Costa Rica vs. USA
Date and Time: Saturday, July 22, 10 p.m. ET
Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Costa Rica vs. USA TV Coverage: FOX Sports 1
The United States never messed around against El Salvador and came up with a resounding victory as a result. After 40+ minuets of poking and prodding, the Yanks got goals from a pair of defenders in Omar Gonzalez and Eric Lichaj, of all people, to break open the match at the end of the first half.
The mission from that point forward was easy, and that brought the United States into the semifinals with ease from there.
The Costa Ricans have had a lot more to worry about. Of course, they're match against Panama was never going to be as easy as the Yanks' game against El Salvador. Yet, Los Ticos made a mess of the whole thing for sure, needing to get bailed out by an own goal to take care of the Panamanians.
Matchup To Watch
The biggest thing the Americans did, particularly in that first half against El Salvador, was bring numbers forward in a hurry. As demonstrated by the fact that a pair of defenders found their way onto the stat sheet, there was no letting off the gas pedal from Arena's side. It was a welcome change from the squad that was suspect and tepid in attack.
This, though, is a much different challenge. Costa Rica has an experienced side at the back, and with as well as Patrick Pemberton has played in net in this tournament, it's a wonder whether the USA will be able to get put many in on goal or score if it gets there.
Kendall Waston, Johnny Acosta and Giancarlo Gonzalez, in particular, have been very good for Los Ticos. They held Panama to just three shots for the entire match, and only one of those was really a quality opportunity.
The Americans were talented enough to play a tremendously open affair against El Salvador without consequences. They'll be punished by a very talented team if they get too willy-nilly with their attacks in this one. There's no way that these defensemen are going to be able to flood forward the same way they did against El Salvador.
Costa Rica vs. USA Free Picks
We like the Americans to advance here, but we think this is going to end up being a nervy match throughout. Arlington is going to be on pins and needles with the knowledge that the last time the Yanks were in this spot, they were beaten by Jamaica in the semifinals of the Gold Cup.
Still, we just don't see enough out of Costa Rica offensively to be a serious threat to advance via any other way aside from penalties. This was a lucky team just to win Group A, and it was an even more fortunate squad to survive that duel with Panama.
Though Costa Rica might ultimately use its stout play in the center of the pitch and organized defense to hold off the Americans for an hour and a half, doing so for the last half hour will prove to be too tough. Inevitably, one of the United States' strikers will finally slot one home to send the host nation into the Gold Cup finale.
Costa Rica vs. USA Soccer Pick: Play the Under at BookMaker.eu
Costa Rica vs. USA Score Prediction: USA 1, Costa Rica 0 (Extra Time)