Costa Rica vs USMNT, 2022 World Cup qualifying preview: The Yanks will confirm their place at this winter’s tournament in Qatar if they lose by fewer than six goals in San Jose, Costa Rica, on Wednesday (9:05 pm ET).
Following their resounding 5-1 victory over Panama on Sunday, the USA (25 points, +13 GD) has all but mathematically secured a place in the 2022 World Cup draw later this week, and even in the case of an incredible disaster on Wednesday, the USMNT is assured of a 4th-place finish at worst.
Costa Rica (22 points, +3 GD) are also locked into the top-four, with far more likely chance of overturning their goal-difference deficit to Mexico (25 points, +7 GD) in the event of an upset by El Salvador.
How to watch Costa Rica vs USMNT live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 9:05 pm ET (Wednesday, March 30)
All-time series leader: USA – 19 wins, Costa Rica – 16 wins, Draws – 5
Current FIFA rankings: Mexico – 12th, USA – 13th
TV channel/streaming: Peacock, NBC Universo, CBS Sports Network, Paramount+
There will be fatigue-enforced rotation to the squad when Gregg Berhalter pieces together the starting lineup, while remaining mindful of the fact that the World Cup place is not yet officially clinched. Winger Christian Pulisic (155 minutes) and midfielder Tyler Adams (151 minutes), both of whom have already started two games in 72 hours this week, could be among those players rested before returning to their club sides for the conclusion of the 2021-22 season.
On the flip side, four players are expected to return to the lineup after being dropped for a suspension or rest. Right back DeAndre Yedlin and winger Tim Weah fell victim to CONCACAF’s outdated yellow-card accumulation rules, while midfielder Kellyn Acosta and Ricardo Pepi were coach’s decisions. Gio Reyna also appears to be nearing 90-minute fitness after making back-to-back substitute appearances, making him a likely candidate to start and play 60-70 minutes in Costa Rica.
With three games to be played in seven days on three different occasions during this World Cup qualifying cycle, Berhalter has proactively rotated the team throughout the fall and winter, and now into spring. Considering that, it’s little wonder that third- or fourth-choice players like Shaq Moore and Luca de la Torre can confidently step into the first team for the USA’s most important game since the debacle in Couva, without the team skipping a single beat. The USMNT player pool is loaded like never before, and though it’s been a huge asset during qualifying, it’s going to make picking the final 23-man roster a challenge like never before as well…
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USMNT team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Weston McKennie (foot), Brenden Aaronson (knee), Sergiño Dest (hamstring), Chris Richards (ankle), Matt Turner (foot)
The Final WCQ XI. 🇺🇸
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) March 31, 2022