world cup qualifier COLUMBUS, OH – NOVEMBER 11: Giovani Dos Santos #10 of Mexico battles for the ball against Jermaine Jones #13 and Christian Pulisic #10 of the United States in the first half during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier at MAPFRE Stadium on November 11, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

It was a rough evening for the United States Men’s National Team in Columbus, Ohio Friday night. The Americans lost 2-1 to archrival Mexico in a World Cup qualifier, their first home loss in a qualifier in 15 years, and, making matters worse, keeper Tim Howard was forced to leave with an injury.

Howard left the game with a right groin strain in the first half. Brad Guzan replaced him in the 40th minute after Howard waved to the sideline to come out due to the injury late in the first half. The loss of Howard, of course, was a problem for the US, although he had given up a goal before leaving the match.

The loss to Mexico in Columbus was a first for the US team in Columbus. In four previous meetings in Columbus, the United States walked away with a 2-0 win each time. The loss was an unfortunate one for the United States, as it puts them behind the curve in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. It is not quite time to hit the panic button, but the climb to the World Cup got a little steeper with a loss to Mexico. The team will get a chance to rebound and pick up an important win next week on Nov. 15 against Costa Rica in its second match of the Hex round of the World Cup qualifier.

The top three teams in the Hex round will automatically advance to the World Cup. The US has some ground to make up after just one match in this round.


About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.