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USA snow plows Costa Rica
by Mike Woitalla, March 23rd, 2013 2:54AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  men's national team, world cup 2014

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[USA-COSTA RICA] Next time U.S. Soccer hosts a snow blizzard game, it might want to consider an orange ball and a lot more shovelers – but it all ended well for the Jurgen Klinsmann's men. They froze out a usually more lively Costa Rica in a 1-0 win that puts the USA back on track to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Late in the game, U.S. defender Geoff Cameron actually helped push one of the toilers responsible for shoveling snow off the field. Anything to prevent this game from being called off, because the USA led on Clint Dempsey’s 16th minute goal and these three points needed to be put in the bag.

Having lost their Hexagoal opener in Honduras, and facing Mexico at Azteca on Tuesday, the Americans wanted this win badly.

On a more playable field, the Ticos would likely have posed more problems. But credit the Americans for taking control. In their white jerseys, snow sticking to their hair, they may have looked like snowmen, but they proved quite mobile -- moving much better than the Ticos.

You rarely saw the Kentucky Bluegrass of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, and barely saw the yellow ball, but there were always more Americans around it than Costa Ricans.

DEMPSEY, OF COURSE. A quarter hour went by without a shot. Then Dempsey tried from 25 yards and missed five yards wide. Within a minute, Jozy Altidore pulled the trigger, the ball bounced off Roy Miller, into the path of Dempsey, who tapped it into the net. It was his seventh goal in eight games of this qualifying campaign. And it was all the USA needed to go from a team that seemed in turmoil to second place in the Hexagonal standings.

BEASLEY’S BACK. DaMarcus Beasley has been with the national team for 13 years, but hadn’t played in a competitive game since the 2009 Confederations Cup. The 30-year-old earned his true comeback with his play in the Mexican league, and stepped in at left back, where the USA was running out of options. He’s an attack-minded player, with moves that got him the “Jitterbug” nickname. His performance against the Ticos should get him another start at Azteca Stadium, where without snow on the field we might see even more of the creative play that made him so delightful to watch when he was a U.S. regular.

JONES GOT LUCKY. The referee, Salvadoran Marlon Mejia, deserves credit for a decent job in a game where it couldn’t have been easy to see. But he missed an obvious penalty kick when Dempsey was fouled by Miller. And Jermaine Jones was particularly fortunate that Mejia didn’t eject him when unprovoked he struck Bryan Ruiz in the face. Jones, dubbed a “serial offender” in his native Germany for his frequent yellow cards and suspensions, is a red-card waiting to happen – which the USA can’t afford at Azteca.

OMAR’S ALL RIGHT. Central defender Omar Gonzalez was made the scapegoat for the USA’s 2-1 loss at Honduras even though there were many other reasons for the defeat. Klinsmann stuck with him, going as far as dropping longtime captain and central defender Carlos Bocanegra. Gonzalez saved the USA by blocking Bryan Oviedo’s point blank shot in the 45th minute and marshaled the backline superbly. Of course, it will be a bigger test for the 24-year-old at Azteca.

PERFECT AT HOME. The win in Colorado keeps the USA's streak alive …
Hexagonal home openers:
2013 USA-Costa Rica 1-0 in Commerce City, Colo.
2009 USA-Mexico 2-0 in Columbus, Ohio
2005 USA-Guatemala 2-0 in Birmingham, Ala.
2001 USA-Mexico 2-0 in Columbus, Ohio
1997 USA-Canada 3-0 in Palo Alto, Calif.

March 22 in Commerce City, Colo.
USA 1 Costa Rica 0. Goal: Dempsey 16.
USA --
Guzan; Cameron, O.Gonzalez, Goodson, Beasley; Jones (Edu 82), Bradley; Zusi (E.Johnson, 75), Dempsey, Gomez (Beckerman 94+); Altidore.
Costa Rica -- Navas; Gamboa (Madrigal, 81), G.Gonzalez, Miller, Umana, Oviedo (Calvo, 73); Bolanos (Campbell, 62), Ruiz, Barrantes, Rodriguez; Saborio.
Yellow Cards: Costa Rica -- Miller 64, G.Gonzalez 90.
Att.: 19,374.

