FIFA World Qualifying match
FIFA World Qualifying match


I know, I know - a frog that loves soccer? You might think I'm crazy, but I do love a good match, and the upcoming game between the U.S. and Costa Rica is sure to be a heated one. The United States soccer team will host its first home game in the final round of World Cup qualifying matches on March 22 against Costa Rica at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. Maybe I can hop a ride on a soccer ball in someone's luggage? This will be the second World Cup qualifier held at the Colorado Rapids stadium, the last of which was a United States win against Guatemala in 2008.

Some say that the United States has some home field advantage, yet I'm still rooting for my home players, even if they will be considered the underdogs. Not only is the Costa Rican team heading to a city much colder than the tropical Central America, it is more than 5,000 feet above sea level.

I mean, Costa Rica will definitely have to play its heart out! From what I've heard on the news, the U.S. team is playing with their heart and minds. The United States coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, has been nearly formulaic during the past 19 months with the team. The lineups over this time period revealed that there were only a couple instances when he did not station one defensive midfielder just above the back four, and all of those scenarios were must-win games for the U.S.

However, Costa Rica's not looking to take it easy on this match, either! With most teams in the CONCACAF region (North America, Central America and Caribbean region), the "formula" for making it into the World Cup includes winning home games and earning some points on the road. Both teams are gunning for the win after Costa Rica's 2-2 draw with Panama on February 6, and the United States 1-2 loss to Honduras.

In current standings, Costa Rica sits behind Honduras with one win, two goals scored and two goals difference, equaling one point. Costa Rica has the same amount of points as Panama, Jamaica and Mexico. The United States has one loss, one goal scored and two goals against, equaling zero points.Honduras, currently in first place, has three points. Yeah, I'm definitely a stats nerd - what can I say? The life of a tree frog is at many times leisurely!

During the last match up between these two teams, the United States dominated possession, but a 65th minute goal from Rodney Wallace, a substitute who entered the match just four minutes prior, edged Costa Rica into a 1-0 win. The last game took place at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California. I get shivery frog bumps just thinking about it!!

The top three teams from the CONCACAF hexagonal will qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and the fourth-place team will enter a two-game playoff against the Oceania Region champion. According to statistics from U.S. Soccer, squads that are able to successfully make it to the World Cup traditionally average a minimum of 15.75 points during the 10-game final "Hexagonal" qualifying round. If a team wins at home, it's only necessary to earn one solitary point from five away matches.

Costa Rica National Soccer Team
Costa Rica National Soccer Team


USA National Soccer Team
USA National Soccer Team