U.S. overrun Panama 4-0 to boost 2018 qualification chances

U.S. overrun Panama 4-0 to boost 2018 qualification chances”

Pulisic left the field to rapturous applause on 56 minutes and the house was brought down yet again on 63 minutes as Wood capped an industrious performance with a well taken strike.

Pulisic has scored or created nine of the 12 USA goals during the final round of World Cup qualifying so clearly is the American player to watch against Panama, the nation lying directly ahead of the fourth-place Americans in the Hexagonal.

Yet with Panama, who are one point ahead of Arena's side in third place and eyeing an historic first ever appearance at the World Cup finals, riding a crest of a wave built on a defensive doggedness which has seen them concede just five goals in their last nine outings, that task will be far from straightforward. They'll aim to book their ticket to Russian Federation 2018 on Tuesday at Trinidad & Tobago in their final qualifier. First runner-up in that race will have to face a third place team from the Asian region, either Australia or Syria.

"We're well positioned to hopefully qualify for Russian Federation".

Eight goals in Johnson's first eight USA appearances set the American soccer world alight back in 2004 and 2005, yet he never really came close to replicating that on any consistent basis. "We've gotta get three points and then we're good".

This matters, because going forward the unlikely to get away with throwing caution so wantonly to the wind. It doesn't happen that way. In 14 games dating back to 1996, the Soca Warriors have a mere two goals against the US. "Now we have to finish it off on Tuesday in Trinidad". Altidore went on to score twice, with one assisted by Pulisic. "I hate to kind of pour too much praise on him". Maybe he let himself get complacent for a second and needed to hear some criticism.

Apparently this game is a big deal.

Through it all, the U.S. now finds itself fourth in the Hex standings, behind the very Panama team they play in Orlando on Friday. The top three teams automatically go to Russian Federation, while the fourth place team has to win a playoff match.

A draw or defeat means the best the United States can hope for is a two-legged play-off against either Australia or Syria.

"The game in Trinidad won't be easy but we are in a good position now".

The starters will not be announced until game day, but the roster of players available for the match is constructed with the team's biggest stars, including: Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, and Christian Pulisic. I still think the USMNT will beat Panama's ass and qualify for the World Cup, even if it wouldn't be out of character for them to lose.

Prior to the match, much of the speculation had been over where Bruce Arena, the USA team's head coach, would play Christian Pulisic, the team's nineteen-year-old wunderkind. Three players are seemingly in position to block his cross or stop the ball from getting to Altidore, but because Pulisic made them stop, none are able to pull it off.

Panama, which eased past Trinidad and Tobago 3-0 last month, replaced Jose Calderon and Fidel Escobar with Jaime Penedo and Felipe Baloy. Between goals and assists, he's had a hand in 11 of the 15 goals the Americans scored in the Hex stage of qualifying.

"Jozy just laid it off to me and I was just gone, I guess", Pulisic said. Why are they fourth right now, with a worse goal differential than Panama? Instead of blasting the attempt into a corner, Altidore used a cheeky chip down the middle for his 41st career goal.

"There really isn't much of a difference, which is part of why we have hard decisions to make", goalkeepers coach Matt Reis said. (The Soca Warriors, who led at Mexico late before succumbing 3-1 on Friday, are already eliminated.) But the stakes are just as high.

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