Next up:
March 26: Mexico-USA
Kickoff: 10:30 pm ET.
TV: ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision

Hexagonal Standings:
PTS TEAM W-T-L +/-
4 Honduras 1-1-0 4/3
3 USA 1-0-1 2/2
2 Panama 0-2-0 3/3
2 Mexico 0-2-0 2/2
2 Jamaica 0-2-0 1/1
1 Costa Rica 0-1-1 2/3



52 comments
  1. Kerry Ogden
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 10:09 a.m.
    I'd have to disagree with MW on Gonzalez He played alright last night but in the Honduras match Omar Stunk!!!! I still don't believe he will be the answer for the CB position & Bocanegra isn't any better right now, he plays out of position too much and has cost the US some loses in the past. I am happy that the US came away with a much needed win otherwise their advancement to the World Cup looked very bleak!

  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 10:28 a.m.
    "but they proved quite mobile -- moving much better than the Ticos. " Glad to see that someone has noted that, despite the atrocious conditions, the team movement and passing out of the back was excellent early on. Obviously as the snow built up, that option disappeared. Nonetheless, it was a promising sign that a team missing several key players could still attempt to play good soccer. The future of the backline also seemed more positive with Cameron and Gonzalez playing well. On another note, the Honduras performance against Mexico would seem to indicate that Honduras is not the "pushover" that many fans seem to have assumed in their hysteria over the loss in Honduras. I look for a credible performance in Azteca -- one point would be awesome.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 10:37 a.m.
    This game is an embarrassment to USA soccer. We have to play in those conditions to have a "Home Field Advantage"??? That wasnt soccer. I dont know what that was. The Referee should have canceled that game. Who ever thinks that is a good way to get 3 points has no pride. And we wonder why USA doesnt have more loyal fans in soccer??

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 10:39 a.m.
    Soccer skipping in 6-8 inches of snow. Ball should have at least been orange. Fouls called on slips. May the luckiest win. Sad day for USA soccer. Next time play it in Alaska!!

  1. Stuart d. Warner
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 10:51 a.m.
    So when Honduras schedules an afternoon game, in this case against Mexico, when the temperature is 100 degrees and the humidity 60%, that's soccer? And when a game is played in Central America during a virtual monsoon, that's soccer? And when Boliva schedules a game at 13,000 feet, that's soccer? The average high in Denver during the month of March (the whole month) is 56 degrees, with the average temperature being 39 degrees. Not horrific. On the soccer side of things, I'm pleased with Gonzalez's development. He has something one really wants in a center back--size. Actually, Cameron worries me a bit more than Gonzalez, because of his proclivity to give up fouls just inside the box (and I remember one Friendly in which he was red-carded in the box). But the guy who worries me most is Jones. As someone else has said, he's a yellow card walking and a red card waiting to happen, and he gives the ball away too easily and in dangerous places. I'm looking forward to Tuesday's game against Mexico and dearly hoping for a tie. What gives me hope is that Mexico's back line is currently worse then ours (and not in the same league as ours when we have Cherundolo and Johnson).

  1. Stuart d. Warner
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 10:52 a.m.
    Should have been "just outside the box".

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 10:59 a.m.
    The hate for US in our US youth soccer culture is a problem - the obvious bitterness when we win is disappointing (and when Mexico draws). Good post Stuart.

  1. Edgar Soudek
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 11:08 a.m.
    Thank you Stuart for a good comment on Luis' sad little mindbursts.... the game in Denver was scheduled months ago, and there hasn't been a snowstorm there at the end of March in many years. The United States has done a good job in spreading the venue of National Team games around the country. Luis, go play groundhog wherever your sad little life rolls by you...

  1. cisco martinez
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 11:10 a.m.
    The whole point of playing a home game is field advantage. Everyone looks at Mexico's altitude, it's air quality, fans throwing urine on players, using a laser light to place in goalkeepers face, aztecs stadium with over 100,000 people, in costa rica qualifiers you can see alexi lalas having a 5lbs battery thrown at him, bolivia beating brazil 2-0 before 1994 world cup in altitude at 10,000, the Colombia players threatened by drug lords before 1994 USA game. This is home field advantage, playing in a blizzard, was not unsafe according to the costa Ricans because clearly they wanted to play and the referee to his credit did to.

