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Pura defeat-a for U.S. soccer in Costa Rica

June 4, 2009 |  6:53 am

Costa Rica's Alvaro Saborio scores the first goal against US during their World Cup qualifier match.

A reality show called "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!" is currently filming in Costa Rica.

The U.S. men's national soccer team must have been feeling the same way after its 3-1 pummeling by the Ticos on Wednesday in San Jose, Costa Rica. Well, except for the celebrity part.

La Sele scored just 79 seconds after kickoff and the Americans didn't find the back of the net until a penalty kick during extra time. It was an embarrassing result for a U.S. squad that has dominated the region in recent years -- or perhaps Costa Rica, a nation of 4.2 million people (compared with Los Angeles County's 9.8 million), is developing into a Cinderella team.

The match was a World Cup qualifier and drops the U.S. (2-1-1) to second in the region, behind Costa Rica (3-1). The U.S. is still ahead of Honduras, Mexico, El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago. The top three squads will advance to the 2010 tournament in South Africa, with the fourth getting a playoff against the fifth-place team from South America.

Costa Rica, currently sitting atop CONCACAF (a region including North and Central America), has made the last two World Cups and advanced to the second round in 1990.

-- Adam Rose

Photo: Costa Rica's Alvaro Saborio scores the first goal against the U.S. during their teams' World Cup qualifier match. Credit: Mayela Lopez / AFP/Getty Images