USMNT vs. Panama

National Team Preview | The U.S. faces Costa Rica

The United States will look to cap off their January camp with another win on Saturday against their Concacaf rivals, Costa Rica, at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California. The U.S. won their first game under new head coach Gregg Berhalter last Sunday against Panama, but will be facing a new set of challenges against the Costa Rican National Team, also known as the Ticos.

Though last Sunday's game finished with a lopsided scoreline of 3-0, the U.S. held on to a narrow 1-0 lead until the final 10 minutes of regular time, where they scored two late goals to clinch the victory. The Americans generated plenty of offense on the night, firing off 17 shots, including six shots on goal. United's Paul Arriola checked in for the final 15 minutes of the match, but will look to play a bigger role against Costa Rica. Arriola has scored twice for senior national team, both coming against Concacaf opponents. 

Fans of the U.S. are also wondering whether they will be able to claim another clean sheet this Saturday. Unlike Panama, Costa Rica will not be missing many of their usual starters and will look to make things difficult in the final third against the American backline. Defense can be one of the most difficult areas to solidify when integrating players into a new system, something that the U.S. is looking to do during these friendlies. Russell Canouse, an important part of the Black-and-Red's defensive success in the second half of 2018, will be an option for Berhalter in the midfield. Canouse is looking for his first cap for the senior national team after a number of dominant performances this past season. 

Costa Rica are an historic rival of the United States. They qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after finishing second in the Hexagonal round of Concacaf qualifying. In their three group stage matches, the Ticos fell to semi-finalists Belgium and England and secured a 2-2 draw against Switzerland. Like Panama, Costa Rica are looking to integrate younger players into their line-up, which could create an opportunity for Black-and-Red defender Joseph Mora. He earned his first caps for the senior national team in friendlies against Chile and Peru in November, coming on the second-half of both matches. 

Kick-off for the USMNT match against Costa Rica is 3:30 PM ET from Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California. The match will be broadcast live on FOX. 

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