By Pete Mulroy, Sep 05, 2013 11:43 AM EDT
(PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images) Jozy Altidore and the United States will bring a 12-match winning streak to the Estadio Nacional on Friday night.
With World Cup Qualifying set to resume following a brief sabbatical, every international soccer team that still has a legitimate chance to qualify for the 2014 Brazil games will surely be ready to go once their next match comes. A major slate of matches beginning on Friday, September 6 will truly set the tone for the finishing stages of what has already been a tremendous round of play-in games. Squads like the United States, Spain and Germany continue to play well while Mexico, England and Honduras have work to do in order to solidify their place in Brazil.
Currently leading the CONCACAF Hexagonal, the United States Men's National Team continues to perform brilliantly under the direction of head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Riding a twelve-match winning streak that includes earning the top spot at the recent Gold Cup, the USMNT are primed for a strong finish to the qualification stage. Leading their group by 2 points over Costa Rica, the Americans could solidify a berth in the 2014 World Cup with a win over Costa Rica in their next match but they'll need help from some others in order to wrap up a slot.
When and Where to Watch USMNT vs. Costa Rica
The United States and Costa Rica resume their respective WCQ campaigns from the Estadio Nacional on Friday, September 6 at 10:00pm, ET. Television coverage will be provided by beIN Sport while an on-line live stream can be found by following this link.
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Match Preview - United States
Currently leading the CONCACAF Hexagonal with 13 points, the United States takes on a Costa Rica team they have never beaten in San Jose. While a victory over the group's second place team would certainly go a long way in helping Jurgen Klinsmann and his team reach the 2014 World Cup, the USMNT can't clinch a spot with just a victory over the Costa Ricans alone. In order to land a spot the United States would need to defeat CR and then hope that Mexico and Honduras draw. In addition to those 2 requirements, the USMNT would also need Jamaica to earn a win or draw in their next match against Panama. Fully aware of what is on the line, Klinsmann says his team is focused on earning a 'W' in San Jose, something the team has never done.
"The Costa Rica game in San Jose is the biggest game in 2013 for all of us because we want to win there, we want to get three points," Klinsmann said recently to reporters. "We want to qualify as soon as possible for the World Cup in Brazil. We want to get the first ever three points in World Cup qualifying in Costa Rica. It's going to be huge. We have to be extremely disciplined with eight or nine players being on yellow cards to prepare also for the game against Mexico in Columbus, so going into Costa Rica we really need to be on top of our game. We need to be very focused and sharp and make it happen."
Match Preview - Costa Rica
Sitting just 2 points the United States in the CONCACAF Hexagonal with 11 points, the Costa Rican nationals certainly possess the ability to earn a win or draw against the red-hot United States national team. Dropping a 1-0 decision to United States back in March, the Costa Ricans hope playing in front of the home crowd will help them earn victory No. 4 in the hexagonal.
Earning 3 wins and 2 draws while only losing once, Costa Rica has certainly put themselves in position to take over the CONCACAF lead. The top 3 teams in the pool will automatically advance to the World Cup and while it's expected that the USMNT and Costa Rica will be 2 teams in the tournament come next summer, a win Friday night over the Americans would surely go a long way. Strong play from Alvara Saborio and keeper Keilor Navas can only help this talented club solidify its eventual place at the World Cup.
Don't miss this crucial World Cup Qualifier between the United States and Costa Rica on Friday, September 6 at 10:00pm, ET. Television coverage will be provided by beIN Sport with an on-line live stream available by following this link.