United States back on track for World Cup, Pulisic leads rout of Panama

by Sophie Craig October 8, 2017, 0:41
United States back on track for World Cup, Pulisic leads rout of Panama

Arena, mindful that Panama didn't present the attacking potency nor defensive resilience of Costa Rica and Mexico, went with forwards Bobby Wood and Jozy Altidore and also slotted Christian Pulisic in behind them with only Michael Bradley as cover.

Sure the USA finished first in the hex for the last three World Cups, but for the 2002 World Cup, where they nearly made the Final Four, they finished third in the hex.

Veteran defensive midfielder Graham Zusi meanwhile voiced confidence that the USA would get the result they needed."I think you've seen this team respond to pressure well in the past", he told reporers. We faced challenging conditions in Honduras and Panama so we will be ready. Our movement was good today. With a side who have played an average of 7 years with the national team, Costa Rica are bound to confirm their qualification when they conclude their match against Honduras, making their final game against Panama a formality. "Still some things we can do better, but I think the gameplan was pretty much executed".

A loss against Panama on Friday night would eliminate the possibility of the United States qualifying for the World Cup directly and their hopes would be pinned on staving off Honduras (who are now tied with the United States at nine points but lose out on tiebreakers) and winning the inter-confederation playoff against the Asian fifth-place finisher.

The U.S. ended up qualifying for the 2002 World Cup that day, thanks to surprising results elsewhere.

Now, the US turns its focus to Tuesday at Trinidad and Tobago, where a win will book a spot at next summer's tournament, but the USA could lose and still qualify if other results go their way.

About 10 minutes later, Pulisic returned the favor to Altidore with an assist of his own on Altidore's goal. Wood flicked a header and Altidore played Pulisic in on goal, the fans suddenly rising as the teenager raised his head. It wasn't televised live because ABC preempted it to report on US military attacks in Afghanistan. "Anytime they picked up the ball, it was either a yellow-card foul or some sort of breakaway". We have to continue to move forward. "We stuck to the gameplan".

Do I think that Bruce Arena will use this very aggressive, talented, and potentially volatile lineup? The U.S. should win this game and should be able to assert its dominance in the region the way it has on so many occasions in the past.

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Most people would take more money to play in their home country to be sure and the level of the MLS has risen of late, but with a salary cap, the is not much competition for roster spots, especially for national team players. Such a young kid, and he gets it.

If you can't make the game, it will be televised nationally on ESPN2.

Panama enjoyed some more time on the ball but it left them exposed at the back as the American side was presented with plenty of space, and Altidore wasted the chance to net his second after shooting straight at Penedo.

"Jozy laid it off for me, and I was just gone, I guess", Pulisic said.

If it were to defeat Panama on Friday, and Trinidad and Tobago four days later, it would nearly certainly have punched its ticket for Russia-with only unlikely scenarios of Honduras making up at least a 9 goal differential in two games remaining a variable. He knows where I am. "He's a great guy to play with". Now, with two games to play, the Americans need big results to go directly to Russian Federation.

With the Americans in danger of missing soccer's top event for the first time since 1986, USA coach Bruce Arena dropped Fabian Johnson because of a lack of fitness.

It began with Howard's long goal kick. He's been getting beat up in these games in CONCACAF.

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