Orange Wedges: USA – Costa Rica

Orange Wedges is TSG’s game day post that will be updated until the start of the match.

Hopefully, well see a lot of this tonight for Charlie in a USMNT win.

Hopefully we'll see Jozy and the boys do a lot of this in Charlie's honor tonight.

TSG kicks off a somber Orange Wedges this morning with the latest from Grant Wahl of on US striker Charlie Davies. Anyone going to the game (as well as those at home or in bars), please support The 9th Minute Salute.

It’s hard to write about the game when the team’s 23-year-old spark-plug is lying in a hospital bed following a horrific accident and after I just met Charlie’s proud father this past Saturday while watching the Honduras match.

Matthew adds:

Through the technology of Twitter, a decidedly smaller but quite zealous fanbase, and a landmark victory on Saturday where he pronounced the US fit beforehand to raise the World Cup, the world of Charlie Davies feels and is tangibly close to US fans.

Some might suggest that USMNT fans don’t really know Charlie, but we certainly know a lot more about him than most athletes of his stature because that’s the way he wants it. His connection to, and the support of US fans is strong and hopefully that will provide some encouragement during his recovery.

Wednesday afternoon updates on Davies:

Stephen Goff of the Washington Post via Twitter: Greetings from RFK. Davies condition unchanged. Bradley visited him this morning. USSF says he was in back seat with seatbelt.

Grant Wahl of via Twitter: At RFK for US-CR. Davies update: Described as being “responsive” (handsqueezes), still serious but stable cond. Wore seatbelt, in back seat.

Shout out to Freedom High School (Orlando, FL) student Bree McDonald, who’s making her own way back from a serious car accident. Inspirational.

On to the game, I guess…

(most recent updates are posted at the top)

  • Stu Holden is ready to go and represent for CD: Game time folks, getting pumped. Look out for the stanky leg 4 Charlie D! USA USA (via Twitter)
  • Break-out the slicker and galoshes (again), is forecasting a 70% chance of rain at the start. (As others have mentioned, bring those #9s in a plastic sleeve.) From Matt: Soggy turf favors the home side Yanks in this one. Our prospective forwards and central d’s are stronger in the box on the up and over balls. On the wings, this will make quick staccato runs from the Costa Ricans just a little bit harder.
  • The US has managed to dodge any yellow card accumulation trouble in the last three matches. As Grant Wahl reported earlier this week via Twitter, yellow card accumulation doesn’t matter anymore. Only a sending off tonight (via a straight red or two yellows) would lead to a suspension at next summer’s World Cup for the offending player.
  • As for the starting pair up-top, we are sticking with our original forecast of Altidore and Casey with Cooper subbing in the second half.
  • A win by the US will clinch first place in the region. With Mexico only a point behind and playing Trinidad & Tobago it will be unlikely for the US to remain in first without the three points. Honduras which sits in 4th place, two points behind Costa Rica, visits El Salvador this evening and will be rooting hard for the team that knocked them off this past Saturday.
  • Kick-off is 5:05pm Pacific and the game can be seen on ESPN2 and ESPN360 (amazing, I know)
  • From this outsider’s perspective, the USMNT team seems to be a close bunch. I am guessing that Charlie Davies’ accident will be more of a galvanizing event than one that leaves the team flat and rudderless tonight.
  • The full TSG preview can be read here. Please keep in mind that it was written before yesterday’s event.
  • While the USMNT has a battle to win the group on their hands this evening, perennial powerhouse Argentina has a dogfight for their Cup lives against Uruguay in what is the biggest game on the global stage. Here’s the take from the Buenos Aires Herald which is shall we say hardly sharp on Argentine coach Diego Maradona.

    11 responses to this post.

    1. Posted by Mike Winter on 2009/10/14 at 11:37 AM

      GREAT WEBSITE MARK keep up the great work!!


    2. 5 hours till kick-off and I’m trying to get excited for the match while running on fumes after only 2 hours of sleep. The Charlie Davies tragedy has not helped matters… but have my “9” signs printed out. Not sure what to expect really.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/10/14 at 12:14 PM

        Tough one — from an extreme high to an extreme low — I think it’s going to be and should be a celebration in the stands in all respects for the USMNT Cup qualification and for Charlie’s contributions and quick recovery.

        On the field, I think the players are united enough and now weathered enough to get beyond the tragic events of the past two days.

        That being said I think there will be lots of uneven play from the US because of it.


    3. Posted by kaya on 2009/10/14 at 12:36 PM

      I have trouble seeing Altidore/Casey being a good combo up top, but I guess you never know.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/10/14 at 12:42 PM

        Agreed in the long run — I think you need to replace speed with speed.

        For tonight–and we thought CD would have gotten a rest–we think it’s probably the best combination. For tonight.
        We’ve got a list of 15 potential strikers for BB to reach out to at the right time — we’ll comment at a later date.

        Tonight’s all about the 9th min, earning a hex win, and going forward.


        • Posted by Kevin on 2009/10/14 at 2:54 PM

          I agree too. However I think the best pairing tonight If Dempsey still can’t play is Altidore-Cooper. It just seems like a good fit. They both have the frame to be a target striker, but tend not to play like one. Both have good feet and a crazy knack of finishing (most of the time) sounds good to me, but I would rather have Chuck out there


    4. I am hoping to see oine of the older guys doign the stanky leg for CD tonight. I know Jozy and Holden are down for it, but seeing Donovan, Bocs, Gooch or the like doing it woudl be awesome.

      I will be watching at home, but WILL be on my feet in the ninth minute.

      Best wishes #9 we are all pulling for you and the others involved in that accident.


    5. Posted by Kevin on 2009/10/14 at 2:50 PM

      At first I didn’t intend on printing out the #9 to hold up by myself at my home, but I’ll be at my local Buffalo Wild Wings so (I might be the only one) I will print out the #9 and hold it up for people to laugh.


    6. Posted by kaya on 2009/10/14 at 8:30 PM

      Another day, another injury!
      We’re getting close to a Convalescing 11 now.


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