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USA at Saprissa

Estadio Saprissa, home of Costa Rica's national team. (

Costa Rica provides wonderful memories to all who visit -- except the USA national team. A look back at recent calamities at Estadio Saprissa:

Dec. 1, 1996
Semifinal round of World Cup qualifying
Fans pelt USA players with batteries, bags of urine, coins and garbage. Costa Rica wins, 2-1.

March 23, 1997
Final round of World Cup qualifying
Fans behave, but despite scoring twice -- Eric Wynalda in the first half, Roy Lassiter's equalizer in the second half -- the Ticos get a late goal from Ronald Gomez for a 3-2 victory.

July 23, 2000
Semifinal round of World Cup qualifying
Greg Berhalter is called for a controversial handball in stoppage time as the Ticos pull out a 2-1 victory. Coach Bruce Arena tells Jamaican referee Peter Prendergast that "he cheated us." Claudio Reyna throws his captain's armband toward the ref. FIFA suspends both Arena and Reyna.

Sept. 5, 2001
Final round of World Cup qualifying
The Americans are outclassed on a rainy night, losing 2-0 to jeopardize their once-firm World Cup hopes.

Oct. 8, 2005
Final round of World Cup qualifying
The Americans have already secured a ticket to Germany '06. Nonetheless, a 3-0 loss to the Ticos continues their Saprissa misery.

So my question to you is.....

By Steve Goff  |  June 2, 2009; 7:10 AM ET
Categories:  Costa Rica , Poll , U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Who Starts for USA?


From Yanksabroad article on Whitbread:

"The 25-year old has been valued at a transfer fee of $2.5 million to any team looking to acquire the former Liverpool Academy player.

"The Texan has also been linked to English Premiership clubs Blackburn Rovers and Sunderland"

So, of course, we give the job to Heath Pearce. Please let him make one of these moves, one year and counting.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 2, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I think we're due. Clearly, we're the class of CONCACAF, and this team has been together in hostile environments plenty of times. I say it's a 2-1 win.

Posted by: bdkelly | June 2, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I say it will be a 1-1 draw; the home side strikes first, but USA ties it in the second half and then withstands a 20-minute fusillade of shots on goal (and, hopefully, no batteries or bags of urine) to tally the point and get outta town.

SG - I'll join the chorus of desk jockeys who populate Insider Nation in saying Muchas Gracias for the travelogue from Costa Rica over the past few days.

Posted by: BaltoFan | June 2, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

We're due. This team has shown a toughness and resiliency, and I think Heydude will give them a "win one for the Gipper" style speech before the match to lift us to victory, amidst the projectiles and one-finger salutes.

It made me proud to read about Reyna's throwing the captain's armband at the ref way back when. I had forgotten about that incident and much of my memory of Reyna is clouded by WC '06 and his last couple of injury-prone years in MLS.

It's good to remember his passion and our players' love for the game and the stars and stripes, even when most of them don't sing the National Anthem.

Steve - thanks for the travelogue. I admire your ability to stay focused on your Post work while down there!

Posted by: billindmd | June 2, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I started the day happy, being the eternal source of sunshine that I am. Quick workout, protein shake... then I read Steve's breakdown of our recent history in Costa Rica. Ugh.

Como se dice, "Let's go for the tie"?

Posted by: joedoc1 | June 2, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

The United States will win 4-1.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | June 2, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Oh joy, we can all rest easy now. CONCACAF will remain in the hands of the tower of moral and ethical purity Jack Warner.

Posted by: lrg1231 | June 2, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

No matter if we win, tie or lose, I don't think this game is going to be pretty.

Posted by: MrCerniglia | June 2, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Costa Rica's going down. 3-1.

Posted by: Pedalada | June 2, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Oh joy, we can all rest easy now. CONCACAF will remain in the hands of the tower of moral and ethical purity Jack Warner.

Posted by: lrg1231 | June 2, 2009 9:18 AM

sigh...GOFF - can you please do a story on this? This is ridiculous! I would like to know more about CONCACAF internal politics.

Posted by: Pedalada | June 2, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

USA-2 CR-1.

Posted by: DadRyan | June 2, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Being that we are the power of CONCACAF I would like to say that we will win, however our 2-2 tie with El Salvador keeps me from being that blunt. Hopefully we come out and take the game by the throat instead of the usual scared Bradley tactics I've grown to loath from our away matches.

