It was so easy that one might have said the American women barely broke a sweat — except it was so damned hot and humid in Kansas City, Kan., that the players’ jerseys were soaked through after just a few minutes’ running up and down the pitch.
In Brazil, their first Olympic game is against New Zealand on Aug. 3 (5 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Network).
They won’t need gloves or earmuffs for that one, either. The Aug. 3 weather forecast for the site of that game, Belo Horizonte, is sunshine, a high of 82, and 44 percent humidity.
Here are five oddities, curiosities, or (possibly) interesting facts about the USA-Costa Rica match and its participants:
Unlike the U.S. team, Costa Rica isn’t going on to Brazil for the Olympics. The team finished third in the region’s qualifying tournament. The top two finishers — the United States and Canada — earned spots in the 12-nation Olympic tournament.
Costa Rica did qualify for the 2015 Women’s World Cup — its first World Cup appearance. Even though it failed to advance from the group stage, the team surprised many by playing Spain and South Korea to draws before losing 1-0 to Brazil.
Crystal Dunn’s goal was her 10th of the year. She is second on the team to Alex Morgan, who has 11.
One change U.S. coach Jill Ellis has made is that she’s urging her defenders to come forward more to help on the attack. This tactic was evident against Costa Rica.
Meghan Klingenberg’s assist on Crystal Dunn’s goal was her fourth in 15 games this year. Coming into 2016, Klingenberg had one assist in 50 appearances.
Becky Sauerbrunn’s assist on Carli Lloyd’s goal was the fourth of her six-year career — and her second of 2016.
U.S. coach Jill Ellis also wanted to get playing time for as many players headed to Rio as possible. She succeeded, with 17 of the 18 players who suited up making it onto the field.
That included both goalkeepers. In a rare move, Hope Solo came off at the half, and backup Alyssa Naeher played the second half.
Only Sam Mewis, an alternate on the Olympic squad, did not play against Costa Rica.
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