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Soccer US National Team

2013 Gold Cup: United States Convincingly Defeat Costa Rica

Brek Shea

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The United States Men’s National Team defeated Costa Rica in a game that was tightly contested with Brek Shea’s second-half winner.

Costa Rica simply dominated possession in the early stages but could not create too many chances — their main starters were on the bench … as were the United States’.

After having a dismal game in a start against Cuba this past Saturday, Shea came up huge on the counter attack to connect on the Landon Donovan cross after a sweet touch.

Mix Diskerud started over Kyle Beckerman at the holding midfield role and did a decent job … however, he tried to attack more than defend. Unlike Beckerman, he doesn’t have too much patience on the defensive end of the midfield which means he is not as good at cleaning up the mess that is always created. He is more of an attack-minded player — he sent out decent through and lobbed passes but to no avail most of the time. He will get there soon in due time.

Landon Donovan shone up top once again with his assist to Shea and his leadership as the main veteran on the field. His understanding of the game seems to grow each time he plays … especially when the newer and younger blood joins him … he knows that it is his job to help them grow as players so they can all win in the end.

Sean Johnson stepped into goal for Nick Rimando and kept a clean sheet. He made some slick saves to protect the 1-0 lead towards the end and prior to the goal being scored. He perhaps even earned himself the starting spot in the quarterfinal match.

El Salvador is the next opponent for the U.S.A. in the quarters, which will be played this Sunday in Baltimore, Maryland. The danger man for them is none other than the young star striker, Rodolfo Zelaya, who has already netted three times in this nation. If the U.S. wants any chance of winning this one convincingly, they need to keep him at bay for sure.

The U.S. have it all to do this Sunday, but with the right starting line-up, right mentality and smart game plan, winning against this tough Central American side is more than doable.