Posted by: MOCker | June 2, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

As much as I want to post a homer pick, everything is going against the US.

Bad field, hostile atmosphere, average to poor playing ability on the road in CONCACAF for the US.

How anyone can predict a US victory is beyond me. I want them to win as much as the next person, but I just don't they have enough to overcome a lot of obstacles. I have no doubt in my mind that the US is much better team. The US wins this match on neutral ground and in the US, but not at Sapprisa. If the US gets a draw that would be a MAJOR accomplishment.

CR 2, USA 1

Posted by: ARickey | June 2, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Empataran. They will tie. Of course, the USA should win, but...

A tie will be a moral victory.

I'm certain we can expect Bradley to play it catiously.

Posted by: fischy | June 2, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

You reach the World Cup by winning at home and drawing on the road. My prediction of a draw is more a hope than a prognostication; 1-1 would be a great result.

Posted by: glfrazier | June 2, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I think we'll lose but that way I will feel great if we do anything better and I can securely call myself a realist if we don't!

The game is somewhat more important for Costa Rica, as the home team, than it is for us. Mexico will probably start moving up the table in the next few days as they face the least likely WC candidates in El Salvador and at home vs T&T. The key thing for any of the likeliest contenders (USA, CR, Honduras & Mexico) is stay above 4th place and a playoff with a South American team,

Oddly, 2 points from ties in the next 2 games might benefit the US more than 3 points (which we would earn from a win and a loss) since ties would deny some points to Costa Rica and Honduras.


Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 2, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Goff -- You need to get a tape of the Revs game last week, so you can throw up some player ratings.... Playa hating knows no vacations.

Posted by: fischy | June 2, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Como se dice, "Let's go for the tie"?

Posted by: joedoc1 | June 2, 2009 8:42 AM

@JD: Admitedly, I am NOT a native speaker but if you say "Juguemos para empatear" that should suffice.

Or like we used to say in the Baltimore Latin leagues (before i was old and broker down) "Juguemos para el resultado" everyone knew that we were just playing to not lose...

Posted by: yankiboy | June 2, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

If we draw then I will not cry.
I'll take that with a smile, sure.

Posted by: yankiboy | June 2, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

"Como se dice, "Let's go for the tie"?
Posted by: joedoc1"

I know, I know . . . se dice "surrender." Not going to happen. Where's your Liberty or Death flag, Don't Tread on Me, etc . . joedoc?!?!

(Really it's vamos al empate or empateamos, or tratemos de empatear . . .

Posted by: delantero | June 2, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Estados Unidos Jamas Sera Vencidos!!

Why's everyone giving in on the board!?! If United can tie @ Saprissa with 10 men, I think the U.S. can do at least that . . it's all about adjusting to the turf and crowd. Between an in form Howard and Donovan, plus the skill of Torres, etc, we should be fine.

We'll look to counter, likely, but if we adjust and manage the turf and speed of the ball early, we should win.

Posted by: delantero | June 2, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

If an athlete expects a result in the future based on what was done in the past, then they are not an athlete.

This team is different. If we compare this team with the team in Germany '06 or later you'll see more experience and talent.

We will win.

Posted by: adamsunited | June 2, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

you got to play to win no matter what. 1-0 US.

Posted by: Mig18 | June 2, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Our team must be used to "hostile environments" by now. (e.g. Beasley playing in the Old Firm, Torres playing in Mexico, Donovan and other regulars in USA-Mexico and WC matches plus the ones playing in competitive European games) We've gotta play to win. USA wins 2-1

Posted by: WorldCup | June 2, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Would love to see a win, be happy with a draw, and probably settle for a 2-1 loss with nobody hurt or suspended.

Posted by: HowdyDCU | June 2, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how Herm "You play to win the game" Edwards would do coaching this kind of football...

Posted by: SportzNut21 | June 2, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Jozy will the game-changer that leads the U.S. to a victory in Costa Rica.

Posted by: hudson22 | June 2, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

usa 2 - 0 crc

Posted by: Dipssince78 | June 3, 2009 2:41 AM | Report abuse

Really, who cares?


Posted by: GWGOLDB | June 3, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

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