With World Cup qualifying beginning next month, the United States men’s national team is undoubtedly a team in crisis.
Joel Campbell‘s 70th minute goal walked Costa Rica to a decided 1-0 win over the Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT, which continues to struggle mightily against all competition after Saturday’s unsightly defeat at the hands of Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup final.
A strong Costa Rican side dominated an experimental (at best) U.S. side., and Los Ticos posted the first clean sheet against the U.S. in nearly two dozen matches, dating back to the match against Germany at 2014 World Cup.
It’s also the first three-match home soil losing streak for the U.S. since 1997. The Yanks next play in November, with 2018 World Cup qualifiers starting against Trinidad & Tobago and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
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The Yanks welcomed back Tim Howard to the fold and handed starts to Danny Williams and Jermaine Jones in the midfield, with both struggling mightily.
Williams committed a horrific giveaway in the midfield to spring a Costa Rican break, but Geoff Cameron and Michael Orozco combined to clear the danger before a shot could be put on Tim Howard.
Williams then found himself the victim of a sliding studs-up challenge from Johnny Acosta, which yielded a yellow card for the Costa Rican.
It was disjointed first half with very little creativity for the States, and just a tad more for Costa Rica. The U.S. lacked ideas moving forward.
Brek Shea sent a good-looking inswinger of a free kick that Tim Ream knocked toward goal, but Keylor Navas had the near post covered.
Ream was a strong presence for the States in an unsteady half, and his late cross for DeAndre Yedlin was mishit on goal.
[ MORE: The end for Klinsmann? ]
Tim Howard made his return to the U.S. lineup for the first time since the 2014 World Cup, and made a nice save off a Williams give away around the hour mark.
Marco Urena nearly made it 1-0 in the 68th minute when he split Ventura Alvarado and Michael Orozco but pushed his shot wide of the goal.
Campbell struck moments later, as Costa Rica destroyed the left side of the States’ unit before cutting the ball back for Arsenal man Campbell, who didn’t miss.
The Yanks nearly conceded a second time, but started to put together a bit of possession — finally!! — with the introduction of Andrew Wooten and Lee Nguyen.
Howard made a great save on Urena in stoppage time.
USMNT: Howard; Ream (Spector, 64′), Orozco, Cameron (Alvarado, HT), Evans; Shea (Wooten, 72′), Williams, Jones (Diskerud, HT), Yedlin; Zardes (Nguyen, 73′), Altidore (Wood, HT).