The U.S. men's national team has opened the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying hexagonal with no points from its first two games after being utterly dominated in a 4-0 loss at Costa Rica Tuesday night.
The U.S. entered the night having never won in Costa Rica and is now 0-9-1 there all time in World Cup qualifying with Jurgen Klinsmann's side laying an egg in hostile territory. Johan Venegas opened the scoring in the 44th minute to deliver a dagger just before halftime, and things got out of hand in a 10-minute span, when Christian Bolaños and Joel Campbell combined for three more goals to put the U.S. to the sword.
Costa Rica had the game's first true chance after Venegas nutmegged John Brooks, only to have Brad Guzan come up with a massive kick save. Guzan was starting in goal for the injured Tim Howard, who will miss four months after requiring surgery on his groin.
Guzan made another key save soon after on Bryan Ruiz, who attempted a point-blank bicycle kick, only to have it stuffed by the goalkeeper's face.
Starting on the left instead of in the center as he did against Mexico, Christian Pulisic came up with a dangerous moment in the 20th minute, beating his defender and whipping in a cross to the near post, only to have Keylor Navas smother it before Bobby Wood could redirect it home.
The U.S. was dealt a pair of blows for its next qualifier, March 24 vs. Honduras, when Jermaine Jones and Timmy Chandler picked up yellow cards. The card accumulation in the Hex means they'll both be suspended for the home bout vs. Los Catrachos.
The more immediate blow came soon after. Following a poor turnover by Jones, Bolaños was provided the time and space to send in a cross to the near post, where Venegas beat Brooks to the spot and headed past Guzan for the opener in the 43rd minute.
Bolaños scored Costa Rica's second in the 68th minute off another series of defensive errors, though Ruiz's cross to the Vancouver Whitecaps winger was on the money, and Guzan got a hand on it but couldn't keep it out.
That lead soon became 3-0, as Campbell, fresh off the bench, burned Brooks to get free in on goal alone, and he easily beat Guzan on a low roller.
Campbell then roasted Brooks again, scoring on an almost identical shot to make it 4-0 over an utterly defeated American side, which now faces an uphill battle in terms of goal differential, at -5 just two games into the Hex.
Here were the complete rosters for both sides:
GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough), Ethan Horvath (Molde), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)
MIDFIELDERS: Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Caleb Stanko (FC Vaduz), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen), Alan Gordon (LA Galaxy), Bobby Wood (Hamburg)
GOALKEEPERS: Keylor Navas (Real Madrid), Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense), Esteban Alvarado (Trabzonspor)
DEFENDERS: Bryan Oviedo (Everton), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps), Ronald Matarrita (New York City FC), Cristian Gamboa (Celtic), Michael Umaña (Alajuelense), Johnny Acosta (Herediano), Jose Salvatierra (Alajuelense), Francisco Calvo (Saprissa)
MIDFIELDERS: Celso Borges (Deportivo de La Coruña), Christian Bolaños (Vancouver Whitecaps), Rodney Wallace (Sport Recife), Johan Venegas (Montreal Impact), Randall Azofeifa (Herediano), Yeltsin Tejeda (Lausanne), David Guzman (Saprissa), Pablo Salazar (Herediano)
FORWARDS: Bryan Ruiz (Sporting Lisbon), Joel Campbell (Sporting Lisbon), Marco Ureña (Brondby), Ariel Rodriguez (Bangkok Glass)