Costa Rica’s World Cup run creates buzz for Central American Nation

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Costa Rica went to the knockout round of 16 in their very first World Cup appearance, but 2014 proved to be their most successful tournament yet.  They beat Greece 5-3 on penalty kicks in extra time to advance to the round of eight for the first time ever. And they fought extremely hard in the quarter-final round, finally being vanquished on penalty kicks. Yes, coming within inches of making the sem-finals was HUGE for Costa Rica.

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FIFA Hand USMNT German Gift

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By Alex Simon 

Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones’ application to switch to the U.S. national team from Germany has been approved by FIFA. The U.S. Soccer Federation announced the switch in nationality on Tuesday. A recent FIFA rule change allows players who have not played in a competitive match for a national team to switch to another country in which they have citizenship. Jones’ father was born in America.

The last month for the U.S. Men’s National Team has been an emotional and physical roller coaster. Days after qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, the USNMNT found out that one of their teammates was involved in a deadly car crash. Days after that, they put on an inspiring performance against the Ticos, in honor of their friend. However, the match against Costa Rica brought more challenges for the U.S. Oguchi Onyewu, the US national team and AC Milan defender, tore a tendon in his left knee and will be out at least 3 months. 

 
With the World Cup less than 8 months away, U.S. coach Bob Bradley needs to start deciding Joneswho will make the 23 man roster. The U.S. have friendly matches scheduled to help the team stay sharp and to help Bradley see who deserves the remaining spots on the World Cup team. Jones, who turns 28 soon, has been sidelined since summer by a hairline fracture of his left shin and has not played in the German Bundesliga this season. If healthy, Jones is a lock for the squad and will likely replace Ricardo Clark as the team’s central defensive midfielder. Most likely, Michael Bradley will play more of an attacking role in the central midfield.

Like many American soccer fans, having Jones is huge news. Jones is a hardnosed player who has played top flight football for several years in Germany. The U.S. can use an abrasive type like Jones, who’s toughness will be a positive impact for a team that is known to be “soft” at times. With Davies most likely out for South Africa, U.S. fans will have to hold their breath that Onyewu and Jones will be healthy come tournament time. Because he won’t be ready to play for the U.S. in its European exhibitions in November, it appears the only game Jones will be able to appear in for the U.S. before World Cup training camp will be in March– the last international fixture date during the club season.

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

U.S. Soccer Star Injuries Revealed

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By Alex Simon

After 5 hours of surgery, it has been revealed that USMNT forward Charlie Davies has fractures to the right tibia/femur, left elbow, facial fractures and a lacerated bladder.

Davies injuries were the result of a fatal 3 am crash Tuesday morning in Virginia.

Davies was in the passenger seat when, the driver whom they did not identify, apparently lost control of the vehicle, which hit a guard rail and split in half.  The other passenger in Davies car, Ashley J. Roberta, 22, was killed in the crash.

The U.S. soccer team was at an all-time high coming off of last Saturday night’s victory over Honduras in World Cup qualifying.  The win guaranteed the U.S. a spot in next year’s World Cup in South Africa.

Aware of the news, USMNT coach Bob Bradley spoke after a national squad training session in preparation for Thursday night’s World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica.

“Obviously, as a team we are saddened to learn this news.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Charlie and his family, as well as the people in the car and the families of the others involved.  As a team, we are relying on each other in a moment that has for sure hit us all hard.”

Given the extent of Davies injuries, the initial thinking is that Davies will not be ready for South Africa next year.

In the last year, the 23-year-old Davies has emerged as the team’s starting forward. Davies has also been a regular for his new team Sochaux, a division 1 team in France.

With Davies late form as well as his chemistry with teammate Jozy Altidore up top, Davies was a lock to be a starter for the U.S. team in the 2010 World Cup.  Davies is without a doubt the fastest player on the USMNT and has scored some vital goals for his country of late, including a goal in the Confederation Cup against Egypt, in addition to scoring against Mexico in Azteca.