After home loss, US seek first qualifying win
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP):
Standing on a sideline at Estadio Nacional, where a running track and 20 metres separate the field from the stands, Kasey Keller remembered getting hit on the head by a half-eaten hot dog during a World Cup qualifier at nearby Estadio Ricardo Saprissa, where fans were on top of players and the US were beaten for the seventh time at the venue in World Cup qualifying.
"Crazy" and "war" were some of the words the retired goalkeeper used.
American players were hit with bags of urine, coins and batteries. The result was no different three years ago at the spacious new venue, where Costa Rica scored twice in the first nine minutes of a 3-1 win.
Coming off Friday's 2-1 home loss to Mexico in the opening match of the final qualifying round for the 2018 tournament, the Americans are convinced they will end their skid tonight.
"History is just that, it's history," captain Michael Bradley said yesterday. "There's nothing anybody can do to change that, and quite honestly, we don't spend a whole lot of time worrying about it."
Last Friday, for the first time in 15 years, all three home teams were defeated on the same day in the hexagonal, as the final qualifying round in CONCACAF is called. In addition to the Americans' loss in Columbus, Ohio, Costa Rica won 2-0 at Trinidad and Tobago and Panama won 1-0 at Honduras.
"You want to make sure that you're not falling behind, so that gives it a little more spice here tomorrow night," US coach Jurgen Klinsmann said yesterday during a news conference at the 35,175-capacity stadium.
5:05 p.m: Honduras vs Trinidad
9:05 p.m: Costa Rica vs USA
9:05 p.m: Panama vs Mexico