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How the USA can qualify for the 2014 World Cup vs. Costa Rica

The U.S. needs some help if they want to clinch a spot in the World Cup on Friday, but it could happen.

Ronald Martinez

The United States is sitting pretty atop the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying and barring a catastrophe, will qualify for the 2014 World Cup. But just how close are the Americans to punching their ticket to Brazil?

On Friday night, the U.S. could be celebrating a berth in the World Cup.

The Americans can't finish the job on Friday alone, needing results in all three matches to clinch a spot in Brazil, but it could happen. Here is what the U.S. needs to qualify:

- The U.S. needs to beat Costa Rica, which will be tough considering the Americans have never won in San Jose and have only drawn once, but they are playing phenomenally and this match is at Estadio Nacional, not Saprissa.

- Mexico and Honduras need to draw at the Azteca, where El Tri have drawn all three of their home Hex matches so far.

- Jamaica need to win or draw against Panama, which is highly unlikely in Panama City.

It isn't likely that the U.S. is popping champagne on Friday, but it is possible. Who would have guessed that after being beaten in their Hex opener and being rocked by allegations of a team is disarray a month later?

If the U.S. doesn't clinch a spot in the World Cup in Costa Rica, they can do so four days later. Against Mexico. In Columbus.

The U.S. couldn't draw up a better scenario than celebrating a seventh consecutive trip to the World Cup on the field at Columbus Crew Stadium before an adoring crowd while fireworks go off and the Mexicans slowly trot off the field questioning their own World Cup fate. Well, there is better, and that's getting the job done in Costa Rica.

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