CHICAGO -- Jurgen Klinsmann remains "convinced" that the U.S. will advance to the knockout stage of the Copa America Centenario despite Friday's tournament-opening loss to Colombia, the coach told reporters on Monday.
The United States will face regional rival Costa Rica on Tuesday at Soldier Field, a match both Klinsmann and his players are calling a must-win, even though it technically isn't. It's possible that the hosts could still reach the quarterfinals of the 16-team competition with a draw against the Ticos and a win in their Group A finale against Paraguay on Saturday in Philadelphia. The U.S. has never failed to advance to the second round of any tournament after earning four points in the first round.
Still, the game against Costa Rica, which played to a scoreless draw against Paraguay on Saturday, probably presents their best chance of picking up a win.
"They're only one point ahead do us, there's everything to play for in the last two games," Klinsmann said at his pregame news conference. "Hopefully you go through, and we are convinced we will. Then you start a whole new tournament again."
Lose to Costa Rica, however, and they would be eliminated from the tournament after two games, regardless of the result between Colombia and Paraguay later on Tuesday.
"I think we all do understand what's at stake," Klinsmann said. "When you lose your first one there's only two games left, so you've got to get your first three points, then you see how things will play out in the third game.
"For [Tuesday] night, we're full energy, full of optimism to get those three points. As I said, again, we have respect for this Costa Rica team, but we've got to get it done."
As he did following Friday's defeat, Klinsmann insisted the U.S. performed well against Colombia, who are third in FIFA's latest rankings, despite the outcome. He said that opinion was validated after showing his players film of the game.
"We believe that we had a good start besides the result," he said. "Obviously, if you break down everything by result then it's a negative start. But the performance was a good performance. We went through that game again, we talked the team through that game as well.
"There was a lot of good stuff coming out of that game which makes us very positive going into the next game. Hopefully we find ways to break them down and get the first three points that we obviously badly need now."