When the United States take on Costa Rica in Colorado in the early hours of Saturday morning everything will be on the line for the red, white and blue.
Coming off a shocking loss to underdogs Honduras, the USA are currently last in its World Cup qualifying group, sitting in sixth place.
Each team has only played one game but the situation is still dire for the USA. A recent article published had anonymous US footballers complain about head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s tactics and strategy.
In addition to internal disputes the team must deal with injuries to some of its most important players. Tim Howard, the long-serving Everton and USA goalkeeper, is out of the game with a back injury; Brad Guzan, the young Aston Villa shot-stopper, is expected to take over in between the posts.
Guzan has been playing well all season long, making vital stops in his last Premier League game against Queens Park Rangers, helping his team secure a 3-2 victory.
After Costa Rica the USA must face a motivated Mexico team that is coming off a disappointing draw against Jamaica.
The match will take place in Mexico City, which is always a tough place to go, while three points against Costa Rica are not optional.
With captain Howard out, Tottenham attacking midfielder Clint Dempsey will don the armband.
A loss or even a draw would put the United States in a rather precarious situation as qualification hopes would then strongly rely on getting a win in Mexico City, and that is no easy task.
Anything other than winning against Costa Rica could spell disaster for Klinsmann’s team and only cause more drama between the coach and the players.
The one thing everyone agrees on however is that Friday’s match is an absolute must-win.
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