Costa Rica Conquers United States As ESPN’s Star Cam Shows You Exactly Everything And Nothing

The United States hadn’t lost in 14 matches since November. Then Costa Rica put a New Jersey beat down on the Yanks at Red Bull Arena, winning 2-0 in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying on Friday evening.

Costa Rica pressed, harassed and fought its way to a deserved win that all but assures Los Ticos a spot in next summer’s World Cup. The USMNT played like they did when they got Jurgen Klinsmann fired in November. 

The highlight of the show was the “Star Cam” ESPN broadcast on ESPN3/WatchESPN/TheOcho. The camera focused on 18-year-old wunderkind Christian Pulisic until Bruce Arena brought Clint Dempsey onto the pitch. It showed the two star attackers try in vain to break down Costa Rica’s defense. It didn’t show the U.S. give up two goals after poor distribution from the back. 

In case you didn’t watch the Pulisic Cam — perhaps you were too busy actually watching the match or throwing your adult beverage at the TV — here’s what you missed.

Pulisic one-times a pass 25 feet into the air to no one in particular

Pulisic goes up for a header he’s never going to win

Pulisic plays some average defense


Pulisic dribbles by defenders before he gets fouled

Pulisic strolls around while the ball is on the opposite side of the pitch

Pulisic draws a yellow card from David Guzman

Pulisic beautifully brings a cross down with his chest only to fire an awkward shot/cross over the bar

Pulisic makes an astute run not picked up by Darlington Nagbe

Pulisic doesn’t go for a ball in the air in the box, letting it drop to a defender

Pulisic plays a great ball into Jozy Altidore, who is roughed up but not fouled in the eyes of the referee

Pulisic left-foots a shot into row Z

Pulisic is dwarfed by two defenders as he tries to make himself available in the six-yard box

Pulisic walks around near midfield as Bryan Ruiz feeds Marcos Ureña, who goes on a solo run to score the opener for Costa Rica

Pulisic has a shot snuffed after a brilliant build up and cross from Altidore

Pulisic gets clipped by Francisco Calvo


Pulisic slowly walks off the pitch at halftime after a poor first-half display from the Americans

The camera pans to random people looking at their phones instead of talking to their friends in the crowd with Pulisic in the locker room

Pulisic glowers as the ref takes his sweet time getting the second half started

Pulisic takes a forearm to the chest as he tries to get in position for a free kick

Pulisic chats with Bobby Wood about where to line up once Clint Dempsey finally comes on the pitch in the 65th minute

The Star Cam immediately switches to Clint Dempsey as soon as he comes onto the pitch

Pulisic’s deflected shot gets pawed away by incredible reflexes from Keylor Navas

Dempsey runs around in vain as the New Jersey crowd shouts “Olé” in favor of the Costa Ricans

Dempsey watches Altidore pick up an unnecessary yellow card, which will see the forward suspended for Tuesday’s match against Honduras

Dempsey waits for a ball to bounce back to him after Altidore fails to do anything with the best U.S. chance of the match


Dempsey trots around as the U.S. shoots itself in the foot again and allows Ureña to score a second

Pulisic beats a defender and sprints into open field only to get the ball caught in his feet to end the attack

Dempsey earns a yellow card for shoving a Costa Rican player after he fired over the bar moments earlier

Dempsey dribbles neatly into the box only to run out of space and ideas

Dempsey and Pulisic drop their heads at the final whistle as Costa Rica scored a merited 2-0 victory over the United States

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