The U.S. men's soccer team, which includes players with roots in Chula Vista, Huntington Beach and Manhattan Beach, face Costa Rica at 6:45 p.m. Friday in a crucial World Cup qualifier in Commerce City, Colo.
Midfielders Joe Corona of Chula Vista, Sacha Kljestan of Huntington Beach, and Michael Bradley of Manhattan Beach are on the roster for the March 22 match and for the qualifier March 26 against Mexico in Estadio Azteca, Mexico City.
Other Southern Californians on the roster are midfielder Maurice Edu of Fontana, defender Tony Beltran of Claremont, and goalkeeper Nick Rimando of Montclair.
Conspicuously absent is Landon Donovan of Redlands, who is taking time away from soccer and has not played this year for the U.S. or the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Before kickoff Friday the Yanks were dead last with zero points in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for Brazil 2014, but whether the Costa Rica match was do or die remained to be seen.
Each of the six teams in the final round had played one match apiece, and each had nine matches remaining. But getting to Brazil requires winning at home, so a U.S. loss to Costa Rica in Colorado would be viewed as a major setback.
After the road match against Mexico on Tuesday, the U.S. will resume qualifying in June with three matches in the space of 12 days - on the road against Jamaica, at home against Panama, and at home against Honduras.
Live coverage of the U.S.-Costa Rica match was scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m. Pacific on ESPN and UniMas.