The U.S. Men’s National Team wrapped up their annual January training camp on Saturday, with a 2-0 win over Costa Rica in a friendly at Avaya Stadium. While the first half was at times hard to watch and the Ticos arguably had the better run of play, the U.S. came back in the second half, and won behind two late goals from Sebastian Lletget and Paul Arriola.
The two representatives on the team from Los Angeles Football Club were in the action again. Walker Zimmerman started and played the full 90 once again in central defense, again helping the U.S. to a shutout. He didn’t score this time, but that’s more of a bonus for most center backs, anyway.
Meanwhile, forward Christian Ramirez came off the bench again, this time playing 12 minutes, so he turned out to be on the field for both goals. He also played a role in the last one, as his flick on from Zack Steffen’s kick reached Lletget, who sent the assist up to Arriola for the goal.
So both players will be returning to join LAFC’s training camp next week, and it looks like they have completed the U.S. camp with no injuries, which is job No. 1. They’ll get up to speed with their club teammates, and gear up for the season ahead.
With the U.S., I think both players acquitted themselves well with the USMNT, and both can be optimistic they’ll be called again in the future. I think both players at least have a shot of being called up for the Gold Cup this summer. At the same time, Gregg Berhalter will be able to count on the players playing in leagues outside of MLS for the rest of the year, and the competition will be pretty fierce. So we’ll see what happens, but it was a good job by both players.
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