United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann already feels his squad are in a must-win situation following their loss to Colombia at the Copa America Centenario.
A 2-0 defeat to Colombia in Friday’s curtain-raiser put pressure on hosts USA, who face Costa Rica in Chicago on Tuesday.
And as USA prepare to welcome Costa Rica to Soldier Field after the latter played out a goalless draw with Paraguay in Group A, Klinsmann told reporters: “We need to get three points in our next game.
“Coming out of that result, we view this game as a must-win, and we all understand this is a must-win situation. With only two games left, we must get three points.
“Our players are full of energy and extremely eager to get the first points.”
Klinsmann is no stranger to the tough, gritty Costa Rican side, having faced them in numerous CONCACAF battles during his tenure.
The German knows they line up in a defensive formation, but tend to strike quick on the counter-attack.
“Costa Rica is a very organized team that plays in a 5-4-1 formation with nine guys defending at times,” Klinsmann said.
“They showed in the World Cup that they are here to compete and they don’t need many chances to score.”
Klinsmann singled out Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell and captain Bryan Ruiz as two players his side need to watch.
Yet, Klinsmann is focused on rectifying some of his own squad’s weaknesses.
“If there are things we need to work on, we can improve, build on them,” Klinsmann said. “But we need to respect the team we played. One of the best in the world, and we gave them nothing.
“We need to do better at defending set pieces and we need to create more chances in the final third and finish them off. We had a good defensive performance against a good Colombian side. We had chances, but now we need to convert.”
Klinsmann added: “The result is always the most important thing at the end of the day, but we just need to get points to get out of the group,” he said. “Costa Rica is only a point ahead of us, so we have everything to play for.”