Costa Rica’s Waston on facing U.S.: “We have to exploit our strengths”
Kendall Waston (pictured) played the entire 90 minutes in Costa Rica’s 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal win over Panama. (Photo: AFP Services)

ARLINGTON, Texas – Costa Rica has a fairly good idea of what it can expect from the United States in Saturday’s CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal.

For the third time in just over 13 months the Ticos will face off against the Americans, following on the heels of last summer’s 2016 Copa America Centenario group stage encounter (4-0 U.S. win) and last November’s World Cup qualifier (4-0 Costa Rica win).

Defender Kendall Waston acknowledged the threat posed by the U.S. team, but trusts that his Ticos are just as capable.

“We know that the United States is a physically strong team, that they are also explosive, but those are not their only qualities,” said Waston during Friday’s pre-match press conference.  “The nice thing is that we also have our strengths and we have to exploit them.”

For the first time since 2009, Costa Rica has reached the semifinals of a Gold Cup.  Eight years ago, the Ticos exited in heartbreaking fashion, losing 5-3 on penalties to Mexico, after a 1-1 draw.

Rather than think about what it would be like for Costa Rica to contest its first Gold Cup final since 2002, Waston was steadfast in his single mindedness.

“I think the most important thing is to focus on what we have and try to limit their strengths, and that our virtues rise to the top,” he concluded.