What a wild World Cup Qualifier! The US and Costa Rican national teams literally just played in a blizzard. Snow was falling at the game’s start, and by the end of the game 2 hrs later there had to be a solid 2-3 inches of snow on the ground. Local forecasts said it would continue to snow for another 12 hrs.
I’ll say Costa Rica earned a lot of respect from me last night. These guys aren’t used to playing in the COLD, much less BLIZZARD conditions. Yet they fought on throughout the entire match and even had a few chances to tie the game up. When the ref was considering stopping the game they were right next to the US players lobbying for the game to continue. I can think of some other teams *cough*MEXICO*cough* who would have done an incredible impersonation of lawn chairs and just folded.
Video Highlights after the break.
MNT vs. Costa Rica: Highlights – March 22, 2013 (Youtube link for mobile)
Several US players put in some good performances. Altidore was very active, had a hand in one goal and almost another. The entire backline of Cameron, Goodson, Gonzalez, and Beasley did a phenomenal job. Klinsman made a good choice going with a huge defense (altho, he may not have had much choice with injuries :) ) because it turned into a “punt it wherever you can” game at several points and having a bunch of guys who can win headers, 50/50 balls, and toe pokes came in really handy. Zusi had a good start, although I don’t rate him as a 90min player at this point since he seems to only have an impact for about 20mins. Dempsey, as usual, was Dempsey. Jones had a great start and was able to continue even though I was sure he would have to be subbed out after taking a kick in the shin and having to be taped up.
It certainly wasn’t a pretty match, but during World Cup Qualifying you’ll take any win you can get.
Next up…. USA vs Mexico, in Mexico City, at over 7000ft elevation