  1. Charles Stamos
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 11:14 a.m.
    You can't read much into this outcome except the US adapted slightly better to the conditions than the Ticos. There are lots of reasons for home team advantages, but this one seemed to level the game. Play this one over and it's 50-50 who wins due to a slip, bounce, or misjudging the pace of the ball. I would look for the Axteca game as a better measure of where the US is; as the Tri will have a nice home field advantage.

  1. Edgar Soudek
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 11:23 a.m.
    Good comments Cisco and Charles. I taught at the Int'l School in L|a Paz in the 60ties. The Stadium there is named after a former president, and it is at over 3,600 meters, or 12,000 feet. It is possible for low-altitude countries to win there, but both Brazil and Argentina suffered defeats in important games. It took me approximately six weeks to really get accustomed to the altitude...

  1. Charles Stamos
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 11:40 a.m.
    While a tie at Azteca would be considered a good result, going into a match with that mentality has peril and makes a big loss possible, like the 4-2 Mexico win at the last Gold Cup. A 1-0 win like the 2012 "friendly" would be a better mindset to begin the game. Both Mexico and the US have to worry about a tie result as both Panama and Costa Rica play at home the same day and their winning would drop the two favorites to 4th and 5th place. The 3 for a win is the goal, not 1 for an away tie. It is worth it to not go into a defensive shell. Mexico has a lot to say about the result. A classic battle coming up. I hope both teams are up for it.

  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 11:53 a.m.
    We earned the 3 points due totally on the efforts of each and every player. They played with big hearts and I say well done. We'll need that same drive and determination on Tues, but we'll also need to play some soccer.Let's wish the boys luck.

  1. Stuart d. Warner
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 12:21 p.m.
    I agree with Charles: the mindset of the players has to be to get a result--and that is surely what I'd love to see. However, as a fan, and keeping in mind all ten qualifying games, a tie at Azteca, which would give us four points after two games away and one at home, and which would give Mexico three points after two games at home and one away, would be a very good thing. But let me add one more thing. In watching all of the CONCACAF qualifiers, the quality of play from top to bottom has improved dramatically. Unfortunately for us, there are no longer any poor sisters: every team, including Jamaica, is good, Honduras in particular.

  1. Charles Stamos
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 12:41 p.m.
    One promising way the US can attack Mexico is in the air. They lose one of their best tall defenders in Rodriquez (two yellows) and looked vulnerable in the air against Honduras. Although getting a lot of corner licks didn't help Spain much against Finland (1 goal by Ramos on countless corners).

  1. Dick Burns
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 1:26 p.m.
    A year ago for the Rapids home opener in March, it was a shirt sleeve night. Very comfortable. Last nights game remined me of the Broncos vs the Packers in an October Monday night game in a snow storm. The Broncos scored two touchdowns before the Packers ran on offensive play. In 1986, I was to referee a friendly between the Canadian national team the and the Air Force Academy team as a warm up for the Mexico World Cup in the middle of May. When I arrived at the field, there was about 4 inches of snow on the field. When I asked Tony Waiters, Canada coach, if he wanted to play the game he said "hell yes, we play in this stuff all of the time" By half time the snow had melted off of the field. I am sure that US Soccer did not plan for thr game to be played in those conditions but they certainley have the right to maximize the home field advantage. As I was driving home to Colorado Springs, the weather changed from heavy snow to rain to nothing in the 70 miles from Dick's to home. It could very easily been just the opposite with the snow south of the Denver Metro area. By the way, the skiing is great.

