United States reliance on youth pays off in comeback win over Costa Rica


COLUMBUS, Ohio – As Sergino Dest and Tim Weah were making their way back to the United States bench after being substituted, the two offensive heroes pumped up the home crowd at Lower.com Field. Dest high-fived teammates, as well as a few fans. Weah found time to give his jersey to someone in the crowd. Even though there were about 17 minutes left in Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica, they both showed their exuberance and confidence that the U.S. could see out the rest of the match.

That the U.S. did, prevailing 2-1 over the Ticos to grab a vital three points in its World Cup qualifying quest.

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The energy displayed by Dest and Weah was fitting in that this was a match where youth triumphed over experience. The U.S. starting lineup, averaging 22 years and 229 days, was the youngest it had ever fielded in a World Cup qualifier. Costa Rica meanwhile put out a starting XI with six players over 30. And its youngest player, 27-year-old Keysher Fuller, was older than the U.S.’s oldest player, 26-year-old goalkeeper Zack Steffen. The difference became even more pronounced later in the game when 39-year-old forward Alvaro Saborio, 37-year-old midfielder Christian Bolanos and 33-year-old defender Kendall Waston all entered the match.

The U.S. certainly showed its inexperience at times, not the least of which was falling behind with less than a minute elapsed on the clock. But the U.S. showed plenty of resilience in recording a win that likely puts it second in the Octagonal standings.

“For us to be navigating through this CONCACAF qualifying — which is a bear, a monster – with this group, and the amount of poise they showed on the field today, particularly going down a goal, and then the second half being up a goal and managing the game really well,” said Berhalter after the match. “I mean, Gianluca Busio comes on, and he looks like he’s 30 years old. So I’m…

Source : espn

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