The Costa Rican national team take on the United States men’s national team this afternoon. And judging by the air time on this morning’s television news, it’s a pretty big deal in the country, sports newscasters reminding viewers to about the early start time and to get off work (or chores) early.
For the U.S. team, they risk missing out on automatic qualification for the 2018 World Cup if they do not defeat the Ticos.
Besides having a home advantage, the choice by U.S. Soccer was the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, aimed at making the Costa Ricans as uncomfortable as possible. But what may have eluded organizers that New Jersey is home to one of the largest expat Tico community in the United
But what may have eluded U.S. Soccer organizers is that New Jersey is home to one of the largest expat Tico community in the United States.
Costa Rica is in second place, behind Mexico, in the CONCACAF Hexagonal. The U.S. is in third, one point ahead of Panama. A loss today may land them in fourth place and no trip to Russia next year.
Costa Rica thrashed the U.S. 4-0 last November.
“This is a very important game for the U.S. team if we have any hopes of qualifying for Russia,” coach Bruce Arena told Sports Illustrated on Thursday. “Costa Rica has been one of the strongest teams in the competition to date. They have an outstanding team. They beat the U.S. team convincingly last November and this certainly will be a very difficult game.”
Since 1989, it’s Costa Rica and the USA who have risen to challenge Mexico as CONCACAF’s dominant power.
Game time is 4:55 pm Costa Rica. The game can be seen live on Teletica’s channel 7 and Repretel’s channel 6.
However, the pre-game shows, analysis and all that is national ‘futbol’ starts at 3:30 pm Costa Rica.