The United States Men’s National Team has qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup!
The USMNT fell 2-0 defeat to Costa Rica at the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica as goals from Juan Pablo Vargas and Anthony Contreras stunned Zack Steffen. Still, despite the score, the United States qualified directly by remaining within the top three on the Concacaf table.
Vargas first kicked off the scoring in the 51st minute, giving Costa Rica an edge early in the second half off of a set-piece. Contreras managed to double the score with a right-footed shot from within the box to find the bottom right corner.
Despite their best efforts, Costa Rica needed a six-goal victory over the US to clinch the direct ticket to Qatar. Los Ticos now face New Zealand for one last chance at the World Cup.
Wednesday’s match marks the end of the 2022 qualifying cycle for the American side, who have overcome several challenges and injuries to reach this point.
But after failing to make it in 2018, the USMNT are back.
USMNT player ratings:
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Zack Steffen (GK) - 5/10 - Out of placement for both goals, could have done more on both occasions to stop the shot.
DeAndre Yedlin (RB) - 7/10 - Sufficient, better on ground duels over aerial but must strengthen his offensive capacity.
Walker Zimmerman (CB) - 7/10 - Have seen him be stronger and cover more ground, but completed the job.
Miles Robinson (CB) - 8/10 - Good effort when on the ball, dominant on the left side of the pitch.
Antonee Robinson (LB) - 7.5/10 - One of the most exciting figures on the pitch, great at transitioning from defense to attack but lacked edge during the second goal.
Yunus Musah (CM) - 6/10 - Slow to get involved, but once on the ball could not create anything overly threatening.
Tyler Adams (CM) - 7/10 - Smart player, constantly puts out fires for the USMNT.
Kellyn Acosta (CM) - 5/10 - One of the weaker figures on the pitch, disappointing when attacking and defending, and faulty on the first goal.
Tim Weah (RW) - 6/10 - Disappointing match given the potential, no unique impact on the attack.
Ricardo Pepi (CF) - 6/10 - Can tell he's frustrated not to find his footing after setting expectations so high, must be sharper on the ball and quicker to shots on goal.
Christian Pulisic (LW) - 6/10 - Spent more time on the ground than inside Costa Rica's box, expected more threat on the attack.
Jesus Ferreria (for Pepi, 61 minutes) - 6/10 - Struggled to find his way into the game.
Gio Reyna (for Weah, 61 minutes) - 7/10 - Slowly finding his place on the team, energizes the attack when entering while manipulating space to create.
Luca de la Torre (for Adams, 45 minutes) - 7/10 - Exciting to watch him play, good energy going in.
Shaq Moore (for Yedlin, 61 minutes) - 7/10 - Defended, got the job done.
Jordan Morris (for Pulisic, 84 minutes) - 7/10 - Entered an already decided game.