USA Vs. Costa Rica, 2011 International Friendly: USMNT Starting Well, Donovan Misses Early Chance

The United States' lineup looks much more like a fluid 4-2-3-1 formation early on in their match against Costa Rica, despite what John Harkes wants you to think. Not that I like obsessing over number notation - I actually think it's quite pointless - but the color commentator on the ESPN broadcast is clearly misinforming people when he says it's a 4-1-4-1. Anyway, actual football!

Jurgen Klinsmann's side is passing the ball well, with the five midfield players and Jozy Altidore appearing to have a solid understanding. In particular, the US is looking great down the left with Jose Fransisco Torres playing as a regista, Donovan playing behind Altidore, and Brek Shea playing down the left.

The USA's best chance so far came in the 6th minute, though some great combination play between those three players. Shea played a great ball into space for Donovan just outside of the 18 yard box, but Donovan missed an open shot from just inside the area just wide. It was a poor finish that Donovan should have done better with, but it was a very encouraging move for the United States.

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