Graham Zusi - U.S. MNT vs. Costa Rica

Sporting Kansas City defender Graham Zusi started and played 84 minutes on Friday as the U.S. Men's National Team suffered a 2-0 World Cup Qualifying defeat to Costa Rica at Red Bull Arena.


San Jose Earthquakes forward Marco Urena scored in both halves as Los Ticos opened up a six-point gap on the U.S. in CONCACAF's Hexagonal standings.


The U.S. MNT continues to occupy third place in the Hex with three qualifiers still to play between now and Oct. 10. The top three finishers will advance automatically to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia next summer, while the fourth-place finisher will face an Asian team in a two-legged World Cup playoff in November.


Zusi collected his 54th cap in Friday's loss, patrolling the right side of defense alongside centerbacks Geoff Cameron, Tim Ream and left back Jorge Villafana. His club teammate Matt Besler was an unused substitute as Costa Rica won a World Cup qualifier on American soil for just the second time ever.


Both Zusi and Besler will be available for selection in Tuesday's all-important qualifier at Honduras, slated for 4:30 p.m. CT at Estadio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula and broadcast live on beIN SPORTS and Universo.


Costa Rica drew first blood in the 30th minute when Urena received a pass from Bryan Ruiz in the central channel and drove toward goal, cutting past Ream before slotting low into the far left corner of the net beyond Tim Howard.


The Yanks had two glorious opportunities to equalize, but were thwarted by Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas on both occasions. The Real Madrid man stuck out a foot to block Christian Pulisic's deflected effort in the 67th minute before sprawling low to deny Jozy Altidore's driven strike in the 81st minute.


The hosts would rue their missed chances greatly, as Urena bagged his brace in the 82nd minute, capitalizing on a giveaway from Cameron and firing into the corner to silence a stunned crowd in Harrison, New Jersey.