USA overrun Panama 4-0 to boost 2018 qualification chances

The USMNT Can't Afford To Lose

So this Christian Pulisic kid might be pretty good.

The United States took a massive step toward qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation with a 4-0 victory over Panama on Friday night at Orlando City Stadium in Florida. From the opening whistle, the aggressive USA attack set the tempo and the tone for the match.

Pulisic went on to set up the second goal, placing a ball through the Panamanian box past the keeper and on a silver platter for Jozy Altidore to tap into the net.

But it isn't just Friday night that showed how important Pulisic has become to this squad. A similar showing next week should be enough to punch their ticket to the World Cup after some uncertain moments during the qualifying run.

The U.S. national team played a game it couldn't afford to lose Friday.

With a comfortable lead, Pulisic and Altidore left to standing ovations in the second half. By the looks of his celebration, it's clear Pulisic was dying to get this goal.

After Altidore earned the assist on the first goal, Pulisic returned the favor in the 19th minute. He substituted for Pulisic a few minutes later. A bit of cheeky footwork played him around the defender and put him in great position for a cross.

Pulisic - one of the most highly-rated youngsters in world football now plying his trade with Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund - was at the peak of his powers against Panama, ghosting past the keeper before tapping in on the stretch for the USA opener. Panama looked unsafe on the left. With Deandre Yedlin and (to a lesser extent) Jorge Villafana providing width on the flanks, the likes of Paul Arriola and Darlington Nagbe are free to either "squeeze" inside the center of the field or get wide in space. However, the possibility of that seems pretty minimal as well, firstly due to the fact that their final two matches are up against Mexico and US and secondly, having a very low goal difference of -11.




He put the USMNT up 1-0 five minutes later with this goal, in which he almost breaks the sound barrier by scampering past four defenders faster than can be easily comprehended on first viewing, then rounds the keeper and scores.

Altidore stepped up to take the ensuing kick from the spot, and converted coolly with a panenka that fooled Penedo.

Wood had problems on the night, but he was undoubtedly a positive force. But he finally got his due with a goal in the 63th minute to give the match its final 4-0 score. Playing in the biggest game of his young worldwide career, Pulisic chewed up the pressure like a chocolate bar from his hometown of Hershey, Pennsylvania, and did it with the swagger of a player who absolutely expects to do the magical things he can do at such a young age.

The lopsided result provided a cozy cushion in the first tiebreaker (goal differential), leaving both Panama and Honduras (2-3-3) to win their final matches by inconceivable margins. It finally came to a head when Pulisic was tripped shortly after the beginning of the second half. "We could have scored a lot more goals".

CONCACAF's top three teams - Mexico, Costa Rica and now the United States - stand to automatically qualify for the showpiece event in Russian Federation, with the fourth-placed heading to the play-off. Trinidad and Tobago have no chance of qualifying directly but they can still qualify via the inter-confederation play-off against either Syria or Australia.

Honduras' inferior goal difference of -7 has put them in such a position that if they are to qualify directly, then they should win both their matches against Costa Rica and Mexico by considerable margins and hope that U.S. and Panama do not win both their matches. That's big. As things stand, the US could still tie with Panama on points if the Panamanians beat Costa Rica and the USA draws with Trinidad. You could certainly make a case for Altidore for the night's man of the match honors, but the way Pulisic took control of the game early on was a sight to behold. All that, of course, will be avoided with a simple victory in Trinidad. Pulisic, an attacker for Borussia Dortmund, linked up especially well with Altidore.

The four-goal margin of victory was also helpful for the USA -it left the Americans with a plus-5 goal difference and Panama at minus-two. When the team has needed to make a statement in this World Cup cycle, the scoreline has done all the talking. On Friday, after the team lineups were announced, it became clear that Arena had made a decision to end his winger experiment with Pulisic and instead start him in the middle of the field, in a playmaker role, just behind the team's two forwards.

