The Americans, facing elimination with another loss after the 2-0 defeat to Colombia, now only need a win or (likely) tie against Paraguay on Saturday
to advance to the quarterfinals.
1. Jones responds after being pulled against Colombia.
You have to go back to 2013 and the opening game of the Hexagonal against Honduras in San Pedro Sula for the last time Jermaine Jones was substituted from a competitive match in which the USA was losing. In the 66th minute of the opening game of the Copa Centenario against Colombia, Jones was pulled in favor of Darlington Nagbe, and he didn't look to be a happy camper.
Jones wasn't happy with the result or how the USA approached the game. “I think that we have to be more focused on us, play with that what we have,” Jones said. “We have three midfielders where I feel like if we have a good game plan, we can put a lot of pressure on other teams."
After concentrating on the Cafeteros, in particular Juan Cuadrado, Jones was unleashed against Costa Rica and had one of his best games in recent years. He created the second goal all by himself, winning the ball in midfield and scoring with a curling shot inside the far post to put the USA up 2-0 late in the first half.
"Some players really stepped it up," said Klinsmann. "Jermaine was one of them today, putting his stamp on this game."
2. Bobby Wood shows why is now USA's best center forward.
Even if Jozy Altidore gets over his hamstring problems, he'll have a hard time -- in the short term -- getting back his starting job up front next to Clint Dempsey.
Bobby Wood showed why he is so deadly as a center forward as he scored the third goal after the USA shifted from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 and he moved into a more central role. Dempsey played the ball to Wood, sitting at the top of the penalty area. Wood turned away from Oscar Duarte and fired a shot past Patrick Pemberton for the third goal.
Wood was less effective out wide when the USA played a 4-3-3 against Colombia and Christian Pulisic replaced him shortly after the hour mark. He did create the opening goal on Tuesday night, stepping into the path of DeAndre Yedlin's cross and getting bowled over by Christian Gamboa.
Klinsmann said he liked how fluid the switch in formations was and the flow of the U.S. attack stayed the same.
3. Ticos are a shadow of the team from Pinto era.
In 2014, Colombian coach Jorge Luis Pinto took Costa Rica to the World Cup, where the Ticos won a group that featured three former World Cup champions, England, Italy and Uruguay, and then reached the quarterfinals, where they lost to the Netherlands on penalty kicks.
The Costa Rican federation could not come to terms on a new contract for Pinto, who is now coaching Honduras, and the Ticos have struggled ever since, first under Paulo Wanchope and Oscar Ramirez, both former national team players.
Costa Rica is without star keeper Keylor Navas, who was a late withdrawal from the Copa Centenario, but even if the Real Madrid keeper has been available, the Ticos would not have been able to match the USA. They made it too easy for the hosts on their four goals, and they only managed one shot on goal. Things were so bad that star forward Joel Campbell was subbed at halftime.