  1. Power Dive
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 3:14 p.m.
    Attended the game last night, what an incredible fan experience. Perhaps it was just too cold to sit, but the place was electric and everyone in the arena stood up the entire game and cheered on the boys. The 19,000 Coloradans in attendance proved USA soccer has many, many "loyal fans". Fans all over the country would have done the same thing. I haven't been able to see the men's national team play live since the '94 World Cup, but what a memorable night to see them again.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 3:35 p.m.
    Several years ago my wife and I were in Mexico City and had tickets to see a WC qualifying game, Mex vs US. As for the conditions, we arrived about 90 minutes prior to kick off and the stadium was half full. 20 mins before time, it was packed and the atmosphere electric, when the teams marched in, it was chaos, and when the anthems were played... well, nothing could be heard. The game was scheduled for 1PM, it was hot and humid, midweek game. Home pitch conditions were obviously for Mexico; the small contingent of Americanos were seated high in the stands, fenced off and protected by stadium security, and were escorted in and out. So Stuarts comments are well taken, period. As for last night's game, I saw a different US team, resiliency set in their faces (and did anyone note they hadn't shaven, something I've noted in previous occassions?) - their play more determined, and played much better as a unit. Kudos to the game officials for calling difficult game and letting the teams continue, a decision that we'll hear much about sometime down the road. Good Game USA!

  1. Bruce Gowan
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 3:51 p.m.
    Sorry guys I think the snow game in Denver last night was a preventable disaster. It is great that the team got a win. Denver in March is a risk for weather. The game was a joke and the world is laughing at USA soccer. There were many other locations including my state, Florida, where there was no risk of weather and where 19,000 is not a big attendance for an international match.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 3:52 p.m.
    BTW, yesterday in a different post, said that the US-CR game would be a "humdinger," and it most certainly was such a game, a HUMDINGER OF A GAME!!! One last word about weather and playing conditions, "back in the day," when I was refereeing, I was assigned to run a line with former FIFA referee and Los Angeles official soccer legend Toros Kibritjian; the weather was balmy in May, overcast, and soon well into the first half, the sky opened up with a torrent of water, and some thunder and lightning. The game was briefly halted, Toros spoke to us and asked if we had any problems running our lines despite the ankle deep water and mud; as for the other teams, heck, it was "Play on brother!" and so we did, and know what, just almost as soon as Toros blew the final whistle, we got our wonderful Southern California sunshine - and it didn't rain for the next six months! So what, say you? PLAY ON! Like I said, BTW, "just a thought..." VAMOS, VAMOS, VAMOS USA!!!

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 3:58 p.m.
    To Bruce Gowan: As someone pointed out above, the game dates and venues were selected by each Federation some time ago, but for you to say the game was a joke, well do many people laugh when NFL teams play in similar weather? Betcha they don't, as a matter of fact, NFL tv viewers and attending fans simply lap it up and love it when they play in gawd-awful inclement weather, and I have seen games play in downpours, tremendous heat, and also, I haven't read any posts decrying the 107 degree weather in San Pedro Sula, HON, but I betcha folks would also complain about the conditions and so it is six of one and half-dozen of another....

  1. Stuart d. Warner
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 4:41 p.m.
    Regarding Bruce G's comments, first of all, no one is laughing at USA soccer; second of all, playing a game in Florida would mean giving up the home field advantage, for there would be as many rooting for Costa Rica as for the USA. I do wish, however, that we had already played at Costa Rica. I'm wondering what in the world will the field and the conditions generally be like.

  1. Gus Fernandez
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 5:57 p.m.
    Good game USA. half of Costa Rica team play in Europe, so they know how to play in weather like this.

  1. carlos m
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 8:08 p.m.
    Great game. The usa is great in any conditions and Wow luis really shown his true colors (since mexico tied) . Lets go usa repeat, aztecazo!!!!!.

  1. Valerie Metzler
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 8:50 p.m.
    I looked at 6 major news outlets' reports from around the world and no one is laughing at US soccer because of last night's match.

  1. Valerie Metzler
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 8:55 p.m.
    I forgot to ask: what are your sources, Bruce?

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 10:05 p.m.
    Stuart, so lets just play on a World Cup qualifier on sand on a beach then. Or let's play in a 6" pond. 2 wrongs dont make a right. A world power like us should be above that, I would think. But playing in 100 degree weather in no way compares to playing in a blizzard. How can you even compare?? Both team were hoping for a lucky bounce or skid from the ball. There was zero skill on display in this game. I wonder how many 10 year olds tuned in to watch this game and thought, " Wow, I want to play just like that when I grow up"". Playing in 100 degree weather does not affect how the ball is played or skill. It is more a test of endurance and stamina but without hoping for a lucky bounce or skid. If yopu want to compare to another extreme then play the game in a Hurricane!!

