Costa Rica hands U.S. stunning setback in World Cup qualifier, 2-0

USA will host Costa Rica as part of the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers

US manager Bruce Arena didn't hold back in his criticism of his team, following the Americans' 2-0 defeat to Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier.

San Jose Earthquakes forward Urena exposed slack defending in the U.S. back four in the 30th minute to fire Costa Rica ahead at the Red Bull Arena. Cameron and Ream are decent players, but they're not good enough to cover for a team without a midfield.

With a healthy set of wing options, Costa Rica was able to effectively neutralize American wingers Pulisic and Fabian Johnson for much of the night.

"We'll have to go to Honduras now and win", midfielder Alejandro Bedoya said.

The United States (2-3-2) with eight points is in danger of not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation. There was no way that Ureña should have been able to go one-on-four against the USA defense and finish.

The first American shot on frame came in the 67th minute.

First, there was the 66th minute.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas returned to the Costa Rica line-up, along with Bryan Oviedo, Cristian Gamboa, Celso Borges and Cristian Bolanos, who did not start in Costa Rica's 2-0 loss to United States at the Gold Cup. It was a quick transition move that saw the Ticos break on top. The midfielder immediately recognized the unbalanced US defense and found an unmarked Ureña for a right-footed finish from 18-yards out.

"At the end it didn't sound like 50-50", US goalkeeper Tim Howard said after the match, suggesting that the Central American team had more supporters.

Dempsey, seeking his record 58th goal for the US national team, came on in the 64th minute to try to work his magic for the trailing Americans.

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Navas preserved the lead in the 68th with a stellar save, a falling right-handed stop on a deflected shot by Christian Pulisic. Panama plays T&T at home on Tuesday, and after facing the USA will host Costa Rica on the last day of qualifying.

All told, it was a brutal night in New Jersey.

The United States hasn't missed the World Cup since 1986, one of the longest successful stretches in worldwide soccer.

Christian Pulisic has become the focal point of the USMNT attack over the past year. As a outcome, Borges and Guzman effectively bottled up the US attack and were effective going forward, leaving Bradley with plenty of work to do. "It puts more pressure on us, but we're right in the thick of it". How much is his spot in the lineup under threat?

Cameron's giveaway was the catalyst for Urena's second goal, but Arena defended the choice to pair Nagbe with Bradley, insisting that the bigger problems lay elsewhere.

"We'll move on", added Arena. The top three teams of the table will enter World Cup 2018 Russian Federation whereas the fourth team will be in playoff matches.

To be clear, the loss to the Ticos is by no means fatal.

The Americans will face Honduras on September 5 without him and then finish their World Cup qualifying matches on October 6 against Panama and October 10 against Trinidad & Tobago. The Americans' qualifying fate might come down to a home match against the Canaleros next month.

USA notes: Altidore received his second yellow card of the competition and will miss the Honduras match.

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