The United States U-23's lost for the second time in the 2015 Toulon Tournament. In what could be a preview of Olympic qualifying, Costa Rica defeated the USA, 2-1., continuing a disappointing tournament for the Americans in which they have mustered very little in the way of chances.
USA U23s vs. Costa Rica lineup: Horton; Turner, O'neill, Robinson, Serna; Green, Pelosi, Alashe; Morris, Kiesewetter, Hernandez— U.S. Soccer YNT (@ussoccer_ynt) May 31, 2015
Despite possession being shared equally early in the first half, Costa Rica created most of the scoring chances in the opening minutes. Their repeated attempts at the American goal paid off in 24th minute when Ronald Mataritta's beautifully struck left-footed free kick curled just past the diving Charlie Horton to give the Ticos a 1-0 lead.
The U.S. finally got into the game after falling behind. It took them just seven minutes to find an equalizer. Julian Green's chip into the box found an open Jordan Morris, whose expertly taken first touch left him 1 on 1 with the Costa Rican goalkeeper. With such a tight angle, Morris did well to get his shot past the keeper and onto the post. That left the rebound for Fatai Alashe to follow up from about six inches and the U.S. were level.
Unfortunately for the U.S., they could not hang on to momentum going into the second half. Costa Rica continued to enjoy most of the chances. In the 55th minute, David Ramirez found a gap in the U.S. defense, leaving him 1 on 1 with Horton. The forward calmly finished with a side-footed shot past the American backstop. The Ticos continued to pile on the pressure. Liverpool product Marc Pelosi had a chance at the death, but his left-footed blast from the top of the box sailed wide and the final whistle went.
- Overall it was a very disappointing performance from the U-23's who got outplayed by their CONCACAF counterparts.
- One bright spot throughout the tournament has been the play of Jordan Morris. His first touch that led to Alashe's eventual goal will have any scout who witnessed it salivating.
- After impressing against the Netherlands, Julian Green had a quiet day on the left side.
- The same can be said for Jerome Kiesewetter on the right. He struggled to find any space to use his blistering speed.
- Most of Costa Rica's early chances came at the expense of right back Tyler Turner, who got caught out of position multiple times.
- *Hot take alert* Some say this is a "B" team, and that may be true, but it's really hard to see how this group makes it out of Olympic qualifying.