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 10:19 p.m.
    Ric, I must disagree with you on this brother. It was preventable because we have many beautiful place we could play this game to actually watch some soccer. Arent we also preparing to play in Brazil?? How did this game help us other than to get the 3 points?? Did we show improvement in playing style?? Do we really know how good our defense truly is?? Were they tested playing soccer?? Did our team look more cohesive as a unit?? You guys want those 3 points so bad no matter what?? (Gee, I wonder where I have heard that before?? Oh I know, most youth clubs in USA!!) Well then lets play every home game in Alaska!! Everybody has a right to home field advantage, right!! Bruce is right on, with his comment. Everybody is laughing at us. Is this how we want to qualify for Brazil?? What the F for??

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 10:24 p.m.
    If you guys are happy with the way we got these 3 points then dont complain about how our youth is being run in this country!! You guys think this is a coincidence that many of you love the way we won and how our youth is not being developed skill wise??? Denver was chosen for a reason and this was it. Maybe they werent planning for some snow, maybe, but certainly for a cold snowy weather. The only reason. The USA has zero confidence in it's skill level to beat a team straight up with actual soccer. This USA team thought the y had a better chance playing under these type of conditions to level out the skill level in disastrous conditions. If we condone this we are contributing to an ugly playing style for a longer time.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 23, 2013 at 10:30 p.m.
    Ric, we both know 100+ and a blizzard are not comparable playing conditions. How does 100 degrees affect how the ball bounces?? How does 100 degrees affect vision for players and refs?? How does 100 degrees not permit players or refs to see penalty box or midfield lines??? Come on!! I feel like I am taking crazy pills!!! 100% affects stamina and endurance.. Thats it!! Soccer is still played with skill under these conditions. 6" of snow. Zero Skill!! Play on ?? Sure. Lets see those TV ratings go down and fans lose interest. And dont get me wrong, Players did show lots of heart and determination. Hell YA!! But I want my USMNT to show skill!!! I think many kids would look forward to that as well.

  1. Bill Anderson
    commented on: March 24, 2013 at 12:40 a.m.
    Last nights game will NEVER be forgotten, what a famous victory for the US. The pressure, the opponent, the beautiful blizzard. Nobody will remember the quality of play, but none will forget the drama and majesty of the moment.

  1. Power Dive
    commented on: March 24, 2013 at 3:26 a.m.
    Luis, you make several valid points and I agree with your undying effort to open Americans to the beautiful game. You see a game like last night and see USA soccer back in the Stone Age. You also see a country so rich in talent that we should be a world power in soccer if not for our own ineptness. You are right. And last night did nothing to further our broader development. But (obviously a "but" was coming), I think a lot of that is outside if the discussion of last night. A additional general thoughts from last night (1) although not traditional or ideal, last night was fair. Both teams played on the same pitch so there is no reason why we shouldn't savor this victory like any other (2) a game like last night might actually help this team play in Brazil next year (obviously, my fingers are crossed and I'm not assuming). Winning a game in horrible conditions like a blizzard can really help to bring a team together. They got through that chit and they got through it together. Time will tell on if it has any positive effect, but that's certainly not a negative. (3) there wasn't six inches of snow on the field, there was two on my head though (4) Denver wasn't chosen because they were looking for cold snowy weather. Denver isn't in the Rocky Mountains and is actually very mild most of the time. It is very dry though, so I suggest chap stick and lotion or your lips and skin will crack over time. I forget the exact stat, but I believe Denver has as many days of sunshine per year as Los Angeles. Seems correct and I've lived in both for over a decade during my life. I went to a hockey game the other weekend and it was sunny and 70. We were joking that it was baseball weather. Funny how things can change so quickly. The Denver choice was simple, we are playing at Azteca on Tuesday and wanted to pick a venue that helped our boys acclimate to a higher altitude.

