Thursday, September 5, 2013

Why the right back decision really matters

Four of Costa Rica's seven goals in this Hexagonal have started on the left attacking flank. So whoever Jurgen Klinsmann selects to play right back, he best be on it.

Costa Rica doesn't play terribly wide in the attacking third, but that hardly makes defending los Ticos any easier. They prefer to cut in and try to beat opponents on the dribble, particularly at home, and it's paid off.

That's how Diego Calvo scalped Jamaica for Costa Rica's second goal in March after "El Clasicsnow," pulling up at the right back's corner of the 18-yard box and torturing his markers up and down before curling a goal into the top-right corner of the goal.

Just as crucially, Christian Bolaños beat Honduras' Luis Garrido on June 7 in the same spot atop the box in the 23rd minute, drawing a foul. Costa Rica scored the winner on a broken play off the ensuing free kick.

Both goals in the Ticos' comeback draw in Panama City in February came from the same side. Alvaro Saborio headed Costa Rica's first in off a short-corner cross from Christopher Menezes.

Bryan Ruiz's spectacular equalizing bike started with a simple ball knocked in from the left.

Geoff Cameron looks like the overwhelming favorite to prevent this history from repeating itself Friday night. He's a better athlete than Michael Parkhurst, and he's playing.

There are plenty of reasons to fear Costa Rica in Costa Rica and the hosts won't be dependent on attacking down the left flank. They've just shown they're quite good at it.

- Jacob Klinger


dikranovich said...

it sounds like we need a strong defensive presence at right mid. where is danny Williams when you need him. seriously, yak, don't you think Beckerman should start, if for no other reason than to defend against his RSL teammate?

Jacob Klinger said...

Danny Williams has consistently shown he's much better in the middle. I think Donovan's work rate will suffice on defense and his attacking track record isn't too bad.

I would like Beckerman to start. Not because of his RSL teammate, but because he plays a more defined, stay-at-home role than Jermaine Jones has lately. And I think that's what's needed to get the most out of Michael Bradley.

Of course, now that I say that Jones will probably score on a 20-yard screamer.