clint Dempsey and Jermaine Jones to make way and give the likes of Perry Kitchen, Christian Pulisic and Darlington Nagbe a run out.
However, Klinsmann opted to stay faithful.
Arsenal’s Joel Campbell, veteran Bryan Ruiz, Marcos Urena and Christian Bolanos all start for Costa Rica.
Watch Live Streaming on Fox Soccer 2Go | Live TV Channel is Fox Sports 1 USA @ 8 pm ET
Copa America Starting Teams
United States (4-3-3): Guzan; Yedlin, Cameron, Brooks, Johnson; Jones, Bradley, Bedoya; Zardes, Dempsey, Wood
Costa Rica (5-4-1): Pemberton; Acosta, Calvo, Duarte, Gamboa, Matarrita; Borges, Ruiz, Campbell, Bolanos; Urena