"Big weekend for the USMNT" doesn't really begin to describe it. Even though the United States all but has qualification secured for next summer's World Cup in Brazil, tonight's match in Costa Rica and Tuesday's against Mexico in Columbus are still really big games. The former is in a country where the Yanks have never won, while the latter four days later is against our biggest regional rival. Oh, yeah, and a win or two could remove the "all but" from in front of the "has qualification secured." The USA could lock down their spot in Brazil this weekend, while keeping their longest-in-the-world 12-game winning streak alive.
It's a big weekend, and it starts tonight in San
Time: 10 pm EDT
Venue: Estadio Nacional, San
Juan Jose, Costa Rica
TV: Everybody's favorite GOLTV replacement, beIN Sport, with pregame coverage starting at 9:30. Click here to find the channel on your cable/satellite provider.
Preview: First, relive what happened the last time the USA played the Ticos in WCQ action, last March, in Colorado, in a blizzard. (If you know any Costa Rica fans, be sure to send them to that video, too! Just in the name of fun and friendship and stuff.) We also spent the latter part of our Filibuster podcast talking about the national team, so check that out, too. For all your other USMNT needs, Stars & Stripes FC has you covered. Be sure to check out their staff predictions on tonight.
Predicted USA Lineup: Tim Howard will be in goal; of that much we can be sure. I expect Geoff Cameron to get the nod at right back, joining a back line that really picks itself - Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, DaMarcus Beasley. Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley holding down the center of the park should also shock nobody. The front four are where things get a little murkier. Up top, I think Juergen Klinsmann rests the maybe-injured-maybe-not Jozy Altidore and gives the start to Eddie Johnson. (As much as I'd prefer to see Aron Johansson get the nod, I think it'll be the GAM starting tonight.) Klinsy's been talking about how much the U.S. are going to attack tonight, and for once I'll take him at his word and expect Graham Zusi, Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan to start behind the center forward, Fabian Johnson just losing out to Donovan on the left side. For another take, check out Benuski's lineup post.
Match Prediction: This USA team is all about breaking down barriers, and they'll do it again tonight, winning for the first time in Costa Rica. Gamesmanship or no gamesmanship from the home fans and federation, los Yanquis get all 3 points, running out 2-1 winners thanks to goals from Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley.
What Are You Drinking?: It's cooling off quite a bit here in DC, so I'm thinking whiskey. I'm declaring it manhattan season, and that's what I'll be drinking tonight.
If it's your first time here, welcome - we hope you'll stick around! Everybody else, welcome back. As always, this is your place for pre-game, in-game and post-game commentary, conversation and other conviviality.
More from Black And Red United:
- World Cup Qualifying: Costa Rica vs. United States Preview - When last we met... SNOWGAME!!
- Chivas USA vs. D.C. United Preview: When last we met... the Black-and-Red playoff push continued apace
- USA vs. Costa Rica lineup: Can the USMNT get three points against the Ticos?
- Filibuster Podcast - Week 27: New York Red Bulls, Chivas USA, and USA vs. Costa Rica
- Richmond Kickers with nominees for USL Pro Most Valuable Player, as well as Rookie, Defender, Goalkeeper, and Coach of the Year