  1. Power Dive
    commented on: March 24, 2013 at 3:31 a.m.
    And Bill, amen.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 24, 2013 at 9 p.m.
    Power, no doubt, it was fair for both. Of course, as it is fair if both play in sunshine with 70 degree weather. It is fair when you play 100+ degrees and high altitude as well. I am ot against home field advantage but to show so much happiness and satisfaction in a win that showed zero skill, is ludicrous. Can a game like this help us get to Brazil? Sure. How about 4 more home games in wintery weather ( and lets hope for another blizzard) ?? But is that the ultimate goal for a country of our stature?? Shouldnt we looking to compete in Brazil?? Wether it was 2,4 or 6" of snow the field and conditions were unplayable for real soccer. The Denver choice and more of those same choices will get us no where in soccer. There are plenty of other places in USA with a high altitiude and not the same risk of conditions.

  1. David Huff
    commented on: March 24, 2013 at 9:33 p.m.
    C'mon Luis, you need to see the humor in this, the "snow bowl" in Colorado is payback for those crazed matches in CR. For Mexico, they get even better treatment for their Azteca, should be the North Slope of Alaska in January for the pobrecitos. :)

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 24, 2013 at 10:11 p.m.
    OK David, that is funny. Alaska it is. Lets just have a snowball fight.

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: March 24, 2013 at 11:08 p.m.
    It has nothing to do with the issue of the weather. The crux is the obvious hatred and bitterness and victimhood and the fact that gets spread throughout our youth soccer culture. If we had played in 70 degree weather and still won, the response would have been still filled with excuses and bitterness. It is quite obvious.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 24, 2013 at 11:31 p.m.
    You are incorrect in you assumption and will probably get thatvcomment taken out again Gordon because its nothing more than a snipe. The U20s performed very well and showed very good skill and an improvement. It would kill me to see that team play for 3 points in those conditions because they were fun to wqcth. What is truly infecting our youth are these coaches that enjoy "these win at any cost" moments. Its all about the win and what we do to get it. We applaud it at the highest levels and it reflects with our youth. I can't wait for U20s to be of age so we can watch some real soccer.

  1. Gordon Hayes
    commented on: March 24, 2013 at 11:43 p.m.
    Wonder why you feel that way? Hmmmmm. 'True colors' - they showed this time and everyone knows it. It is okay - we already knew.

  1. Raveen Rama
    commented on: March 25, 2013 at 5:51 a.m.
    To Luis and others with negative comments such as zero skills shown by our team, I saw a lot of cohesion, trust, and understanding among the players on this day. I pleasantly surprised to see good passing even in these conditions, and I felt they displayed confidence in themselves which I did not see in other games. Luis, it does not seem you are happy we won, you seem always to be complaining about something when we win no matter where we play. Just go out there and coach the youth if you want to contribute to the betterment of soccer in the US if you have better tools, instead of writing garbage here.

