ORLANDO, Fla. -- Costa Rica is the team that has the most MLS players playing in Copa America Centenario, outside of the United States. In their 0-0 draw against Paraguay, two of them started: Ronald Matarrita and Kendall Waston. Both lived very different realities in Orlando.
It was a hot and sticky afternoon at Camping World Stadium but Matarrita was frequently able to get up-and-down the left flank and cause havoc for the Paraguay backline.
The New York City FC defender played as a left back along Costa Rica's 5-man backline and combined well with Bryan Ruiz in the Costa Rica attack. The one drawback to his advances forward was that he left room in behind for Paraguay's advances.
"We are [here] to reach the final, we came here to win the Cup. Unfortunately we could not win today, but we keep [our] clear idea of what we came for," explained Matarrita.
"The group is fully confident, [and] are doing an excellent job. The approach had given results and we hope to improve our [play] in the two games we have left," said the left back.
When talking about Costa Rica's upcoming game against the United States on Tuesday, he said that "obviously we have to improve. Today we made no mistakes in defense, but we lacked forcefulness in the attack. We must be more effective."
Waston meanwhile, was sent off late in the 94th minute, after helping his team not concede a goal.
The Vancouver Whitecaps FC center back only expressed regret about not being able to participate in his team's next match after the game. Oscar Ramirez could look to former Chivas USA defender Michael Umaña to replace Waston against the US.
But after Saturday's performance the team will likely need more on the offensive end of the field. Los Ticos took just six shots against Paraguay and will need to produce more if they hope to beat a desperate US side.