Klinsmann hurt by worst qualifying US defeat in 36 years

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Jurgen Klinsmann is disappointed by US outing against Costa Rica
Jurgen Klinsmann is disappointed by US outing against Costa Rica
Jurgen Klinsmann is disappointed by US outing against Costa Rica

The United States of America suffered their worst World Cup qualifying defeat for 36 years when they were beaten 4-0 by Costa Rica on Tuesday.

Joel Campbell scored twice for the hosts, with Johan Venegas and Christian Bolanos also on target.

USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann, whose side have lost both their opening qualifying games, called it “the defeat that hurts most” of his five-year tenure.

“A very, very bitter moment for us. There’s no doubt about it,” he said.

Deal of the day

The USA had not lost a qualifier by four goals since a 5-1 defeat by Mexico in November 1980.

They sit bottom of the six-country qualifying group, below the likes of Panama and Trinidad & Tobago, having also lost to Mexico on Friday.

The top three teams qualify for the 2018 tournament in Russia, and the fourth-placed finisher advances to a play-off against Asia’s fifth-placed nation.

“We’re going to have to look collectively real hard in the mirror at ourselves and understand it’s not been a good start,” said captain Michael Bradley.

“At moments like this it does you no good to point fingers and to be looking around trying to figure out who you can throw under the bus.”

Costa Rica swept to the top of the Concacaf World Cup qualifying group with the 4-0 rout of the USA.

Nothing powerful about this US team on current evidence, and despite the unquestioning mandate Klinsmann enjoys from US Soccer head Sunil Gulati, the increasingly dissatisfied fanbase will have seen nothing to suggest that the team is on target for the 2018 World Cup.

By the time the US plays competitively again that tournament will be vividly clear on the horizon, but there’s nothing clear about where Klinsmann’s going to find inspiration from.