England laboured to a 4-0 win in Malta with three late goals to stay two points ahead in Group F from Slovakia, which comes to play at Wembley in a potentially group-defining game on Monday.
In addition to snapping this 32-year run, the USMNT also dropped its second home World Cup qualifier on home turf for the first time since 1958. Urena shot from the left side past goalkeeper Tim Howard into the net.
To retain control of their situation, the Americans (2-3-2, eight points) need at least a draw against Honduras (2-3-2).
Costa Rica has done slightly better in this hexagonal stage now in second with 11 points.
Ian Quillen of the MLS' official website called Friday "the Yanks' biggest match since Brazil 2014" because "Costa Rica have been the United States' greatest threat" to joining Mexico as "the region's giants in the World Cup picture".
It was a US-based player who heaped misery on the 1994 host as San Jose Earthquakes forward Marco Urena scored twice for Costa Rica on Saturday (AEST). Because of Navas, Costa Rica now has the inside track at qualifying for the main tournament in 2018.
The U.S. came into the match undefeated in 2017 and with several players in excellent form, but that didn't translate into efficient play on a night when the Americans needed a win at home.
The U.S. MNT continues to occupy third place in the Hex with three qualifiers still to play between now and October 10.
That's because, even if Panama (1-2-4, seven points) were to defeat last-place Trinidad and Tobago (1-6-0, three) at home Tuesday and overtake the United States, the Americans would regain third place by beating the Panamanians in the subsequent game next month.
Honduras has the hardest schedule, but those last two matches very well will come against teams that have already clinched and, accordingly, might use secondary players. Navas then made a sliding stop on Jozy Altidore just before Urena's second goal.
"Darlington and Michael were not the problems in our game tonight", he said.
The USMNT will feel good about their current position in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying table, especially given their rough start to Hexagonal play a year ago.
While the top three teams qualify, the fourth-place finisher advanced to a playoff against Asia's No. 5 team.
He added: "We'll move on". He also missed a golden opportunity to tie the match when Navas blocked his shot inside the box after he got past the defense. This is how you deal in competition and sports.
The U.S. men's soccer team experienced a strong month of June, moving closer to security a berth at next year's World Cup in Russian Federation, when the team won at home against Trinidad & Tobago before getting a draw against Mexico. We didn't realize there would be a flyover but managed to snap this quick photo.
"We got split there, our centre backs, which shouldn't happen", Arena said.