Club & Country: After the Whistle breaks down U.S. loss to Costa Rica

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"Our back line made some mistakes", Arena said in his postgame press conference. With Jozy Altidore in front of him and Michael Bradley behind him, the young star should have plenty of opportunity to create chances against Costa Rica.

That early scare was a foretaste of things to come for the American defence, which never looked completely comfortable in the opening 45 minutes.

The loss ended a 9-0-4 streak for the Americans under coach Bruce Arena, who replaced Jurgen Klinsmann following a 4-0 qualifier loss at Costa Rica on November 15.

The Ticos drew first blood in the 30th minute.

Although the Costa Rica team thrashed the United States 4-0 last November, the USA team hopes the home field advantage for tonight's game will work heavily in their favor. Cameron and Ream were not exclusively to blame, however, as goalkeeper Tim Howard also appeared to take a bad angle while shuffling over to the near post. Pulisic fired through traffic but Keylor Navas, Costa Rica's world-class goalkeeper from Real Madrid, pawed it away with a strong right hand. He has four goals in four games in this WCQ cycle, including a hat trick against Honduras back in March.

"We didn't make any plays that mattered", Arena said.

The U.S. came into the match undefeated in 2017 and with several players in excellent form, but that didn't translate into efficient play on a night when the Americans needed a win at home.

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Nor do they intend to.

Added right back Graham Zusi: "They performed their gameplan better than we did".

"We'll move on", added Arena. This is how you deal in competition and sports.

"I thought at times we put together some good plays, couldn't get the final part of the play right, in other moments it was a little bit too slow, a little bit too predictable", he said. "That's what we'll do".

USA forward Clint Dempsey, front, tries to control the ball as Costa Rica midfielder David Guzman defends during the second half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match, Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, in Harrison, N.J. In addition to Tuesday's match against Honduras in San Pedro Sula, there is a home match against Panama, and then the Hex finale away to Trinidad & Tobago.

When the teams met in the infamous 1985 World Cup qualifier in Southern California, Costa Rican colors predominated in the crowd of 11,800 and the festivities included musicians and folk dancers in traditional dress. Heading into Friday Arena's men were feeling positive about their chances, sitting in third spot and with three teams due to qualify automatically.

Seemingly back in stride after last winter's coaching change, the Americans were poor in the defensive end and inefficient in the attack in falling into a third-place tie with Honduras in CONCACAF's six-nation final round. "The group is ready to respond to this in a big way".