It’s been a strange Gold Cup for the United States, who have not managed to impress but are nonetheless in the semifinal facing Costa Rica. Despite the biting and nipple-twisting of the quarterfinal, the USMNT didn’t have to expend too much of themselves to beat El Salvador, and outside of a few minutes against Martinique they’ve not truly been tested.
The same could be said for the Ticos, who aside from some late window-dressing against French Guiana have only managed to score one goal in each of their games. Costa Rica got past Panama via a late own goal, and yet this is their best Gold Cup performance since getting to the semifinals in 2009 (where Mexico eliminated them on penalties). That said, they are clearly one of the three top teams in CONCACAF, and this is the first true test for the USMNT in this tournament.
Location: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, TX)
Kickoff time: 10:00pm Eastern
Projected USA starting 11: (442) - Tim Howard; Graham Zusi, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, Jorge Villafaña; Paul Arriola, Michael Bradley, Kellyn Acosta, Darlington Nagbe; Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore
Bench: Bill Hamid, Jesse Gonzalez, Eric Lichaj, Matt Miazga, Matt Hedges, Justin Morrow, Dax McCarty, Joe Corona, Chris Pontius, Gyasi Zardes, Juan Agudelo, Jordan Morris
I expect Zusi and Villafaña to rotate back in, and Acosta to come back in for more solidity in central midfield. Nagbe moves out to the wing, Besler returns, and that’s about it. I think this is also Arena’s team for the final if the USMNT advances.
Available TV: Fox Sports 1 (English), Galavision (Spanish), UniMas (Spanish), Univision Deportes (Spanish)
Available streaming: Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer Match Pass, Univision Now, Univision Deportes app
For listings in other countries, check out LiveSoccerTV.com.
What do we have to say about it?: We have enough on our plate, what with both DC teams playing today as well, so I’m going to direct you to Stars and Stripes FC, who will have this one covered from all angles.
What are you drinking?: There’s a decent chance that I won’t be home from RFK in time for the start of this one, so at kickoff the answer is probably going to be nothing. But given how hot it will be during D.C. United’s game, I’ll probably chug a glass of water or two when I walk through the door, and then make a gin and tonic.
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