United States vs Costa Rica - Game Preview

Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan is expected to start for the United States after Tim Howard suffered an injury - Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The United States national team will host Costa Rica in a 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Friday, March 22. Kickoff is expected at 8:00PM MST.

All eyes will be on Denver, Colorado, as the United States national team will play host to Costa Rica in an early but important World Cup Qualifier. This will be the second qualifier that Dick's Sporting Goods Park has hosted, but this match is a Hexagonal match, meaning that this is the final round of World Cup Qualifiers for the CONCACAF region before the World Cup takes place in Brazil in 2014.

The USA has gotten off to a slow start in the final round of qualifying as the Stars and Stripes were on the wrong end of a 2-1 loss against Honduras at the Estadio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula. Tottenham forward Clint Dempsey opened the scoring, but the Yanks were handed defeat by some quality strikes including a jaw-dropping bicycle kick by Jeremy Bengtson.

Los Ticos were held 2-2 to Panama the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City. Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saborio and Fulham attacking midfielder Bryan Ruiz each found the scoresheet but were unable to hold Los Canaleros in the first half and both teams had to settle for a draw.

The final hexagonal round of qualifiers for the CONCACAF region features six teams and each team will play everyone twice in a home and away format. The opening loss to Honduras was definitely a cause for concern, but the Yanks are expected to finish in the top 3 to punch their ticket to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann will be without some key players due to injuries. However, the Yanks will be backed by a sellout and raucous crowd at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

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