The Gold Cup group stage comes to an end tonight as the United States plays Costa Rica for first place in Group C. The two teams are tied with six points from their first two matches, but the U.S. had a superior goal difference so they will take the top spot in the group with a draw as well as a win, while the Ticos need a win to take first. Regardless of the result, both teams are through to the quarterfinals.
Jurgen Klinsmann said he would start his best team against the Ticos, but it doesn't appear as if he has done that. Sean Johnson replaces Nick Rimando in goal and two of his favorites, Kyle Beckerman and Joe Corona, also get the night off. If the U.S. is going to make the "statement" that Klinsmann said he hoped to make, they will have to do it without a couple key players.
The Costa Ricans should provide the U.S. with a stiff test. They have as close to a full strength team as any team in this tournament and in Jairo Arrieta and Alvaro Saborio, have players who can give the American defense fits.
United States: Sean Johnson; DaMarcus Beasley, Clarence Goodson, Michael Orozco, Michael Parkhurst; Stuart Holden, Mix Diskerud; Jose Francisco Torres, Landon Donovan, Alejandro Bedoya; Chris Wondolowski.