  1. Efrahim Fernandez
    commented on: March 25, 2013 at 8:20 a.m.
    I really don't think the post should attack any ones opinion/ comments or look to read into then beyond what is written. I am happy as an American that the US won however as a player and now a youth coach I am saddened for the integrity of the game. Win it all cost and by any means necessary? I find it a disgrace the high altitude s of Mexico, the oppressive humidity of Honduras, and unplayable field conditions of other countries to gain an advantage ? WHAT ARE WE TEACHING THE CHILDREN?My USA that I served is the greatest country still I just want us to act like it despite what others might do to get a win.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 25, 2013 at 12:09 p.m.
    Raveen, Cohesion, trust and understanding are not skills, or at least not the ones I was talking about. Those are emotianal virtues and they are great things to have but we should not limit our standards to just those like we have for so many years already. Passing?? If we are so great at passing then why not schedule a game where we can showcase such skill?? I just said I was happy to see the USA U20's perform at qualifiers (by the way the best a USA side has performed in a long time ). I will follow them closely because they showed some very good skill in that tourney. What is garbage is celebrating such wins that depend more on luck than anything else. We were lucky to win and Costa Rica was unlucky to lose. That's never a good thing for anyone. Why do we want these 3 points for?? To go to Brazil?? Are we going to count on another blizzard there?? Is that what we are preparing for?? The team showed heart and that has been a trademark for USA in past games, no doubt, but how about we start demanding they show skill and tecnical ability as a unit to get to the next level?? If this is what we celebrate and highlight as a country as a great win then we are better off not making it to the W.C. 2014.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 25, 2013 at 12:20 p.m.
    Efrahim, you have common sense and that is what is being attacked by some of these guys. WHere are all those people that complain about our youth player development?? Are they celebrating this win?? I bet most are. We say one thing but do another. This game is a bad example for youth player development " skill wise". It's telling them, hey if we can get 3 points in atrocious conditions then go for it. Raveen mentions Cohesion, Trust, understanding. Those are mostly the same words used by coaches playing to win at youth levels and feel good about it. They also say, we win as a team, with no individual superstars, defense wins games, we showed heart. These coaches pick the players that "show the most heart" or in other words, the ones that run hard or fast, that are strong enough to challenge for every ball and win most of them, that dont dribble much and pass first ( unselfish ), etc. They play to win with these types of teams because thats all they can do. These coaches know they can't develop individual players so they make it a "great memorable" experience for these hard working teams. Everyone can take something useless or bad and make it look like it is great, memorable.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 25, 2013 at 12:31 p.m.
    Efrahim, while heat and altitude are advantages to the home team they in now way compare to what we saw in Denver. They dont affect playing conditions. They affect stamina and endurance, for sure. The Denver snow affected playing conditions since the start. Almost no visibility for the players or the refs to actually ref the game. They couldnt see penalty, midfield, out a bounds, lines for good chunks of the game. The ball was greatly affected by the snow. It skid or was impossible to dribble. Heat and altitude do not affect the ball or visibility. We have many places with same altitude that we can train on to prepare. We also have same heat and humidity to prepare for those games. We can play Mexico in a low altitude and Honduras in a colder place that would give us the same advantage they have at their home field. A snow blizzard is completely different. Both teams have equal advantage but the more skilled team loses more of the advantage than the less skilled. USa could beat Brazil, Spain and Germany the same way it beat CR in Denver. And I completely agree that we should act on higher standards. Let's take our never die attitude and add great skill to it and a great willingness to showcase it, especially in our Concacaf region.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 25, 2013 at 12:32 p.m.
    Heat, altitude tests Stamina/Endurance. Snow Blizzards test luck.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 25, 2013 at 12:37 p.m.
    Raveen, and I am contributing to a better youth soccer. I told our kids that winning at all costs is never a good thing for them to learn or cheer for. They must cheer skill and tecnical ability. They must watch Ronaldinho, Messi, Cristiano, Chicharito, etc. for these examples and not the USa vs Costa Rica game. They are taught to hopefully one day represent the USA with pride, determination plus skill and tecnical ability along with great decision making on the field. They mus be shown great examples of this. Do you think this game was it?? Or even 1/2 of it??

  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: March 25, 2013 at 4:55 p.m.
    Dude, give it a rest! You weren't there, and you do not know. Ball moved fine, players were enjoying the moment and the referee's authority was not challenged. End of story. BTW, to the thousands who traveled hundreds of miles with your American Outlaw section tickets, God Bless all of you!! It was one for the ages!! And no Louise, it was not a blizzard.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 25, 2013 at 5:03 p.m.
    Chris, I commend you and all the fans there supporting your team. You are a true USA fan and I admit that I am not loyal to that degree that you are. I want to be a better fan for USA but can't with our current style of play or these types of games. Klins said we would play a better style but its taking forever. Ref stopped and continued. That's not authority, brother. Usually refs dont change their minds like that.

  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: March 26, 2013 at 3:32 p.m.
    Again, you need to research the story a little better, he was summoned by the commissioner according to reports, he was allowed to continue at his discretion. Why do you insist on trying to rewrite history.....?

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 26, 2013 at 4:34 p.m.
    So then why did he stop the game then, dumby?? He was summoned so therfore stopped the game so the commissioner could tell him to continue at his discreation??? That makes alot of sense!!!

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 26, 2013 at 4:34 p.m.
    Where did you here that report??

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 26, 2013 at 4:37 p.m.
    Come game time the center ref is the ultimate authority. No one can tell him or advise on wether he can stop, continue a game. He is allowed his sole discretion at all times. There is no permission needed by commisioner during game time. Are you drinking??


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