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USA vs. Costa Rica – 2016 Copa America – Group A Predictions and Betting Preview – June 7, 2016

USA vs. Costa Rica – 2016 Copa America – Group A Predictions and Betting Preview – June 7, 2016

The US men’s national team’s 2016 Copa America Centenario campaign didn’t get off to an ideal start. The USMNT lost to Colombia, and currently finds itself bottom of Group A. With the pressure mounting, can the hosts finally pick up their first points of the tournament against a Costa Rica side that will be missing a key player?

Read on below for our preview of the USMNT’s crucial second group game. Meanwhile, check out our preview of the other Group A game, Colombia vs. Paraguay.

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USA vs. Costa Rica Preview

Where: Soldier Field, Chicago

When: Tuesday, June 7, 8:00 PM ET

Line: USA -142 vs. Costa Rica +335, tie +240; total: 2.0 – view all Copa America lines

TV Broadcast: Fox Sports 1

Betting on the United States

It was pretty clear in the US men’s national team’s 2-0 opening game loss to Colombia that manager Jurgen Klinsmann has some things to fix.


The 4-3-3 formation he implemented just didn’t click into gear. Michael Bradley failed to shine in a deeper midfield role, and Jermaine Jones underperformed as well. Meanwhile, the forward trio of Clint Dempsey, Bobby Wood and Gyasi Zardes didn’t have the desired balance.

Youngsters Darlington Nagbe and Christian Pulisic did do well when they came on, which should Klinsmann some options if he does indeed decide to change things up.

But even if Klinsmann decides against drastically altering his team, it’s fair to assume that some of the team’s underperformers – Bradley, Fabian Johnson, DeAndre Yedlin – will improve simply by going up against a less dangerous opponent in Costa Rica. The added incentive of avoiding the humiliation of crashing out in the group stage on home soil should also spur the players into action.

The Americans have the edge in terms of attacking talent, and should have a much easier time against a Costa Rican defense that will be missing starting defender Kendall Watson due to suspension.

The USMNT has a very good record against Los Ticos, going undefeated in its last seven competitive meetings on home soil (five wins, two draws).

Betting on Costa Rica

There weren’t too many surprises in Costa Rica’s opening group game against Paraguay. Los Ticos defended capably, but failed to provide enough of an attacking threat. It resulted in another low-scoring game, the ninth time in the last 14 Costa Rica games which had one goal or fewer.

Costa Rica suffered a significant blow with Watson’s red card deep into stoppage time, but it should be well set-up from a tactical perspective against the US.

Los Ticos are at their best when they can sit back and defend, before springing for counter-attacks. Paraguay was a bad matchup in that regard. It didn’t commit too many men in attack, which made things difficult for Costa Rica going forward.

But after their opening game defeat, the Americans will be very motivated to go forward in search of a much-needed win. That just plays right into Costa Rica’s hands. The Ticos will be pretty happy to sit back and frustrate the Americans. And if they do get chances to break, Bryan Ruiz and Joel Campbell are dangerous threats to snatch a vital goal.

Campbell has scored in each of his last two meetings against the USMNT, which includes the lone goal in Costa Rica’s 1-0 win in a friendly last year.

Writer’s Prediction

It won’t be pretty, but the USMNT (-142) manages to grind out a 1-0 win.

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Written by Brad

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