The USMNT defense got exposed against Costa Rica

by Sophie Craig September 4, 2017, 11:26
The USMNT defense got exposed against Costa Rica

The U.S. men's national soccer team is set to play Costa Rica today in the CONCACAF Hexagonal, which is the final round of the FIFA World Cup qualification among the six remaining teams.

Minutes later, another USA giveaway led to Costa Rica's second, with Cristian Guzman finding Urena, who took one touch and fired home an unstoppable shot past Howard to make it 2-0.

In the end, Costa Rica left the game with a 2-0 win, and a raucous crowd of fans that filled almost as much of the stadium as the USA fans.

By then winning their last two games - vs. Panama in Orlando on October 6 and at T&T four days later - the Americans would claim third place. "The likelihood is that it's going to go down to the wire, and that can't faze anybody, that can't scare us".

United States coach Bruce Arena faces the most demanding test of his second spell in charge on Tuesday as his chastened team heads to Honduras for a crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier. It was Dempsey who came off the bench and broke a scoreless deadlock with a goal and assist in the 2-0 USA win over Costa Rica in July. The United States and Honduras both have eight points and 2-3-2 records, but the Americans hold the tiebreaker, a plus-1 goal difference to Honduras' minus-7. They don't complement each other well - neither player is athletic enough to cover mistakes and both are acceptable, but not great passers - and tend to make a lot of the same mistakes.

USMNT has been very disappointing in the World Cup campaign with only 8 points and three losses in just seven games. "We still have three games left in the competition". Will the United States be able to thwart the offense of Costa Rica?

"We'll take a day to reflect on this and come up with a plan", Arena said.

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Juan Carlos Osorio's team faces Costa Rica on Tuesday in a game with implications for the rest of the teams in the Hex looking to follow Mexico's lead on the road to Russian Federation. "He has an opportunity to be that first kind of marquee US national team player that's been bought for a ton of money and starred for one of the biggest teams in the world for a long time".

"We're going to go down there with the mentality to win the game", Bradley said. If you can't win this game at home-and the US has already lost twice at home in this Hex-you don't deserve to go to the World Cup.

Tim Howard was in goal, with Graham Zusi at right back and Jorge Villafana at left back.

With a quick turnaround, long travel and suffocating heat, Arena is expected to replace many of Friday's starters.

In later games, Honduras was at Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico hosted Panama.

While the top three teams qualify, the fourth-place finisher advanced to a playoff against Asia's No. 5 team. Starting forward Jozy Altidore picked up a yellow card that will cause him to miss the Honduras game due to accumulation.


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