gohb Posted September 7, 2004 Share Posted September 7, 2004 Hi--this is Peter Goldstein, the guy who does the Planet World Cup pieces. As some of you know, I'm a big fan of this site, and read the message board every day. I just watched the Canada-Honduras tape--what an outstanding second-half effort by Canada (hey, Watson didn't look bad at all!), and what a rotten deal they got from the refs. But if they play that well at Costa Rica, they have a genuine chance for the upset. Here's my scouting report on CR: take it for what it's worth. Costa Rica are traditionally a brittle team; they can be brilliant, but when off-balance, they're vulnerable. Right now the atmosphere around the team isn't at its best: Pinto has been shuttling players in and out, and they haven't found a rhythm. They may be lacking in self-belief. The Costa Rican back line has never really adjusted to the change from 3 to 4. Leo Gonzalez, the left back, isn't particularly quick, and since Costa Rica has to play for the win, he may go forward more than usual. Hume should be able to get behind him and do some damage. The centerbacks, Marin and Martinez, have not been in good form, and Radzinski is just the kind of pacy forward that can cause them problems. Try Bennett or maybe Harold Wallace will start on the right; neither is exceptional, although Wallace has some pace. In defensive midfield it should be either Jose Luis Lopez, from the U-23's, or Cristian Badilla. Lopez is a cool customer, positions himself well, looks like he's coming into his own. Badilla has more experience, but is nothing special. Stephen Bryce should play at right midfield: he's fast and had a very good game against Guatemala. I thought Jazic looked erratic against Honduras, and he'll have to be careful. Alonso Solis will probably play on the left. He's a very technical player, excellent dribbler, but sometimes makes the wrong decision. He had his best game ever against Guatemala, but I think he can be rattled, and some physical play could knock him off his game. Against Guatemala, Pinto used two defensive midfielders, but I think he has to go for broke here, and Walter Centeno should start as the playmaker. He's got talent, but is erratic, and I've never been convinced that he can lead the team by himself. Up front the team is very thin right now. Wanchope looks great, and will be a handful for anybody. But Herron is out with the red card, Winston Parks quit the team, and Ronald Gomez is out of favor. That leaves Erick Scott, Alvaro Saborio, and Alejandro Sequeira. None are really a natural partner for Wanchope. He needs either a withdrawn forward type like Gomez or a straight-ahead speedster like Herron, and Scott, Saborio, and Sequeira are probably all best as point men. I like Scott more than most people do; he's good with back to goal, has excellent vision, and is a creative passer. But he hasn't had much first-team football with Columbus Crew, and froze up when put in as a sub against Guatemala, missing a very good chance for the equalizer. Saborio is a young centerforward, didn't look terribly good in the Copa America. Sequeira is a physically strong guy who's good in the air. Keeper is not their best position. Ricardo Gonzalez is unreliable on crosses, although he can be a very good shot-stopper. Jose Francisco Porras got the start against Guatemala, and looked OK most of the way, but came out unnecessarily on the play that led to the deciding goal. Costa Rica is reeling, and they have weaknesses. I don't know if anyone can replace Jason deVos, and that may be Canada's biggest problem. But if you guys are inspired, a good result is not out of the question. (The referee is from Trinidad & Tobago, which could mean anything.) I won't see the game until Saturday on tape--but best of luck! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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