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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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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...

U.S. frustrated by resilient Costa Rica in 2-0 World Cup qualifying defeat

HARRISON, N.J. -- The U.S. men's national team fell 2-0 to Costa Rica on Friday night, once again imperiling its chances of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. Ticos' forward Marco Urena scored goals either side of halftime, and Costa Rica's defense held firm throughout the match.

Here are three thoughts from a humbling defeat for the U.S.:

1. U.S. left frustrated against resilient Ticos

This match was always going to have a different feel than the Gold Cup encounter the two teams contested...

 By Arch Bell

Costa Rica must confront bogeyman Dempsey in World Cup qualifier vs. U.S.

As qualifying winds down, Bruce Arena says the U.S. are still a long way from Russia, but hopes experience helps his team.

The voice had a sound of panic and helplessness. Like some sort of premonition of doom. It was July 22 of this year at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and the Gold Cup semifinal between the United States and Costa Rica was tied at zero.

He had been warming for most of the second half, and it was right around the 66th minute that Clint Dempsey got the signal from U.S. coach Bruce Arena that he was going in.

Seeing Dempsey make his way toward the fourth official, the 45,516 inside the home...