The United States of America have destiny in their own hands as the team must beat Costa Rica in their second Copa America match on Tuesday. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. EST, at Soldier Field. The U.S. must win to have any glimpse of hope of qualifying for the knockout stages.
Having lost their opening match to group A favorites, Colombia 2-0 on Saturday, the Yanks are poised to make their home advantage count as they confront the Ticos in what could decide the fate of both teams.
Still, Costa Rica, which played to a scoreless draw against Paraguay on Saturday, probably presents the Yanks with their best chance of picking up a win.
Both head coach Klinsmann and his players are calling the game a must-win, even though it technically isn’t. It’s possible that the host could still reach the quarterfinals of the 16-team competition with a draw against the Ticos and a win in their Group A finale against Paraguay on Saturday in Philadelphia. The U.S. has never failed to advance to the second round of any tournament after earning four points in the first round.
Meanwhile, Jürgen Klinsmann says he’s optimistic his players will overcome the threat being posed by the Costa Ricans on Tuesday.
“They’re only one point ahead to us, there’s everything to play for in the last two games,” Klinsmann said at a pregame news conference. “Hopefully you go through, and we are convinced we will. Then you start a whole new tournament again.”
A loss to Costa Rica, however, and they will be eliminated from the tournament after two games, regardless of the result between Colombia and Paraguay later on Tuesday.
“I think we all do understand what’s at stake,” Klinsmann said. “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.”