US routs Costa Rica 4-0 to finish 4-game, 11-day stretch

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Brenden Aaronson scored in the eighth minute, Daryl Dike and Reggie Cannon added their first international goals and the United States beat Costa Rica 4-0 in an exhibition on Wednesday night to complete a grueling stretch of four games in 11 days.

Gio Reyna added a penalty kick in the 77th, three minutes after entering, in the last preparation match for most front-line American players before the pandemic-delayed start of World Cup qualifying in September.

U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter changed nine starters from the lineup he used to beat Mexico 3-2 in extra time on Sunday to win the first CONCACAF Nations League.

Europe-based players will go on their brief vacations and then skip next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup to report for preseason ahead of the 2021-22 club seasons.

The 20th-ranked U.S. improved 11-1-1 in its last 13 matches and won its 10th consecutive game against a regional opponent since a 2019 Nations League loss to Canada, matching the American high set in 2013. The Americans beat their top three regional rivals within a week.

Defender Mark McKenzie was the only player to start for the fourth straight game, and Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Josh Sargent didn’t play at all as Berhalter tested his roster depth for qualifying, where three matches are crammed into FIFA windows designed for two.

Ethan Horvath was rarely tested and got the shutout on his 26th birthday after taking over when Zack Steffen sustained a bone bruise in his left knee during the second half on Sunday and saving Andrés Guardado’s penalty kick in extra time.

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