Injured Howard to miss U.S. qualifier in Costa Rica


Certainly, Costa Rica looked more positive in the second half, after the first 45 played out without a goal for either side.

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) - The United States is in danger of becoming the fourth team to start 0-2 in the final round of CONCACAF's World Cup qualifying since the hexagonal format was adopted ahead of the 1998 tournament.

Matarrita tallied two minutes into second-half stoppage time to give the Ticos some breathing room after Cristian Bolanos jboosted the visitors to a 1-0 lead in the 65th minute before setting up Matarrita. Because after failing to win in a place where they had never lost, the Americans landed in Costa Rica on Sunday needing to avoid a loss in a place where they have never won. (Friday) was the first of 10 qualifying games.

And I thought we were doing okay with that and then they tried to get Randall Azofeifa Corrales on the ball off of the three centre backs and he ended up the playmaker.

NOTES: American GK Tim Howard will have surgery Thursday to fix a torn adductor muscle in his right leg. Brad Guzan, who replaced Howard in the 40th minute Friday, will start against Costa Rica.

Even if Klinsmann chooses to move Pulisic back to the wing, and put the Pulisic-as-playmaker transformation on hold, it is safe to say we saw enough from him Friday against Mexico to believe it is only a matter of time before Pulisic finds a permanent home running the USA attack from the middle of the field.

Jurgen Klinsmann tried a new formation during the first half of Friday's heartbreaking 2-1 loss against Mexico, which put the USA behind the eight ball on its 2018 World Cup Qualifying hopes. He's going to play off of the two strong strikers and I'm definitely sure that we'll see it once in awhile, that system, because it actually suits us. "If we win all of our home matches, we're through to the World Cup", said Panama defender Roman Torrres.

An injury to midfielder Andres Guardado in the 28th minute proved detrimental to Mexico, which had less control of the ball due to USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann's decision to switch his squad's formation back to its traditional 4-4-2 and to more effective play by midfielder Michael Bradley.

The U.S. lost to Mexico last week in Columbus, Ohio, adding more pressure against Costa Rica.

U.S. captain Michael Bradley was adamant the team had the resilience to get back on track against the Costa Ricans.

Still, a marking mix-up allowed Rafa Marquez to score on an 89th-minute header.

"He's angry at himself", Klinsmann said of Brooks.

"All these qualifying games are nail-biters, they are all hard, and that is what the players are prepared for".

The United States has historically struggled in Cost Rica.

"I remember the last game we played here". The U.S. can no longer be conservative and aim for a road draw.