FOLLOW LIVE: USMNT hosts Costa Rica in WCQ

Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Ever since the U.S. national team suffered that infamous 4-0 defeat in Costa Rica on Nov. 15, 2016, it was Friday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Los Ticos, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ, which loomed largest of all.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: USA vs. Costa Rica ]

For two reasons: 1) revenge, which is the obvious one; but, more importantly, 2) should the USMNT right the ship between then and now (they have, under Bruce Arena), it would set up a vitally important matchup between second- and third-place sides in the Hexagonal.

2nd – Costa Rica, 11 points (+5 GD) | 3rd – USA, 8 (+3 GD) | 4th – Panama, 7 (0 GD)

With just three more games to play after tonight (and Panama away to Mexico), a win would put the Yanks four points clear of fourth place (qualification playoffs), their trip to Russia next summer all but booked.

Hit the link above, or click here, to follow along with Sunday’s semifinal action.