But, a loss in Honduras would have been even more crippling for the USMNT.
It was a smash-and-grab result for the Yanks, who were outplayed for long stretches of the match.
It's time for the USA men's national team to take a long look in the mirror.
Howard, the 38-year-old goalkeeper who started in the last two World Cups, cautioned against an all-out attacking approach for a USA team that will be missing forward Jozy Altidore because of his one-game suspension. Prior to that, the Americans had won four straight and were on smoother sailing toward qualifying for another World Cup.
At the opening kickoff the ball came straight to the USA captain, Michael Bradley.
The same thing happened against Chile in that demoralizing 7-0 loss during the 2016 Copa America Centenario, where nearly every goal was a result of a scattered defensive unit.
There were a few bright moments, certainly-especially in the opening minutes.
The USMNT got off to a decent start in the first half, with Christian Pulisic, Darlington Nagbe and Jordan Morris threatening the Honduras defense on their runs forward. Figueroa drew two yellow cards and was ejected late.
Scorching heat, a bad pitch, and a speedy opponent made things very hard for the United States men's national team on Tuesday, but it got the result it needed.
Injuries meant that this was never going to be a best-choice back line for the United States.
Honduras held a 1-0 lead at the half when Romell Quioto scored in the 27th minute, putting a shot off the near post and in after US central defender Omar Gonzalez missed a slide tackle as Quioto gained possession down the left wing. Not only do the Americans have an eight-goal lead over Honduras in the tiebreaking goal differential category, the Hondurans also must play the strongest teams in the region in their final two games. It was only exacerbated by the fact that the two fullbacks are converted midfielders.
Is Graham Zusi really the best option at right-back? But Wood came to USA's rescue at the death.
US and Honduras ended in a 1-1 draw.
For almost 85 minutes on Tuesday, the US was facing an existential crisis. The misses extended the suspense but didn't offer much consolation for the Americans, who struggled to test the Honduran resistance.
It was Honduras, in fact, that came closest to scoring the second goal of the contest. The equalizer started with Christian Pulisic, the most promising teenager in USA soccer history, drawing a foul 30 yards from goal to set up the free kick.
Tied at the break, things looked bleak for the Yanks.
Pulisic and Dempsey celebrating after the Borussia Dortmund star scored just fifteen seconds into the second half against Honduras in March.
For now the United States of America stay above Honduras in the third and final automatic qualifying spot for Russian Federation 2018 and while they may fall below Panama, who take on lowly Trinidad and Tobago later on Tuesday, their World Cup hopes remain in their hands. He headed it back to the center of the box, where striker Bobby Wood chested it to his right foot and toe-poked it into the back of the net.
Bruce Arena summed it up accurately in his post-game press conference when he said that Costa Rica outplayed and outcoached the US.
Thomas adds 5th title to an already big year
A simple par at 17 followed for Thomas for him to carry a two-shot lead to 18. "I don't like when my friends beat me". The FedEx Cup Playoffs are a series of four $8 million tournaments that are played at the end of the PGA Tour season.
One last T20 sized opportunity for SL to salvage pride
Of the three formats, the T20 easily holds the highest chances for them to pull off a win due to the nature of the format. India will miss the services of ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who has 13 wickets against Sri Lanka in six games.
Korea seeks to build more powerful missiles amid North threat
Mr Trump has also given "conceptual" approval to the purchase by the South of billions of dollars of U.S. military hardware. The UNSC on Tuesday strongly condemned North Korea's firing of the ballistic missile, calling it an "outrageous" threat.