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Team USA loses to Costa Rica in friendly

Costa Rica's forward Joel Nathaniel (C) celebrates with

Costa Rica's forward Joel Nathaniel (C) celebrates with teammate after scoring a goal against the US during their international friendly match at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, on Oct. 13, 2015. Credit: Getty Images / JEWEL SAMAD

HARRISON, N.J. - These are not happy times for the U.S. national team.

On Saturday, the Americans suffered a crushing 3-2 defeat to Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup. Tuesday night, they did not better themselves, giving a lackluster effort in a 1-0 exhibition loss to Costa Rica before 9,214 at Red Bull Arena.

For the first time in 50 years, the USA failed to win against four consecutive CONCACAF foes at home. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann blamed the poor performance on hangover from the result at the Rose Bowl.

"Obviously, you saw the Saturday night clash with Mexico was still heavy in the air," he said. "We weren't able to shake this off in two days."

The have been calls for Klinsmann to be fired during his dry spell. When asked what message he had for the fans, the coach replied, "I leave that up to you. Obviously you're disappointed, you're not happy at all. It's part of life."

The Costa Ricans were deserving winners. They looked more like a team playing together while the Americans looked like a bunch of players thrown together.

"We struggled," Klinsmann said. "We struggled to have any kind of rhythm."

One of the few bright spots of the match was the return of veteran goalkeeper Tim Howard, who ended a 470-day hiatus from the national team since his sterling performance against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup. He was sharp, but he could not stop striker Joel Campbell when he converted Dave Myrie's feed from 14 yards in the 70th minute.

"He obviously deserved to start tonight," Klinsmann said. "The 14-15 months Brad Guzan did an excellent job . . . They'll probably rotate."

U.S. Olympic hopes aliveMarc Pelosi and Jordan Kiesewetter scored second-half goals and the United States beat Canada 2-0 last night at Sandy, Utah, to stay alive in CONCACAF qualifying for the Rio Olympics. With the victory in the third-place game, the U.S. under-23 team advanced to a playoff match against Colombia for a spot in Rio. -- AP

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