2019 International Friendly, International Friendly
  • Sebastian Lletget (80')
  • Paul Arriola (88')

Sebastian Lletget helps United States pull out win against Costa Rica

Sebastian Lletget scored a dramatic late goal and assisted on another as the United States salvaged a 2-0 win against Costa Rica in San Jose, California, to wrap up the team's annual January camp.

The match was just the second in charge for new U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter after he opened his tenure in charge of the national team with a 3-0 win against Panama on Jan. 27.

Midfielders Wil Trapp and Paul Arriola, who replaced Michael Bradley and Jeremy Ebobisse in the starting lineup, were the only changes from the match against Panama.

A back-and-forth, scoreless first half ended goalless, but the Americans came out strong from the dressing room with Cristian Roldan firing over the bar from close range and Nick Lima hitting the post in the opening 10 minutes of the second half.

The U.S. continued to put Costa Rica under pressure and finally got the opener when Lletget out-jumped his marker to head home a Jonathan Lewis cross at the back post to make it 1-0.

Lletget's teammates were visibly overjoyed to see the midfielder score with his last goal coming in a World Cup qualifier on March 24, 2017, only to then sustain a Lisfranc injury to his left foot 10 minutes later on a slide tackle.

Lletget needed surgery and did not return to the field for the LA Galaxy a little less than a year later, while not playing again for the national team until Nov. 15, 2018.

The Americans' second goal came on a rapid-fire counter-attack with Lletget playing a perfect ball in behind the Costa Rica defense for Arriola to rush onto and chip over goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado.

Next up for the U.S. will be a pair of March friendlies against Ecuador and Chile in which Berhalter will have the European-based players available for selection in addition to the MLS contingent.