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USA books Costa Rica friendly with eye to World Cup rhythm

The United States will face Costa Rica in a June 9 friendly, the US Soccer Federation said Wednesday, booking a possible second USA match in four days against the Ticos

The United States men will face Costa Rica in a June 9 friendly, the US Soccer Federation said Wednesday, booking a possible second USA match in four days against the Ticos.

US coach Gregg Berhalter is trying to develop a match rhythm for his squad with the contest at Sandy, Utah, that will simulate the upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifying schedule.

The Americans will visit Switzerland on May 30, then host the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League semi-finals on June 3 at Denver, with the Americans playing Honduras and Mexico meeting Costa Rica to set up a June 6 final.

With a third-place match also planned, it’s possible the US squad could meet Costa Rica in Denver ahead of their certain fixture in suburban Salt Lake City.

And they will have the same spacing of matches that US players will face in September and October when they face the final round of North American World cup qualifying.

“Costa Rica is a competitive CONCACAF team and we’re looking forward to this opportunity,” Berhalter said.

“Combined with the ability to mimic the cadence of matches we will encounter in September and October, this is an important step in our preparation for the start of World Cup qualifying.”

The Americans own a 17-16 with five drawn edge in the rivalry with Costa Rica, which dates to 1975.

US players are also preparing for the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament in July, a biennial showdown against regional foes.

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