The MLS pool involved in Friday’s match will likely play a major factor as Costa Rica (3-1-2, 11 points) and the U.S. (2-2-2, 8 points) sit second and third, respectively, in the Hexagonal as the countries try to book a spot in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. First-year defender Francisco Calvo of Minnesota United FC has had a massive contribution for Costa Rica with three international goals this year in the Copa Centroamericana, the CONCACAF Gold Cup and a first-minute tally during Costa Rica’s 2-1 victory against Trinidad & Tobago on June 13 in qualifying.
As a side note, Ticos midfielder Rodney Wallace returns to Red Bull Arena for the second time in a week. He and New York City FC drew 1-1 against the New York Red Bulls in Heineken Rivalry Week this past Friday to cap off an unbeaten series win (2-0-1).
The qualification stakes will be high for Costa Rica, with a Sept. 5 bout against Hexagonal leader Mexico also on the horizon.