The Italians will likely go through the playoff round in November. Panama remains a point behind after losing to Mexico, who booked a spot in Russian Federation with a 1-0 win.
Perhaps the US should be anxious, because there was plenty to be concerned about with regard to this performance. On Friday, Howard failed to make any key saves while his counterpart, Keylor Navas, was terrific.
Mexico (5-0-2) leads with 17 points, followed by Costa Rica (4-1-2) with 14.
From a USA perspective, there was an overall lack of sharpness at both ends of the field.
"[Urena] kept shifting the ball, and then obviously he was getting ready to hit it", he said.
"I'm truly blown away with where he's at, where he can go", Keller said Thursday at Red Bull Arena.
In the process the USA set some more dubious marks. His club teammate Matt Besler was an unused substitute as Costa Rica won a World Cup qualifier on American soil for just the second time ever.
Costa Rica picked up another three points in the standings to remain in second place, now six points ahead of the USA, which sits in third place, one point ahead of Panama.
"There's no time to feel sorry for ourselves, and we're not". Or, for that matter, having to win far, far from home in Port of Spain - a game that would rekindle memories of the last 1989 qualifier in which the Americans broke T&T hearts with a 1-0 triumph.
In order to get into the World Cup Russia 2018, only the top three teams will qualify. The US, though they certainly seemed prepared for it, could not find a way to pick the lock and therefore left themselves very vulnerable, no matter the individual performances. Panama has seven points, and Trinidad and Tobago three. Cameron's give-away pass in his own end led directly to Costa Rica's second goal.
The United States will travel to Honduras on Tuesday for their eighth qualifying match of the hexagonal round. But that will require some aspects of the Americans' game to change. The Americans survived that scare but were carved open in the 30th minute when a clearance from Howard was intercepted by Costa Rica in midfield. We were probably outplayed in most positions on the field and didn't capitalize on several opportunities.
"I think he respects the senior players at his club, on the national team program". They don't complement each other well - neither player is athletic enough to cover mistakes and both are acceptable, but not great passers - and tend to make a lot of the same mistakes.
That was a characterization that Bradley didn't seem to dispute. "You don't win every game, and when you get a bad result you've got to put it past you real quick and play the next game and that's what we'll do".
At the other end the United States carved out a series of promising chances, with Christian Pulisic at the heart of the action. And to Altidore, it looked fairly familiar. It didn't help that Fabian Johnson was ineffective for the second consecutive appearance in a row, the first one coming back in June against T&T. Starting forward Jozy Altidore picked up a yellow card that will cause him to miss the Honduras game due to accumulation.
A couple of hard, early fouls slowed down Pulisic and he burst alight only rarely before Paul Arriola replaced him in the 87th minute.