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What US National Men's Soccer Team Need To Qualify

02 April, 2017, 00:10 | Author: Lula Armstrong

So when Panama got possession of the ball, they would find tons of open space, which they would take advantage of because they're a lot faster and more agile than Omar Gonzalez or Graham Zusi.

Dempsey buried it in the back left corner of the goal, giving the USA men's national team the opening goal in its World Cup Qualifying match at Estadio Rommel Fernandez Gutierrez in Panama City, Panama Tuesday night.

After scoring his second worldwide hat trick Friday, Clint Dempsey has 55 goals, two shy of Landon Donovan's American record. Gabriel Gomez tied the score four minutes later following a throw-in. Felipe Baloy blocked a Pulisic shot in the 51st minute, while at the other end, Gabriel Torres surged through the middle but was caught by the scrambling U.S. defense before he could get a shot away, then Luis Tejada was denied by a reflex stop from Howard after 58 minutes.

"We're not in a situation where we can say, 'Great, we took our three points at home, whatever we get on the road is extra, ' " captain Michael Bradley said. "No".

"It was obviously probably pretty devastating for the players", said American midfielder Sacha Kljestan, also among those on the field that night. "We've waited a long time for tonight, especially given the way the two games went in November". Neither will start with any points advantage once the World Cup tournament itself begins in Russian Federation. 'It's not possible that we could have a good player that came out of here. Costa Rica is second with seven points, Panama has five, while the United States is tied with Honduras with four points.

All of this doesn't take into account the fact that the Americans are more talented than Costa Rica, and certainly more talented than Panama. The top three nations qualify for next year's tournament in Russian Federation, and the fourth-place team again goes to a playoff, this time against Asia's No. 5 nation.

Pulisic, 18, has solidified his spot with the national team, just in case there was any doubt. Unless Panama attacks early and often out of its shell, the United States of America will again be tasked with breaking down a resolute defense, and one with considerable more bite than the Hondurans.


Jaime Peneda, who played for Arena with the LA Galaxy, remained in goal, with Adolfo Machado at right back, Felipe Baloy and Roman Torres in central defender and Luis Ovalle at left back.

The 34-year-old returned to the national team with a hat trick Friday after missing nine months because of an irregular heartbeat, and Pulisic assisted on two of them. The pair combined again, with Dempsey scoring with a right-footed shot from 6 yards while sliding on his backside. Johnson is one of the best US players and getting him into the attacking midfield, where he is most comfortable, will only bring out the best in him.

Where: Rommel Fernandez Stadium in Panama City. A renovation in 2009 added about 7,000 seats, luxury suites and a fan gathering area above one end.

"This is tough, away from home in qualifying", Howard said. If we have six points [from two matches], then we can talk.

In truth, the USA men's national should qualify, but the games against Panama, in particular, will be pivotal in deciding whether the red, white and blues will be booking their tickets for Russian Federation directly this October, or waiting to face a nerve-wracking play-off against Asian opponents. We'll go again in June. So, it shouldn't be surprising that expectations for the next fixture, even if it's away from home in a typically tough environment, were extremely high.

"A large red banner with white block letters was draped over the front of the stands behind a goal: "¡AQUI SE NOS RESPETA! It'll be June before it will have another round of World Cup qualifiers and finally decide its fate.

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