SOCCER

USMNT Looking To Continue Winning Form Against Costa Rica At The RioT

Jun 9, 2021, 12:02 PM | Updated: Dec 8, 2022, 3:32 pm
David Ochoa trains with national team...
Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The USMNT is in town and looking to add to its Nations League victory against Costa Rica at Rio Tinto Stadium in a friendly exhibition.

David Ochoa, 20, is hopeful to receive his first international cap in front of his home fans. However, his chances are slim following backup goalkeeper Ethan Horvath’s remarkable performance in the Nations League final against Mexico. Horvath entered the contest following an injury to starter Zack Steffan and quickly became the hero the USMNT needed.

He made multiple key saves to keep the hosts in the contest, none greater of course than the 120th-minute penalty stop to ultimately secure the victory for the United States.

The final whistle blew and Horvath was swarmed by his teammates.

If Ochoa does get the start against Costa Rica this evening, it isn’t because he beat out Horvath for the job, it is simply a kind gesture from Manager Gregg Berhalter to gift Ochoa the minutes in front of his home fans.

Nonetheless, whether Ochoa starts or not is irrelevant, Rio Tinto Stadium will showcase some of America’s brightest young players including recently crowned Champions League winner Christian Pulisic, Juventus prodigy Weston McKennie and Barcelona fullback Sergiño Dest among others.

“What I’m asking the guys is, another 24 hours of focus, and then they can go on vacation,” Berhalter told reporters in a Tuesday evening media availability. “To think about ending a seven-day stretch against three of the top Concacaf teams getting three wins is a huge, huge statement for this group. And that’s what we’re focused on. So our work’s not done until the game’s over tomorrow, and we hope to have a good performance and bring the same level of intensity that we brought in the first two games.”

Following the conclusion of this game, the USMNT will go on vacation until earlier in July when they will return to prepare for their first CONCACAF Gold Cup Group Stage match on July 11th.

Costa Rica, on the other hand, is also coming off the Nations League final four. Although, their fate ended in a much different fashion than the USMNT. Costa Rica lost both the semi-final fixture and third place fixture in penalty kicks to both Mexico and Honduras respectively.

Kickoff for the USMNT and Costa Rica is scheduled for 5 p.m. and can be seen via ESPN2, UNIMÁS AND TUDN.

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USMNT Looking To Continue Winning Form Against Costa Rica At The RioT