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September 3, 2011

USA vs Costa Rica: Recap, Ratings, and Stats

15798 fans witnessed a disappointing 1-0 loss to the feet of Costa Rica in Los Angeles. The game will be remembered as a large failure for the USMNT despite some positive play that was speckled throughout the game. Unfortunately the USMNT had their cliche defensive letdown around the 65th minute and couldn't convert on a handful of chances.

US build up was centered around quick play from the CMs (Donovan, Torres) and getting the ball outside to Shea and Rogers to swing a cross in. A combination of blind-playing and Costa Rica doing a great job of shutting down floaters with aggressive air-play and stacking the box shut down the American offense for large portions of the game. On the other side of the field, US struggled defensively with positioning and communication although for most of the game Costa Rica had very little offense. However around the 65th minute USA was subject to a great offense trap-breaking run by
Saborio that eventually led to a second chance goal, after a great point-blank save from Howard, from Rodney Wallace.

The Americans take on 37th ranked Belgium on the 6th.

Player Ratings
+5.5 - Tim Howard - (6.5...6/0.5...90') - Howard's play may only be this good because of the poor defensive play. That said, he made several underrated saves. A push outside the post in the 19', a hard shot from distance and through and crowd at 47' and a push over the bar from ten yards out in the same minute. Multiple saves from headers inside the 18 in the second half he handled to the best of his ability. The fact that he even touched the goal is impressive in itself.
+3.5 - Brek Shea - (10.5...7/3.5...90') - Shea ignited the offense early with nice combination play and balls over the top but eventually he started forcing balls into a busy box that became easy clears.
+3 - Maurice Edu - (9...6/3...90') - Defensive follies came from the back line, not the CDM. Edu played no part in the offense but was strong in the middle.
+2.5 - Jose Torres - (10.5...6.5/4...90') - Not his best game by far. He's still struggling to fit into Klinsmann's offense and get on the same page with the other ten players on the field. It's encouraging that he's looking forward with every pass and he's quickly established himself as one of the more creative players on the field. Although it boggles the mind as to why he wasn't called up with Bradley but he isn't polished by any means yet.
+2.5 - Jozy Altidore - (6.3...4.5/2...63') - He's starting to look back to his CMs more instead of taking on an entire defensive line by himself but his offside calls were outrageous (four, five times...?). Field awareness needs to step up if he ever wants to score from inside the 18.
+2 - Timmy Chandler - (9...5.5/3.5...90') - Aggressive in the same offense that Bradley used with his outside backs. Chandler pressed forward but Rogers' below average game didn't harbor too many positive counters on the right side. Was catch on his heels in the transition back that set up the goal although the pass shouldn't have occurred in the first place.
+2 - Landon Donovan - (10...6/4...90') - Donovan's come under fire as of late just as Dempsey did in Gold Cup group play for not producing goals. While he did miss a fairly positive goal opportunity, he wasn't as detrimental as the back four. His one average game isn't enough to jump down his throat.
+1.5 - Juan Agudelo - (3.5...2.5/1...27') - Typical game for Agudelo. This is some speculation, but Altidore's job security isn't through the roof but Agudelo isn't threatening it. Not yet, anyway. If he continues to get his head up and figure out when to take defenders on and when to lay it off he'll be a likely candidate for Brazil 2014.
+1 - Carlos Bocanegra - (9...5/4...90') - Isn't playing well with Fiscal to his side. Both are equally aggressive which effectively makes one defender instead of two. This is two mediocre games in a row for Bocanegra largely because of his inability to play cohesively with Fiscal.
+0.5 - Sacha Kljestan - (2.5...1.5/1...24') - Didn't do nothing as some critics claimed post-game. At the very least, he played with poise inside the 18 which is not something you can say of all of starting 11.
+0.5 - Robbie Rogers - (6.5...4/2.5...66') - His poor defensive shape, even as a forward, is starting to show up. He leaves back side attacker open more times than not. Most of the offense came through the left side for a reason. He showed some flashes with attempted connections with Altidore but delayed passes negated goal scoring chances because of offside calls.
-2 - Michael Orozco Fiscal - (8...3/5...90') - Hasn't made a case for himself in these last two games. Not as near as shakey as...
-3 - Edgar Castillo - (9...2.5/5.5...90') - I agree with the sentiment that you can't judge a player on one game... but you can start to get an idea of 3 hours of playing time.

Game Stats

Subjective Point Graphs

First Half

USA - 40.10
Costa Rica - 16.73

Second Half

USA - 44.37
Costa Rica - 36.37

Full Game

USA - 84.47
Costa Rica - 53.10

Momentum Graph

First Half Dominance
USA - 45
Costa Rica - 4
None - 51

GG Rating - 40/100

Second Half Dominance
USA - 49
Costa Rica - 22
None - 29

GG Rating - 67/100

Full Game Dominance

USA - 47
Costa Rica - 13
None - 40

GG Rating - 53


***Example Category***
Team - Chances...Threat Rate/100
Team - Chances...Threat Rate/100

First Half
USA - 39...13.7
Costa Rica - 10...11.8

USA - 46...15.8
Costa Rica - 21...9.1

USA - 4...51.0
Costa Rica - 3...64.0

Second Half
USA - 52...10.7
Costa Rica - 24...19.5

USA - 59...12.2
Costa Rica - 31...15.0

USA - 8...34.5
Costa Rica - 4...65.0

USA - 91...12.0
Costa Rica - 34...17.2

USA - 105...13.8
Costa Rica - 52...12.7

USA - 12...40.0
Costa Rica - 7...64.6


The only player that could have seen the pitch that didn't would be Larentowicz but the CMs weren't playing any worse than Larentowicz would have likely played. And while I'm not a big fan of the back four sometimes, subbing them out for unfresh legs wouldn't exactly be ideal. Klinsmann is doing the best with what he has and the loss isn't on him as much as it is on the players on the field. However defensive positioning wouldn't be a bad idea for training sessions.

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