The United States men’s national team are expected to officially qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar Wednesday night when they play their final qualifier at Costa Rica. Gregg Berhalter’s team has had a strong March, drawing at Mexico and winning at home to Panama to put themselves in this position. Only a huge disaster — the USMNT would need to lose by six goals or more to fail to qualify — against Costa Rica will see the Americans crash out.
Here are storylines for the USMNT’s final qualifier, how you can watch the match and more:
How to watch and odds
- Date: Wednesday, March 30 | Time: 9:05 p.m. ET
- Location: Estadio Nacional — San Jose, Costa Rica
- TV: CBS Sports Network | Live stream: Paramount+
- Odds: Costa Rica +245; Draw +200; USA +117 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Costa Rica: Los Ticos are in an interesting position. They will believe they can beat the U.S. by six goals, but let’s be realistic. Expect a cautious approach, especially with so many guys a booking away from missing out on their potential playoff. They will surely rest some key players and view this more as a preparation for their playoff than anything else.
USA: Expect a lot of rotation here and a lineup similar to what we saw against Mexico. The U.S. is in a comfortable position where even a performance like that in Trinidad in 2017, when they infamously choked away World Cup qualification on the final day, would still be enough. The only way the U.S. ends up in the intercontinental playoff and not directly at the World Cup is with a six-goal loss. Yeah, that seems improbable. Expect an emphasis on defense, a rugged match with a lot of fouls and for the Americans to look to go on the counter.
A draw is the result here as neither team risks much, with Los Ticos looking to avoid too many bookings ahead of the intercontinental playoff. Pick: USA 1, Costa Rica 1