The US Men’s National Team returned States-side after their horrid and disappointing loss down in Panama as they dropped points against the Canal Boys, as they looked lifeless and uninterested in trying to find a way to attack the home side. So the final match in this October Qualifying window moved back to the home where the phrase of Dos-A-Cero was created as the US Men’s National Team returned to Columbus Ohio to face Costa Rica.
Instead of playing this match at historic Crew Stadium, the match was played at the brand new downtown stadium Lower. com Field. They earned a comeback win as the USA defeated Costa Rica by a final of two goals to one. The equalizer came in the 25th minute as Sergino Dest buried a beautiful ball to beat Keylor Navas for his first World Cup Qualifying goal.
The USA brought the ball up beautifully from their own end as it looked like they wanted to control the tempo and did so. As Tim Weah was attacking along the far side, he crossed the ball but overshot his teammates inside the Ticos area. But Yunus Musah saved it from going out of play, as he found Dest close by. the Barcelona fullback danced inside the area, took an amazing touch as he splashed a bending ball inside the upper far corner of the net and Columbus roared with delight.
The matchwinner which was designated as an own goal, against Costa Rica, put the USA in the lead around the 66th minute. As Dest received the ball, he saw an open space where he led Weah to make an attacking run, but Weah was smart not to take a touch as he smashed the ball one time and forced the backup keeper in Leonel Moreira who started the second half with an injury to Navas, and the ball squeezed thru by hitting the post, off Moreira and harmfully the entire ball slowly rolled over the goal line for the lead.
After 90 minutes of play had gone, the US Men’s National Team earned the full three points and are currently in second place in The Octagon as they have earned 11 points in six games. But this whole situation could’ve been avoided if Head Coach Gregg Berhalter didn’t continue to make errors in his starting 11 and he paid for it right after the opening whistle blew.
New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner has been the starting goalkeeper for the National Team since the start of the CONCACAF Gold Cup and conceded only once in six matches. The only goal he allowed was a penalty against Martinique in the second group stage match, but he is having a historic regular season with the Revs as they are going to win the 2021 MLS Supporters Shield in a landslide
Zack Steffen who began his career with Berhalter as his head coach at the Columbus Crew transferred to Manchester City, but since being at the club, he either hasn’t played or is used for a one-off either in the League Cup or the FA Cup matches in England. Basically, Steffen is used as a bench warmer at the Etihad in Manchester when there is a Premier League match. So how is it possible that Steffen who hasn’t had consistent minutes and isn’t the starting keeper at MAn City, was allowed to be the starting keeper against Costa Rica?
The opening minute of the match showed why Berhalter’s decision blew up right in his face. As the veteran Costa Rica side sent the ball on goal, Steffen decided to leave his line and headed the ball away outside his area, but the Ticos intercepted it and pushed the attack. A cross to the far side found Keysher Fuller wide open and buried the ball, as Steffen scrambled back to defend and when he reached the goal line, the ball beat him as he wasn’t prepared to defend the shot.
If not for the young players who survived that horrible beginning, the USA would’ve either dropped two or lost all three points against an aging Costa Rica side that is past their prime. Since qualifying began Gregg Berhalter has made major gaffs and has tinkered with this team’s roster and has played riverboat gambler the wrong way. Why did he even replace Turner for Steffen to start this match? The only way Matt Turner shouldn’t play is if he pulled what Weston McKennie did, injury during warmups, or injury during the match.
Zack Steffen gets a sentimental chance to start this match because the game was played in Columbus, in front of the Columbus Crew Supporters and that was a big mistake. While US Soccer USMNT GM Brian McBride and Overall GM Earnie Stewart won’t fire him for that because they won, the truth is it’s a fireable offense and Berhalter is lucky he’s not booted off his backside thru the door. Unless the USA has already qualified for the World Cup and has several matches remaining on their schedule, then I will understand, but this was a disgusting display of stupidity and Berhalter should’ve been sacked.
But after six games and 11 points earned out of a possible 18, the USA will be looking ahead for that big Classico as Mexico will come up states side and head to Ohio, with a new destination for the West side of Cincinnati. This will be a big-time win, but you hope and pray that Berhalter doesn’t get it wrong with the starting 11.