A disappointing United States slumped to a 1-0 loss to Costa Rica in a friendly at Red Bull Arena on Tuesday.
The pressure on USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann is only set to increase after his team were outplayed and deservedly beaten in New Jersey.
Joel Campbell struck in the 70th minute as Oscar Ramirez’s dominant side were kept waiting for a goal that always seemed to be coming.
After their Confederations Cup play-off loss to Mexico on Saturday, Klinsmann was already under fire – and his team’s performance did nothing to ease the pressure.
They were outplayed and fortunate not to concede several more against Costa Rica.
Tim Howard started for USA for the first time since the World Cup as Klinsmann made numerous changes to the team beaten by Mexico.
Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Nick Rimando, DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, Kyle Beckerman, Graham Zusi and Chris Wondolowski were all released after that game.
Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas and Campbell started for Costa Rica, whose form had been inconsistent.
Ramirez’s men made the brighter start and Cristian Gamboa fired a shot across the face of goal in the 28th minute.
The half-hour mark brought USA’s first good chance as Tim Ream went close.
A Brek Shea free-kick from the right found Ream at the back post, but Navas got down low to save the header.
The best chance of the first half fell for Costa Rica’s Johan Venegas two minutes before the break.
A break down the right led to a cutback and Venegas appeared certain to score, only for Brad Evans to produce a last-ditch block on the line.
Marco Urena went close for the visitors shortly after the break, but he pulled his shot across the face of goal.
Costa Rica looked the more threatening and Campbell tested Howard with a long-range effort just before the hour-mark.
Ramirez’s men continued to push and should have gone ahead in the 68th minute.
Urena made a smart run towards the near post, only to misplace his side-footed effort wide after a fine Ronald Matarrita cross.
But they finally opened the scoring two minutes later through Campbell.
David Myrie found Campbell with a pass before the Arsenal striker placed a finish into the bottom corner for his first international goal since the World Cup, sending USA to another loss.
Urena had another chance in the dying stages on the counter-attack, but Howard saved in a one-on-one.