Instead, following a 2-0 setback to Costa Rica on Friday at Red Bull Arena, they face the alarming prospect of tumbling into fifth place in the six-nation group with two matches left - and perhaps missing soccer's biggest competition for the first time in 32 years.
"This is our reality at the moment", captain Michael Bradley said. The Italians will likely go through the playoff round in November. The US next plays Tuesday in Honduras in a match that now takes on great significance.
Perhaps the USA should be anxious, because there was plenty to be concerned about with regard to this performance.
Star goalie Keylor Navas came up with some exciting saves on messy, nail-biting plays.
Mexico leads with 14 points, followed by Costa Rica (11), the U.S.
From a US perspective, there was an overall lack of sharpness at both ends of the field.
Navas preserved the lead in the 68th with a stellar save, a falling right-handed stop on a deflected shot by Christian Pulisic.
Urena scored again after Ream's centerback partner, Geoff Cameron, scuffed a pass right to Daniel Guzman, who played Urena in behind Cameron to stroke the ball cleanly past Howard. It initially looked like his momentum carried him too far wide of goal, but with Tim Howard overcommitting to the near post, Urena managed to tuck his shot inside the far post to Howard's right.
In the process the US set some more dubious marks.
Spectacular Hope gives Windies historic win
This match alone will not save Test cricket from declining interest and its struggle for position against cricket's other formats. The Caribbean men produced a masterful run chase to beat the English men by five wickets in an exciting clash.
Sebastian Gorka Leaves the White House - What's Next?
Gorka later told a reporter it was "disappointing" that the White House was saying he was sacked because "I resigned". McMaster, who appears to have strongly influenced Trump's new interventionist stance on Afghanistan.
After the match on Friday against Costa Rica at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, the USA plays Honduras at San Pedro Sula on September 5, and then closes against Panama on October 6 at Orlando, Fla., and at Trinidad four days later.
"There's no time to feel sorry for ourselves, and we're not".
"You have to rely on the referee's judgment, and those calls didn't go our way tonight", said Altidore.
It was Costa Rica's first win in a World Cup qualifying game on United States soil since 1985.
The Real Madrid goalkeeper would prove to be a life saver throughout the course of the game as he made further saves to prevent the U.S. from tying the game. If that happens, then getting two points out of the trips to Honduras and Trinidad and Tobago should be enough to survive-though a win in one of those away games would be even better.
The U.S. was losing the game, and its cool, in equal measure.
Costa Rica's tactical gameplan wasn't a mystery to Arena, nor any of the XI that took the field. The U.S. goes to Honduras on Tuesday in a match whose stakes tripled thanks to this performance. But that will require some aspects of the Americans' game to change.
San Jose Earthquakes forward Urena exposed slack defending in the USA back four in the 30th minute to fire Costa Rica ahead at the Red Bull Arena.
"Their game flows through Bradley and we knew if we focused on [him and Pulisic] they wouldn't have many clear-cut opportunities", he told MLSsoccer.com. "You could see early in the game they always sent a second player to him".
He has a $15 million salary this year and is owed $17 million next season, $16 million in 2019 and $15 million in 2020. He has a mutual option for the 2022 season that includes a $5 million buyout if the team doesn't pick it up.
The diamond-filled bathtub used in Taylor Swift's Look What You Made Me Do music video had more than $13m worth of jewels in it. The song itself, as well as its lyric video and music video, have broken Spotify streaming and YouTube watch records.
The smoke and stale air over the Bay Area also triggered a third consecutive Spare The Air day warning for the region. Riverside is expected to reach 108 while Lake Elsinore could hit 110 - both would tie record highs.
- The National Park Service on Wednesday granted a permit to allow a Patriot Rally at Crissy Field in San Francisco on Saturday. Patriot Prayer's organizer, Joey Gibson , takes issue to his organization being called a white supremacist or racist group.
Better yet, Prime members will also get special savings and other in-store benefits in the future (specifics are TBA). Amazon has promised that Whole Foods prices will become cheaper for a deluge of everyday products starting Monday .
Among the CDC's advice to pet owners is avoid keeping turtles or other reptiles in households with young children. No deaths have been reported from the outbreak, but 16 people have been hospitalized, according to the agency.
Real GDP represents the value of the production of goods and services in the economy and is adjusted for inflation. A slow first quarter followed by an improved second quarter also occurred in two of the past three years.
It's smaller than the Gear S3 , too, which is nice for anyone that thought Samsung's last smartwatch was a little too bulky. That's important, as the Gear IconX can automatically track running routines when you start exercising.
The blaze, which erupted on Tuesday from a campfire that was started outside a designated area, was 40 percent contained. Fire officials will be flying over the area at 6 a.m.to get a better assessment of what has burned .
French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko downed Spain's Lara Arruaberrena 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 in a match relocated from Court 17 to Ashe. Austrian sixth seed Dominic Thiem, who has never got past the fourth round, faces Australian wildcard Alex de Minaur.
They are on trial over charges of receiving bribes from local firms including Samsung , with the ruling expected in October. The convictions are the second major hit to Samsung's reputation after the disaster of the exploding Galaxy Note 7 .
Angelo Mathews: Sri Lanka Looking to Sign off With a Win
Dhoni has done the same in the third and fourth match and it is telling that he has remained unbeaten in all three occasions. Kohli praised the people and environment of Sri Lanka and said that they would definitely like to visit Sri Lanka again.
Ontario gas prices headed for major spike in wake of Harvey
McTeague says with supply down, "there are very few refineries that make enough gasoline to supply markets south of the border". In Vancouver, McKnight predicted little change on the weekend but McTeague says he expects a five-cent jump on Saturday.
Myanmar army: Rakhine deaths reach 400
It triggered a fresh influx of refugees towards neighboring Bangladesh though the country sealed off its border for the refugees. It is the first time in Rakhine s bitter and bloody crisis that Hindus have fled - a sign violence is billowing out.
Hajj Pilgrimage Kicks Off In Saudi Arabia
This stunning photo show tens of thousands of Muslims at the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in MeccaWhat happens at Hajj? Have you read Trendiee Today? Saudi authorities say hosting and organising the haj is a sacred duty.
Juncker: UK has failed to do its Brexit homework
Davis said on Monday that this week's talks were all about "driving forward the technical discussions across all the issues". The UK isn't taking Brexit very seriously , according to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker .
First comments from Uber's new CEO
Mark Okerstrom will take over for Dara Khosrowshahi as president and CEO of the travel tech conglomerate. Those who know Khosrowshahi say he's the "adult" that Uber's corporate culture sorely needs.
What's new in Android TV Oreo update?
Google always had a set of pre-requisites for the OEMs to comply with for running the Play Store and Google's first-party apps. Google has incorporated some super awesome updates into the Android 8.0 Oreo update, which will modify the users-experience.
ACLU Files Lawsuit Over Transgender Military Ban
Cathrine Schmid, who has served for more than 12 years and is stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of the city. The ACLU tweeted that it is also representing six service members "hurt by #TransMilitaryBan".