The U.S. Men's Soccer Team finishes up its 2010 World Cup qualifying schedule with a home match against Costa Rica at RFK Stadium in Washington. It's a crucial game for the visitors.
The U.S. Soccer Team is very happy that its chances of qualifying for next year's World Cup in South Africa are not coming down to the final match here in Washington, like they are for Costa Rica.
When the Americans won at Honduras last Saturday, 3-2, they clinched a berth in the World Cup finals for the sixth consecutive time from the North and Central America and Caribbean region, or CONCACAF. If they had lost, they would have needed at least a tie in their final match Wednesday night against Costa Rica to advance.
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U.S. coach Bob Bradley told reporters prior to the match in Washington that they accomplished their goal on the road against a Honduran team that had everything to play for.
"We knew it was a great challenge. We were playing against a team that had a chance on that night at home to qualify for its first World Cup in what would be 28 years, and we viewed it as a big challenge, and we were excited at the end," he said.
Coach Bradley says their goal is still to defeat Costa Rica so they can finish at the top of the group standings, as that could even affect the team's seeding at the World Cup draw in December. "We take a great deal of pride in the ongoing competition to be the best team in CONCACAF. And in particular I think when you look at the final round there are some things that show what our team is all about," he said.
Coach Bradley mentioned that of the 19 points the U.S. Soccer Team has earned in nine matches, 10 came from games in which they trailed.
Mexico has 18 points and has also qualified for the World Cup. Costa Rica has 15 and Honduras has 13. Either Costa Rica or Honduras which plays at El Salvador in its final match, will earn CONCACAF's third automatic berth. The fourth place team can qualify for the World Cup if it beats the fifth place team from South America - yet to be determined - in a two-match playoff.
The U.S. Soccer Team received some bad news the day before it faces Costa Rica. Forward Charlie Davies, who has often been in the starting line-up this year, was involved in a single car accident early Tuesday morning in suburban Washington and had to undergo surgery. His injuries were described as not life-threatening, but a U.S. Soccer Federation spokesman said they could "possibly" be career-threatening.