Rodney Wallace, Costa Rica beat U.S.
CARSON, Calif. -- Rodney Wallace scored to lead Costa Rica to a 1-0 win over the United States on Friday night, giving Jurgen Klinsmann a loss in his second match as U.S. coach.
"Bad result," Klinsmann said. "Never like to lose a game, but very good performance. I was pleased with the performance. I was pleased with the way all the players tried to implement all the work that we did on the training field throughout the week. ... What I told the guys in the locker room was that from a performance point of view, it was very, very positive, what we saw."
Work In Progress
The new-look U.S. attacked with verve in the first half but failed to take its chances, and Costa Rica scored the game's only goal in the second half to win 1-0. Jeff Carlisle recaps the game and hands out the U.S. player grades. Story
In Klinsmann's first game as coach, the United States tied Mexico 1-1 on Aug. 10 in Philadelphia.
The Costa Ricans took the lead in the 65th minute when Wallace scored on a header off a rebound after goalkeeper Tim Howard stopped a shot. The Maryland-raised defender was playing his first match for Costa Rica.
The Americans came out lively in the opening 20 minutes, but as the match wore on the Americans were drawn into a physical match that featured five yellow cards.
"I want them to go through those kind of down periods in games," Klinsmann said. "We saw here and there players getting tired or a couple minutes where they were struggling. But they need to learn to go through those minutes. They need to fight their way through it. And you saw they got a second breath, a third breath and they did excellent."
The United States had its chances in the second half, the best coming in the 71st minute when Jose Francisco Torres fired a shot that was saved by goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
The United States will return to action Sept. 6 against Belgium in Brussels.
"I think there's no question tonight is going to benefit us," U.S. star Landon Donovan said. "There's a lot to learn from tonight. A lot of our young players will now see you can dominate a team, dominate possession and have the majority of the ball and still lose."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press