Team USA's dimming World Cup hopes explained

The United States put its hopes of an eighth straight World Cup berth in peril, giving up a pair of goals to Marco Urena in a 2-0 defeat to Costa Rica on Friday night that brought the Americans' resurgence under coach Bruce Arena to a crashing thud. He broke down the right channel, twisted Ream in circles, and finished to the far post behind a stranded Tim Howard.

The pattern throughout most of the game saw the US having most of the possession, but Costa Rica was always looking unsafe on the break. "You got a little schmutz on your face!" If you can't win this game at home-and the USA has already lost twice at home in this Hex-you don't deserve to go to the World Cup.

"I don't know if you've been around for the last year; qualifying has been in jeopardy for all teams in the past year".

The result leaves the United States with little margin for error as they face a tricky away trip to Honduras next Tuesday before games against Panama and Trinidad next month. But it's hard to think the Ticos will mail it in at home, and they're a significantly better team than Honduras. Because of Navas, Costa Rica now has the inside track at qualifying for the main tournament in 2018. "He had a tough game today, and obviously they paid a lot of attention to him", US coach Bruce Arena said of Pulisic on Friday night. Arena said at the time that his decision was connected to Howard's increased recovery time needed after his injury late a year ago.

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In theory, Honduras should hold no fear for the Americans, who have a record of played 24, won 17, drawn four, lost three against Tuesday's opponents.

The United States (2-3-2) with eight points is in danger of not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

Costa Rica picked up another three points in the standings to remain in second place, now six points ahead of the US, which sits in third place, one point ahead of Panama. But they'll be facing a highly motivated US team in what is expected to be hot and rainy conditions.

Ever since Arena began his second stint in charge, the USA team has done an effective job of taking care of business at home and earning draws on the road.

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Panama is likely to win Tuesday at Trinidad, and a loss at Honduras would drop the USA into fifth place heading into the October matches.

While there were a few positives to take away from the 2-0 loss the United States suffered at the hands of Costa Rica, there was one glaring negative: the performance of its defense, especially the central pairing of Tim Ream and Geoff Cameron. With kickoff set for 3:30 p.m. local time, the weather forecast calls for 90 degrees and 80 percent humidity, making it feel like 106. Just after this play, Altidore was shown a yellow card. Captain Michael Bradley was in defensive midfield, with teenage star Christian Pulisic on the right flank, Darlington Nagbe in the center and Fabian Johnson on the left. Good to see he got time off from shooting Avengers 4.

The most obvious replacement for Altidore is veteran Clint Dempsey, but Arena also has Jordan Morris and Chris Wondolowski at his disposal.

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