The fourth round of CONCACAF 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification is winding down, and despite their loss in Costa Rica the United States national team can qualifying for the World Cup tonight with a victory and a win or draw by Honduras against Panama. The standings are currently thus:
A US win would put them eight points clear of Mexico, with only six points left on the table. They need help from Honduras in assuring Panama can't reach sixteen points, but given recent Honduran form the odds are currently in Yankee favor.
While all this goes on, Hex leading Costa Rica travels to bottom of the table Jamaica, so all three matches tonight are quite significant in determining the US' World Cup destiny.
The US will have to go at Mexico without Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler, and Geoff Cameron. Clarence Goodson, Joe Corona, Brad Davis, and Jose Torres have been brought in as reinforcements but it's not clear how big of a role they'll be called on to play.
The US hasn't lost in nine qualifiers hosted by Columbus, and is undefeated in six straight home qualifiers against Mexico (going back to 1972).
Landon Donovan has scored five goals against Mexico, including his first international goal and the insurance goal in the US' win over Mexico in the 2002 FIFA World Cup.