For the second straight time, the USA has opened the Hexagonal with a loss and will face Costa Rica, its toughest Concacaf opponent in recent years, in their second game.
circumstances this time are more precarious. Instead of facing the Ticos at home -- where it won, 1-0, in the Snow Bowl game four years ago -- the USA must travel to Costa Rica, where it has lost eight straight qualifiers
Still, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann
is counting on a reaction from his players against Costa Rica, which had the best record of any Hexagonal team against the USA in the last 10 games. USA vs. Hex opponents (last 10 games): W-T-L TEAM
7-2-1 Trin. & Tobago
3-2-5 Costa Rica
The loss to Mexico was the first at home since a 3-2 loss to Honduras in September 2001, a span of 30 games.
“The message is very simple,” Klinsmann said. “We
have got to go there and get a result, which we will do. [The Mexico game was] the first of 10 qualifying games. It's obviously the big one -- Mexico is the biggest one we play. But we always know
that when we play Mexico it's a nail biter and sometimes it goes their way and the other times it goes our way. I told them we're going to into Costa Rica and then in the summertime we can't wait to
go to Azteca Stadium [to face Mexico] and go for it right there in their home. It is just part of the qualifying process. It is a long road over 10 games. It is not a problem but obviously it is
Klinsmann added that the USA doesn't want to fall farther behind Mexico and Costa Rica in the Hexagonal. Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama all won on the road, marking
the first matchday since the USA's loss to Honduras at RFK Stadium in 2001 that that happened.
“I think it’s a sense of anger in us," he said of the 2-1 loss to Mexico.
"It’s a sense of urgency because you don’t want to be behind. All these qualifying games are nail-biters, all of these qualifying games are difficult, but that’s what the players are
Klinsmann added he was confident of a good performance after seeing how the USA played in the second half against Mexico.