That’s a Wrap: USMNT vs. Costa Rica with #AOLive

Editor’s Note: We’re trying something new here at AOHQ where we put our #AOFamily in the driver’s seat for U.S. National Team matches. We call it #AOLive. Their game, your comments, our recap. 

For every MNT and WNT match just tag your tweets with #AOLive and you could have your hot takes, cold takes, in-game commentary, puns or whatever featured in our social review. 

You know what’s better than starting the Gregg Berhalter Era 1-0?

Starting it 2-0.

The USMNT and our #AOFamily took to San Jose, CA hoping with the hope that they would see just that happen.

Rain pummeled the Bay Area, but while that posed some problems on the field (more on that later), it didn’t stop the tailgate.

The rain let up by the time the match started, not that it would have kept us quiet anyway.

Unfortunately, the first half didn’t give us much to see. The Yanks were a little sloppy and Costa Rica presented a much stiffer test than Panama. Oh, and that pitch we talked about? It wasn’t great before the rain soaked it, so it was especially bad after 24 hours of rain in the lead up to the game.

The result?

Good girl.

So, without much evidence, we decided to go with second half optimism.

It paid off.

Berhalter’s boys were a lot sharper and brighter – not that it showed on the scoreboard for a while thanks to a pesky post that denied Nick Lima.

And Cristian Roldan.

But hey, after that rough first half, it was encouraging to be getting chances.

And the goal had to come. The question was who would score it.

Gyasi Zardes kept finding himself in front of goal. Djorge Mihailovic scored in the last game. Or maybe the big boy Walker Zimmerman could get on the end of a cross again?

None of them would be as good a story as Sebastian Lletget, though.

Lletget is a Bay Area boy, back at home. And back at Avaya Stadium for the first time since March 2017, when he scored to open the Yanks’ 6-0 throttling of Honduras in World Cup qualifying, only to suffer a terrible foot injury minutes later that would sideline him for a year.

Being back on the national team and back in San Jose meant everything to him. And the match did turn when he came off the bench. He was dictating everything, but it hadn’t led to a goal, so why not go score it himself?


He wasn’t done, though. Because a goal looks awfully lonely on a stat sheet. It needs an assist pal. So he fed Paul Arriola to double the U.S. lead.

And with that, the U.S. had themselves another win.

Who was the Man of the Match, though?

Lletget made his case.

And so did Arriola.

Lima, the Bay Area kid playing in his Quakes home stadium, put in another good shift to make him the revelation of January camp.

And, of course, our #AOFamily did their thing, at the stadium and around the country.

But the scoreboard is king and, well …

That’s not an overreaction.

This is an overreaction.

It sure is nice to smile and overreact, though, isn’t it?