The days of taking about his potential are done. "Now we have to go down there and do the rest". He's the kind of player who Americans are blessed to be able to call their own.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Google Brings Cellular Service to Puerto Rico Using Balloons
Oct 08, 2017 - 00:50
Sadly, the Hurricane Maria had ripped off nearly everything from the country, from cultivation to the networking connections. However, it's possible some would need a software update , which might have to be delivered over the air in Puerto Rico.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Saudi king, Putin eye energy, arms deals on landmark Russia visit
Oct 07, 2017 - 00:35
Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia will continue to work on stabilising world oil markets, King Salman told Putin on Thursday. Saudi King Salman is now in Russian Federation as part of a state visit, the first to Moscow by a reigning Saudi monarch.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Android Wear disappeared from the Google Store today and no one noticed
Oct 06, 2017 - 00:35
Crunchbase data profiles have also been included in the new version of the app to add additional context to the stories you read. The Assistant was first exclusive to Pixel devices but it, later on, was made available for other Android Nougat devices as well.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Attempted murder charges against suspect in Edmonton attack
Oct 06, 2017 - 00:27
Sharif has been remanded into custody and is scheduled for a bail hearing in provincial court on Tuesday morning. Canadians' resolve has been tested this weekend, but I know, as always, we will come through united".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Height matters for Jose Mourinho's Manchester United
Oct 05, 2017 - 00:35
Even Marouane Fellaini , long maligned by United fans, has been getting in on the act. The "Special One" is now building his prototype team with Manchester United .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Monday weather: Gradually clearing skies, and highs around 66
Oct 04, 2017 - 00:27
Wednesday Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 1pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Otherwise, there will be increasing cloudiness, with a low around 59 and a south wind at around five miles per hour .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Indian football team gets boost ahead of mega-event
Oct 04, 2017 - 00:27
Apart from these two venues, the matches will be hosted in Navi Mumbai, New Delhi , Guwahati and Margao, Goa. The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi could play host to some mouth-watering fixtures.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Mysterious 'Google Clips' device leaked ahead of big announcement
Oct 04, 2017 - 00:23
The Google Pixelbook , a rumored premium Chromebook , has leaked once again, this time on an inventory page from a reseller. So there's clearly an exciting night ahead for fans of the Pixel but that may not be the only device unveiled at the event.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Chelsea star Alvaro Morata ruled out for six weeks with hamstring injury?
Oct 03, 2017 - 08:26
Michy Batshuayi is the obvious replacement for Morata, but Conte had rarely turned to the young striker to lead Chelsea's line. Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata is reportedly facing six weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top NFL Week Four Match Up: Raiders at Broncos
Oct 02, 2017 - 00:45
Denver (2-1) is also seeking retribution from a lackluster game last week that saw them get outplayed in Buffalo in a 26-16 loss. You can listen to the Broncos Radio Network or the Raiders Radio Network . "We wanted to make our point and it's done now".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Attorney: 'No doubt' OJ Simpson goes to Florida after prison
Oct 02, 2017 - 00:43
He could be seen responding "OK" as he left, wearing a ball cap, denim jacket, jeans and white tennis shoes. Among them, she said , Simpson will not be allowed to consume any alcohol and will be tested regularly.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump blasts Puerto Rican mayor for 'poor leadership' in hurricane relief crisis
Oct 01, 2017 - 00:35
Cruz responded the quote on the brink of tears saying: 'When you're drinking from a creek, it's not a good news story . Following Trump's tweets, photos of Cruz , wading in floodwaters up to her waist and holding a megaphone, went viral .

Catalan students rally to defend independence vote
Oct 01, 2017 - 00:32
It was not immediately clear how many potential polling stations were being occupied. Catalan officials have been told they'll "face consequences" if they defy Madrid.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Former army officer elected Ukip leader
Sep 30, 2017 - 15:48
On his personal website, Bolton says he will "resume Nigel Farage's legacy by restoring UKIP's relevance and authority". Bolton reportedly said he was "fine" with the new design. "I abhor the rhetoric that we are at war with Islam".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top VW announces loss of another $3B in USA diesel scandal
Sep 30, 2017 - 15:46
The Volkswagen warranty extends along with those loans to help save the first-and even second buyer of a VW-repair costs. The diesel cars in the US affected by scandal only represent a small part of the 11 million rigged cars globally.