Costa Rica

U.S. men's soccer team faces a tough task in Costa Rica

U.S. men's soccer team faces a tough task in Costa Rica

Trying to handicap World Cup qualifying can be a little like trying to predict a presidential election: Nothing seems to go the way it’s supposed to go on paper.

In the South American tournament, for example, Argentina, ranked No. 1 in the world by FIFA, is sixth in the standings after 11 games. And in European qualifying, Greece has a better record than Portugal and the Netherlands.

By those standards, the predicament in which the U.S. finds itself after one game isn’t dire, but it is noteworthy. Because after failing to win in a place where they had never lost, the Americans landed in Costa Rica on Sunday needing to avoid a loss in a place where they have never...

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