POSTED: Monday, July 15, 2013 - 3:17pm
UPDATED: Monday, July 15, 2013 - 3:17pm
Hartford, CT — With the task of qualifying for the knockout stage complete, the U.S. Men's National Team now looks to lock up the top spot in Group C when they face Costa Rica in the final match of the group phase. Kickoff at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., is set for 8 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on FOX Soccer and UniMas. Fans can follow the match live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and via Twitter @ussoccer.
The U.S. enters the match on top of Group C after amassing six points and a plus-8 goal differential following a 6-1 win against Belize in the opener and the 4-1 defeat of Cuba. Costa Rica sits in second place, also with two wins but a lower goal differential. The United States needs only a draw to secure a first-place finish in the group, which would mean a match against the third-place team from either Group A or Group B in the quarterfinal. The second place team from Group C will meet the second place finisher from Group B.
TOP SIX NOTES
Chris Wondolowski has amassed five goals in the first two matches of the tournament, becoming the only U.S. player in history to record that many in a single Gold Cup.
With the victory against Cuba, the U.S. improved its winning streak to seven matches, which ties the team record that was set from June 2-24, 2007, when the U.S. defeated China 4-1 in a friendly and then won all six matches in its run to the 2007 Gold Cup title.
The win also extended the USA's record in the group phase to 27-1-2 all-time. The MNT improved its record this year to 8-2-2, and 7-1-1 in U.S.-hosted games in 2013.
Costa Rica is on a streak of its own, unbeaten in its last seven games and not having surrendered a goal in the last 704 minutes. The Ticos are unbeaten in nine of its last 10 Gold Cup games.
This is the second meeting between the U.S. and Costa Rica in 2013. Amid a deluge of snow and wind on the third day of spring, the U.S. Men's National Team fought through blizzard conditions to earn a 1-0 victory against Costa Rica in the Final Round of 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying. The match took place in weather conditions never before seen for a U.S. World Cup qualifier in front a sellout crowd of 19,374 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
With the World Cup less than a year away, the mix of veterans and younger players are hoping the Gold Cup will prove to be a launching point for a spot in World Cup Qualifying and ultimately Brazil in 2014.
BEASLEY NAMED GOLD CUP CAPTAIN: Klinsmann has named three-time World Cup veteran DaMarcus Beasley as the U.S. captain for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Beasley has enjoyed a resurgence with the National Team after receiving his first call-up in seven months when he was added to the roster for the World Cup Qualifiers in March against Costa Rica and Mexico. Beasley had previously one the captain's armband only once, in the USA's 2-1 loss to Trinidad & Tobago on Oct. 15, 2008, in Port-of-Spain.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION (Gold Cup Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3) : Bill Hamid (D.C. United - 0/0), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire - 0/0), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake - 2/0)
DEFENDERS (8) : Corey Ashe (Houston Dynamo - 0/0), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla - 18/6), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake - 1/0), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana - 1/0), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes - 11/2), Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon - 10/1), Michael Orozco Fiscal (Puebla - 2/1), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg - 6/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7) : Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake - 8/1), Alejandro Bedoya (Helsinborg - 6/1), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana - 2/1), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg - 2/0), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers - 7/3), Brek Shea (Stoke City - 2/0), Jose Torres (Tigres - 2/0)
FORWARDS (5) : Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo - 0/0), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy - 30/15), Herculez Gomez (Club Tijuana - 0/0), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union - 0/0), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes - 5/5)