“I think we checked every box on this trip,” U.S. Coach Tab Ramos said. “We had an opportunity to play very tough games in which there was no room for error. We did that on the road, in Costa Rica, where World Cup qualifying is going to be.
“We stayed in the hotel where we will be staying in February and visited the stadiums where we will be playing the games. We had the opportunity to train in the same facility that we will be training in during qualifying, so that was an added incentive for us to be able to come down here.
Sebastian Saucedo converted two penalty kicks either side of halftime before Jeremy Ebobisse and Tyler Adams scored in the 61st and 67th minutes. Nick Taitague, a 17-year-old making his U-20 debut, assisted on Ebobisse’s goal.
“I think the team played hard in both games, Ramos said. “We were able to break them down more in the first game and that is why the score was what it was. Our second game was a tougher game with few chances to score. This was disappointing on our side as we were hoping to break them down a little bit easier. Games down here are always difficult, but I’m very happy with the team and where we are, looking forward.”
Goalkeeper JT Marcinkowsk was credited with five saves in the 4-0 win and Jonathan Klinsmann with three saves in the scoreless tie. Daniel Villegas was ejected for a second caution in the 78th minute of the tie.
“The players responded well and they understood that all these experiences will help us down the road in February,” Ramos said, “so that our No. 1 job is going to be playing the games and winning the games and not adjusting to the environment.”
17 in San Jose, Costa Rica
Costa Rica 0, USA 4. Saucedo (pen.) 46+, Saucedo (pen.) 56, Ebobisse (Taitague) 61, Adams (Saucedo) 67.
Costa Rica -- Segura (Rivas, 78); Lara (Marchena, 56), Espinoza, Gonzalez (Faerron, 76), Espinoza; Alfaro (Martinez, 64), Ramirez (Juarez, 56), Roman; Marin, 9- Ramirez (Camareno, 41), Zuniga (Villegas, 64).
USA -- JT Marcinkowski; Herrera (Jones, 68), Redding (Robinson, 68), Glad (Trusty, 68), Borges (Morris, 68); Williamson, Acosta (Adams, 45), Mansaray (Sabbi, 45); Saucedo, Vazquez (Ebobisse, 45), Taitague (Lewis, 68).
Dec. 19 in San Jose, Costa Rica
Costa Rica 0 USA 0.
Costa Rica -- Segura (Rivas, 71); Smhit, Salinas (Espinoza, 71), Arboine, Espinoza; Martinez (Ramirez, 65), Juarez (Alfaro, 65), Villegas; Cordoba (5-Juan Arguedas, 65), 9-Andy Reyes (11-Alonso Martinez, 85), 7-Kevin Masis.
USA -- Klinsmann; Herrera, Redding (Trusty, 80), Glad, Borges (Morris, 31); Williamson, Adams, Jones (Lewis, 59); Saucedo, Ebobisse (Vazquez, 70), Taitague (Sabbi, 70).
U.S. U-20 men’s national team (Costa Rica trip Dec. 13-20)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jonathan Klinsmann (University of California; Newport Beach, Calif..), JT Marcinkowski (Georgetown; Alamo, Calif.).
DEFENDERS (7): Marcello Borges (University of Michigan; Kearny, N.J.), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; Tucson, Ariz.), Aaron Hererra (University of New Mexico; Casa Grande, Ariz.), Jake Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Tommy Redding (Orlando City SC; Oviedo, Fla.), Miles Robinson (Syracuse University; Arlington, Mass.), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union; Chester, Pa.).
MIDFIELDERS (6): Danny Acosta (Real Salt Lake; Salt Lake City, Utah), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls II; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Derrick Jones (Philadelphia Union; Chester, Pa.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake; Park City, Utah), Nick Taitague (FC Richmond; Midlothian, Va.), Eryk Williamson (University of Maryland; Alexandria, Va.).
FORWARDS (5): Jeremy Ebobisse (Charleston Battery; Bethesda, Md.), Jonathan Lewis (University of Akron; Plantation, Fla.), Victor Mansaray (Seattle Sounders FC; Des Moines, Wash.), Emmanuel Sabbi (Las Palmas/ESP; Libertyville, Ill.), Brandon Vazquez (Atlanta United FC; Chula Vista, Calif.).