The United States didn't just dominate Costa Rica, they penned them in their own defensive third and kept them there for the majority of the game. The USWNT, with their players still match fit from full-time NWSL play, and Costa Rica, with their players who work jobs or are students, were a complete mismatch. It's worth it to remember that while USWNT players are getting $300,000 World Cup bonuses, Costa Rica goalkeeper Dinnia Diaz couldn't afford knee surgery and had to consider non-surgical options in order to continue playing. Costa Rica was also missing standout players Shirley Cruz and Raquel Rodriguez.
With that context in mind, here's the goal breakdown:
Heather O'Reilly (4', 59')
Christen Press (29', 45', 68')
Julie Johnston (36')
Meghan Klingenberg (56')
Whitney Engen (63')
Standouts from this game were definitely Press and O'Reilly, the latter of whom hardly saw time at all during the World Cup and seemed determined to remind Jill Ellis of her ability to provide both pace and width for the United States in a bid for an Olympic roster spot. Press was also a pleasure to watch in a more central role instead of pushed out wide, giving her the chance to run on to balls in front of goal.
Fullbacks Ali Krieger and Meghan Klingenberg were free to roam as far up as they liked, although Krieger did get caught out early in the second half when Costa Rica managed one of their rare forays into the attacking third. But there was plenty of action along the flanks when Carli Lloyd wasn't driving relentlessly through the middle.
Top play of the match goes to Klingenberg for the combination of her goal and her celebration, an endearing Terrible Towel twirl as a nod to the Pittsburgh Steelers and her hometown crowd.
The second half saw Costa Rica with a few drives forward, even forcing Hope Solo to come off her line once or twice. But that was the limit of their offense on the day; the rest was spent attempting to clog up their half and limit US chances on goal. They were utterly unable to handle the United States' corner kicks and offered little pressure on the ball.
This was a victory tour game—specifically the kickoff to a 10-game tour to celebrate the United States' World Cup victory. With apologies to Costa Rica, this game was never meant to be competitive. It was a game for fans to switch off their brains, enjoy the goals, and cheer for their favorites. There's nothing inherently wrong with that (unless you're Costa Rica, though they had to have understood on some level why USSF approached them and took this as an opportunity to start their preparation for Olympic qualifiers). Games like this create good publicity and generate a lot of revenue for US Soccer, money which will hopefully go right back into the women's team. Fans just need to remember that this game shouldn't necessarily be used as an indicator of future competitive performance. Switch off, enjoy the goals, count the money.
Next up: the second of two games against Costa Rica. The USWNT will be in Chattanooga, Tennessee on August 19. Kickoff is at 6:30 PM ET and the game will be live on ESPN2.