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U.S. tries to keep WC run alive

Five Aside
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How the U.S. kept its Copa hopes alive

Five Aside
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Costa Rica, led by Keylor Navas, hoping to repeat run to quarterfinals

Costa Rica were 2014's 'giant killers', but can they repeat, or better their accomplishments in Russia?
Take a behind-the-scenes look at Whitecaps training as it was announced Kendall Waston had been named to Costa Rica's 23-man World Cup roster.
Ian Darke leads the ESPN panel in predicting the 2018 World Cup winner with names of Germany, Brazil, France and England among the list.
The ESPN FC crew break down Brazil's Group E which contains Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.

The 2018 World Cup is just over a month away, and all 32 teams are preparing in earnest for their shot at the trophy in Russia. ESPN FC is previewing every team ahead of the opening game on June 14. Find all 32 teams here.

Who they are

Captain: Bryan Ruiz
Manager: Oscar Ramirez
Nickname: La Sele
FIFA rank (as of April 12, 2018): 25

How they qualified

Costa Rica won their group with 16 points to advance to CONCACAF's Hexagonal phase. In their first game of the round...



 By Chris Wright

Real Madrid's Keylor Navas: Cannes red carpet scarier than Champions League final

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas says he is more nervous about promoting his new biopic at Cannes this week than he is about facing Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in the Champions League final on May 26.

"Hombre de Fe" ("Man of Faith") tells how Costa Rica international Navas' faith was vital to his progress from a humble rural background to winning back to back Champions League medals with Madrid.

The movie has already been shown in cinemas in Navas' home country, and...

World Cup Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

The ESPN FC crew discuss the World Cup draw.
The ESPN FC crew discuss the World Cup draw.

This has the feel of a pretty competitive group. Brazil, the second seeds, come up against the third-best teams in pot 2 and 3 and the best-ranked side in pot 4. Considering Brazil's history and tradition, and their form under Tite, they probably won't be worried, but it could have gone better.

Predicted finish

1. Brazil -- The Selecao qualified top of the toughest confederation with four games to spare and look the real deal under Tite.

2. Switzerland -- Below Brazil it's really...

 By Chris Wright

Real Madrid's Keylor Navas cuts Costa Rica coach Oscar Ramirez's hair

Costa Rica secured themselves a place at the 2018 World Cup thanks to a dramatic 95th-minute equaliser against Honduras on Saturday evening.

As you might expect, the atmosphere in the dressing room after the final whistle was rather boisterous, with coach Oscar Ramirez also forced to hold up his end of a bargain made earlier in the qualification campaign.

Indeed, Ramirez promised to shave all of his hair off if Costa Rica successfully made it to Russia.

Therefore, it was left to goalkeeper Keylor...

 By Nayib Moran

Mexico, Costa Rica put on a show in entertaining 1-1 World Cup qualifier

Mexico players celebrate after scoring a goal against Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier.
Mexico conceded late but still acquitted itself well in a 1-1 draw in Costa Rica.

Three thoughts after Costa Rica drew 1-1 against Mexico on Tuesday and rescued a point that secured it a top-four finish in CONCACAF's World Cup qualifying hexagonal.

1. Mexico, Costa Rica share points in end-to-end battle

Juan Carlos Osorio and his coaching staff were aware that after Mexico's national team secured a place in next year's World Cup, a new stage was going to begin. In this new stage, it would be vital to use each game as best as possible to prepare adequately for the main event...

 By Tom Marshall

Humble keeper Keylor Navas inspiring Costa Rica to new heights

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- The question of who is the best current player from the CONCACAF region flummoxes Costa Ricans. It provokes raised eyebrows and startled looks. The answer for Ticos is obvious: Keylor Navas.

The Real Madrid and Costa Rica No. 1 showed exactly why they, and many others, think that way when he produced a magical save in the 67th minute of Costa Rica's 2-0 win over the United States on Friday, when the score was 1-0 and the game was in the balance.

On Tuesday, Navas will look...