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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Costa Rica
Defending champion Spain will play its opening 2014 World Cup game against the Netherlands, a repeat of the ill-tempered 2010 final, while host Brazil faces a relatively easy path to the knockout stage after Friday's draw.
One of the worst finals in World Cup history _ Spain vs. the Netherlands _ will be reprised in one of the first games of the 2014 edition.
There are scores to settle, family feuds and no shortage of karmic reckoning. For something so random, Friday's World Cup draw delivered a blockbuster mix of intrigue, entertainment and story lines that will keep folks talking from now until the tournament kicks off June 12.
Ninety seconds from elimination last month, El Tri earned the next-to-last berth in the 32-nation field by defeating New Zealand 4-2 Wednesday night for a 9-3 aggregate win in their home-and-home playoff.
Mexico scored only seven goals in 10 qualifying games, but broke through under new coach Miguel Herrera. Herrera, the fourth Mexico coach in two months, used only players based in Mexico's domestic league.
American midfielder Michael Bradley scored his first goal for Roma in more than a year, a 22-yard right-footed strike in the 82nd minute Sunday that lifted Roma to a 1-0 victory at Udinese for its record-setting ninth straight win at the start of the Serie A season.
"It shows you how brutal football can be. For one side that's almost there, and then the other side is back in," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "Now obviously you feel for the people. You feel for an entire country."
The city of San Jose's antitrust claims against Major League Baseball were dismissed Friday by a federal judge, who allowed the city to pursue allegations of contract interference in connection with the Oakland Athletics' stalled relocation plans.
Nine countries have already joined host nation Brazil in next year's World Cup and more will secure their places when qualifying resumes across the globe from Friday.
"Runner Runner," a farcical reboot of Faust set in the seamy world of offshore online gambling, isn't exactly a thinking person's movie.
"Obviously this is a huge, huge evening for all of us," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "It's a huge milestone whenever you make it to a World Cup."
Coming off a dismal 3-1 loss Friday at Costa Rica on Friday night, the U.S. can assure its seventh straight World Cup appearance with two games to spare if it beats Mexico and Honduras defeats or ties visiting Panama.
Alejandro Bedoya remembered back four years ago, when he walked onto the field with his American teammates to face Mexico at the Rose Bowl and saw the crowd of 93,000-plus.
With Landon Donovan back in the fold, the U.S. resumes World Cup qualifying next week with its deepest team yet.
Altidore has scored in five straight games, a first for a U.S. player, and also had an assist on Eddie Johnson's goal. It was the first time the U.S. has come back to win a game in Europe.