US needs another win after dismantling Honduras 6-0

His hat-trick came in the fifty-fourth minute, a stunning free-kick from twenty-five yards that bent up, over the wall, across goal and into the back of the net.

Dempsey was sidelined from August until this month by an irregular heartbeat and started only because of injuries to Bobby Wood and Jordan Morris. The national team was the furthest thing from his mind. "You have try to work hard to make sure everything is right". It was a tough process.

Bradley, meanwhile, said the losses in the opening games had left the Americans with little room to manoeuvre. The team bus was long gone; he returned to the downtown hotel in the equipment van. "And you can't just say it, and that's going to happen".

New manager Bruce Arena has selected 24 players to make up his player pool for the two games. It's what I love to do.

The U.S., 30th in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings, plays again Tuesday at Panama.

Dempsey now has 55 US goals, just two behind Landon Donovan for the all-time record. What once seemed like a remote pursuit now appears inevitable.

Ahead of the all-important game in Panama City against Panama on Tuesday, expect the USMNT to continue to lean on their prodigy from Borussia Dortmund.

When his team needed him the most, Clint Dempsey ran the show.

After missing most of 2016 with injury, it was a welcome performance from Dempsey and one that should excite U.S and Seattle Sounder fans alike.

The best decision Arena made was to play Christian Pulisic in central midfield. "I feel even stronger than I was then", he said. He has all the tools to be a very good player.

Confirmation of a starting role came Wednesday. Christian Pulisic is 18-years-old, 16 less than Clint Dempsey. "It was great to play a part".

Wearing a bright red jersey, shorts and socks, a predominantly orange boot on his right foot and a lime one on his left, the bearded Dempsey scored Friday when he held off a defender and with astonishing precision controlled a chip from 18-year-old Christian Pulisic.

Showing poise beyond his years, Pulisic agreed with Arena that he has only begun to scratch the surface of his talents, and the combination of big club games with global appearances will only increase his effectiveness. U.S. soccer is as back as it can be before it plays against Mexico or in the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

"I owe a lot to Bruce", he said.

Pulisic was just as effusive about Dempsey.

Four minutes into the second half, Pulisic sent him in alone for a composed finish and 5-0 lead. Dempsey wasn't planning to take it.

"You've got to stay relevant", Dempsey explained.

"I owe that goal to Jozy". Dempsey was back on the field in red, white and blue for the first time since last June.

"Man, he's a beast", midfielder Alejandro Bedoya said.

"I'm blessed that I can keep going. I'm just so happy for him".

After resuming training with the Sounders, Dempsey said last month his symptoms first became apparent in February 2016 and worsened after the Copa America in June. If it don't, it don't. "Hopefully I can break it but a bigger thing is trying to get us to the World Cup". The most important will be the Houston Dynamo duo Alberth Ellis and Romell Quioto, who have been playing well in the still young MLS season.

The fourth placed team faces a playoff against a side from Asia.

"You've got to stay relevant, you've got to stay producing", he said. "We obviously didn't have a great start so we need to bounce back here and we're going to need a big performance".

  • Julie Sanders