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United States notes as team charters into Costa Rica

Sep 3, 2013, 4:40 PM EDT

Head coach of the U.S. national soccer team Klinsmann of Germany looks at his players during a practice session at the Azteca stadium in Mexico City

Jozy Altidore did go through the morning session in Miami – but he was mostly limited to fitness work on the side. U.S. officials say Altidore isn’t injured in the technical sense; rather, he was experiencing soreness. Prudence dictated caution, for the national and for Sunderland, naturally.

Status for Friday? Still unknown, a U.S. Soccer spokesman told me this afternoon from Miami just before boarding a bus for the airport. Or if it is known, U.S. Soccer’s staff sure wouldn’t tell anyone. With all the gamesmanship sure to go on in the coming days – the U.S. Soccer coaching staff seems prepared and therefore not too concerned – they aren’t going to forfeit any little edge in gamesmanship of their own. Not revealing Altidore’s precise status qualifies.

As we mentioned earlier, the team is chartering into Costa Rica early. First, the early arrival worked perfectly in the last road qualifier, a 2-1 win over Jamaica in Kingston.

More than that, however, the United States is clearly trying to make an impression, to demonstrate to themselves and to the Ticos that they aren’t looking to draw or to conserve emotional and physical energy for the coming biggie against Mexico (next week in Columbus).

Jurgen Klinsmann clearly believes that winning in Costa Rica – something the U.S. national team program has yet to check from its shrinking all-time “to do” list – is important in helping establish the mindset of regional dominance to which he aspires.

(MORE: U.S.-Scotland friendly reportedly almost set)

That aggressive mentality Klinsmann keeps hammering into his charges is more than just high defensive pressure and going for the second goal once a 1-0 lead is established; it’s about striding into every match utmost assurance, with self-belief as unbending as steel rivets on a warship.

The United States will arrive into Costa Rica this evening. Two workouts are tentatively set for Wednesday, one session on the field and one in the gym.

By the way, Wednesday is the eight-year anniversary of the official qualification date for the 2006 World Cup. On this day in 2005, Bruce Arena’s team downed Mexico in Columbus.

(MORE: Jozy Altidore cleared to practice with United States)

  1. hildezero - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    I see it hard for the US to win in Costa Rica, but it can still happen. Although they might be playing in a bigger stadium then usual in Costa Rica, at least they’re not playing in that fortress of Saprissa.

    • tariencole - Sep 3, 2013 at 8:24 PM

      I think the US has the attitude and the talent to beat Costa Rica. That of course, does not translate into the event at every chance. The Ref will certainly be intimidated by the CR fans, they always are. But the pitch is grass, not basketball court hard turf. And they won’t be able to generate quite the atmosphere Saprissa had.

      That said, I see a draw.

  2. - Sep 3, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    I hopre the U.S crush these costa rican whiners for complaining during the snow match in Colorado.

  3. hildezero - Sep 3, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    They’re still complaining about it and they still blame US Soccer for that game. XD

  4. sickstring - Sep 4, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    the US can make a statement over these next few games with wins. if we can start consistently getting wins on the road against concacaf teams, we can show the world that we’re in another class at the moment, and hopefully that will become the norm going forward. i really want to see a dominant US close out this cup qualifying cycle on a high note.

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