Bruce Arena’s men will look to avenge their heavy defeat to Los Ticos last November when they face off in Harrison
The United States resumes its 2018 World Cup qualification campaign when the national team takes on Costa Rica at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey on Friday.
With just two wins under their belts, Bruce Arena’s men are currently third in the six-team group, six points adrift of leader Mexico and three behind Costa Rica – who have both beaten them during this phase.
However, the Americans come into the game high on confidence, having won the Gold Cup in July, and they will hope to secure a positive result with a second qualifer to come against Honduras on Sept. 5.
|Game||USA vs Costa Rica|
|Date||Friday, Sept. 1|
|Time||23:55 BST / 18:55 ET|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
The match is not being broadcast live on television in the UK and will not be available to stream online either.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
In the U.S., the match will be available to watch live on television on ESPN, as well as being available to stream online using WatchESPN. The game will also be available to watch live on the Spanish-language channel Univision.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|ESPN / Univision||WatchESPN|
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Goalkeepers||Guzan, Howard, RImando|
|Defenders||Beasley, Besler, Cameron, Gonzalez, Hedges, Lichaj, Ream, Villafanna, Zusi|
|Midfielders||Acosta, Arriola, Bedoya, Bradley, Johnson, McCarty, Nagbe, Pulisic, Roldan|
|Forwards||Altidore, Dempsey, Wondolowski, Wood, Morris|
Bruce Arena will be without the services of defenders DeAndre Yedlin and John Brooks, but the coach is able to call upon Omar Gonzalez in their absence.
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic has been included and he will be expected to pull the attacking strings behind the likes of Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey.
Potential starting XI: Howard; Zusi, Cameron, Ream, Villafana; Nagbe, Bradley, Johnson; Pulisic; Altidore, Wood.
|Position||Costa Rica players|
|Goalkeepers||Navas, Pemberton, Moreira|
|Defenders||Acosta, Gonzalez, Umana, Salvatierra, Oviedo, Calvo, Gamboa, Waston, Gutierrez|
|Midfielders||Borges, Bolanos, Colindres, Wallace, Azofeifa, Tejeda, Guzman|
|Forwards||Ramirez, Ruiz, Venegas, Urena, Ortiz|
Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas returns to the squad after missing the team’s Gold Cup campaign, while Sunderland’s Bryan Oviedo has been called up.
Celtic defender Christian Gamboa had been nursing injury, but appears to be fit enough to take his place in the panel.
Potential starting XI: Navas; Oviedo, Gonzalez, Salvatierra, Acosta; Guzman, Borges, Tejeda; Ramirez, Ruiz, Urena.
BETTING & MATCH ODDS
The USA is a 7/10 favorite to win according to dabblebet, with Costa Rica priced at 15/4 to beat the Americans. The odds on a draw between the teams at the Red Bull Arena are 23/10.
Click here to see the full list of markets available for the game between the USA and Costa Rica.
The United States is under pressure to secure three points when it faces Costa Rica in Harrison on Friday as failure to do so would see its World Cup qualification hopes in danger.
Defeats to Mexico and Costa Rica earlier in the qualification stage, as well as a disappointing draw against Panama, have impacted heavily on Bruce Arena’s men and they sit just one point above the playoff spot.
However, they return their attentions to qualification buoyed by an impressive display in the Gold Cup, where they accumulated five consecutive victories on their way to glory.
One of those victories came against Costa Rica in the semifinal stage and it will have gone some way towards erasing the memory of their 4-0 humiliation against Los Ticos in San Jose last November.
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If they can secure maximum points from their next two matches, the Stars and Stripes will be well placed to clinch qualification leading into the final batch of games in October.