Costa Rica, Copa America

Copa America: Costa Rica’s encore turning disastrous

It really is a shame how it all went down. The United States had been outmatched by a ‘headless’ Colombia and Costa Rica were primed to take advantage. For seven long, excruciating minutes, Los Ticos were in control. Their sheer athleticism was too much for the USMNT to handle and it looked to be heading south really quick. All the problems that plagued America in California seemed to have followed them to Chicago.

A somewhat fortuitous penalty call changed everything and handed the momentum to our very own USMNT. I’m not complaining, not by any means. Bobby Wood was indeed shoved in the back but without the embellishment, I believe that the call gets ignored. There were worse fouls on the day.

Regardless, it left Costa Rica in a hole that kept getting deeper. A hole they would never climb out of.

Just like that, Los Ticos were bottom of Group A with a near impossible climb to get out. For starters, they will have to defeat group heavyweight Colombia – by a lot – and hope that Paraguay can stifle a now-fired-up USMNT.

Good luck with that.

Like i said, it is a shame. Obviously every flag-waving American such as myself wants to see the USMNT do the impossible, but after World Cup 2014, there has been a soft spot for Los Ticos. A small Caribbean nation up against the best of Europe and South America and they let in a measly two goals. Two.

This was supposed to be Los Ticos encore. With mostly the same cast and more experience from star guys like Joel Campbell and Ronald Matarrita, Costa Rica was the team that pushed Group A into the category of ‘Group of Death’. The cat was out of the bag. Despite their upstart status going into the World Cup, they were a well-known commodity.

Still, to see them crash out in the group stage adds a rather unfortunate encore to their World Cup show.

It was also in the manner that it happened that was disappointing. Costa Rica had no business not beating Paraguay and against the USMNT, star man Joel Campbell was taken off at half time. It’s all just very disappointing, I can’t say that word enough.

The only asterisk that has to be added is that Keylor Navas was not present. The Real Madrid keeper could have made a difference but still, the defense that only allowed two goals in the World Cup was still largely intact. The insane athleticism too.

Whatever the case, they had to be disposed of if the USMNT was going to progress. Better luck next time, Los Ticos.

About Josh Sippie

Josh has been published on CBS, FourFourTwo and more, as well as serving as the editor of Stateside of Soccer and Pain in the Arsenal. Nothing is more important than growing the greatest sport in the world in the greatest nation in the world.