First, U.S. Men's National Team goalkeeper Brad Guzan backed up starter Tim Howard in the thrilling/nauseating 2-2 draw against Portugal on Sunday. Without the context, a draw against a pretty good European side looks like a strong result, but since the U.S. would have won and wrapped up a berth in the knockout stage with that win before Silvestre Varela scored off a Cristiano Ronaldo cross with about 30 seconds to go in injury time, it felt like much more of a loss than it probably should have.
Still, if the USMNT get a result against Germany, they'll be through, and they can even lose to the group favorites and still advance, if other things break in their favor in the Portugal-Ghana match. Both games will be on Thursday at 9 am PT, with the U.S. playing on ESPN and Univision. Although it could happen, it's unlikely Guzan will feature in the game, as Howard has been playing well in the tournament.
In the other CUSA-related action, former Goats defender Michael Umana sat out Costa Rica's scoreless draw against England on Tuesday. The result means the Ticos win Group D, their first-ever first place group stage finish, and it will be the second time in their history they have moved on from group play, and the first since 1990, which was their first World Cup.
There's no word as to why Umaña didn't play against England, though indications are that Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto was resting the 31-year-old. The story in the Costa Rican press concerning him is that if he plays one more full World Cup match, he will match Luis Marin's record for most minutes played by a Costa Rican all-time at a World Cup. I'd guess he'll do that, but we'll have to see if there's an underlying injury or something else that contributed to his absence today.
Costa Rica will play on Sunday in the Round of 16 against Greece at 1 pm PT. The game will be on ESPN and Univision. Although one can never take the persistent Greeks lightly, Costa Rica surely has to feel confident they can get to the quarterfinals. But we'll see what they do this weekend.
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