The U.S. men’s national teamon Tuesday in World Cup qualifying to finish off a fine five-day stretch that saw the team revive its cup hopes in CONCACAF. Here’s what you need to know.
Very good result
Just because Panama has played in the same amount of World Cups as Lebanon, Djibouti and Montserrat (0), that doesn’t mean the U.S. failing to win is bad. Playing on the road in the final qualifying round is always a challenge, and Panama has gotten to this point, and deservedly so. So to escape with a point is a fine result for the U.S., considering the Panamanians had enough chances to win the game, with Tim Howard stepping up big in goal.
Bruce Arena had said he wanted four points from these two qualifiers (including Friday’s win over Honduras), and he got them.
Again it’s Dempsey and Pulisic
Again it was Clint Dempsey and Christian Pulisic who shined the brightest in attack. Dempsey got another goal, and Pulisic got another assist in this one. It was a fine goal in the first half off some brilliance from the young midfielder, and you’ve just got to see it again:
Now, that was all Pulisic. It was a good finish from Dempsey, but a fairly easy one. Pulisic used his small frame to fight off two veteran defenders and produce the chance. Class.
Come on. You have to feel, like me, that a Jurgen Klinsmann-led USA would have lost this one.
The U.S. will return to action in June with qualifiers against Trinidad and Tobago at home and at Mexico. Forget the Mexico game -- the U.S. probably won’t win that one, but a draw is possible. The big one, when it comes to acquiring points, is against the Soca Warriors. Win that one at home and the Americans are feeling really good about where they are in qualifying.