Hey Costa Rica, u mad?
Actually, yeah, Los Ticos are still really pissed off at the U.S. National Team. It’s doesn’t appear the hostility toward the U.S. is limited to the airport and all sorts of gamesmanship that’s going back-and-forth between the teams in the build up to Friday night’s match.
I dug up these promos on YouTube Thursday morning emanating from Costa Rica that attempt to frame the World Cup qualifier in San Jose like it’s going to be a battle scene straight out of “Lord of the Rings.”
By the time I was done watching these I was expecting a poorly-rendered CGI Gandalf to ride down a hill in a Costa Rica jersey and smite Jurgen Klinsmann with his staff. But I digress. (Don’t pretend like you don’t get the reference, either.)
Costa Rica feels like it has two wrongs to right Friday night. The first goes back to qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, when Jonathan Bornstein’s 94th minute header in the final qualifier gave the U.S. a 2-2 draw with the Ticos at RFK Stadium. It gave Honduras the final automatic CONCACAF berth and sent Costa Rica into a playoff with Uruguay, which it lost. Let’s face it, there are few things as humiliating in the world of soccer as missing out on the World Cup due a goal from Bornstein.
The second injustice stems from the qualifier earlier this year played outside Denver in a driving snowstorm. The U.S. won 1-0 on a Clint Dempsey goal. Realistically the game should have been abandoned due to the absurd conditions, but FIFA upheld the result — leaving Costa Rica to stew about it for six months.
As one of the promos states: “Revenge is very close.”
Something is going to have to give Friday night in San Jose. The U.S. comes into the game on a record 12-game winning streak but has never won a competitive match in Costa Rica.
The fervor for the match in the opposing countries presents and interesting dichotomy. Down in Costa Rica, if these promos are any indication, the entire nation is wrapped up in the match, since a win would also put the Ticos on the doorstep of qualification. Meanwhile in the U.S., since the game is on beIN Sport rather than ESPN, there’s been barely a peep with the NFL about to kickoff and college football getting into gear.