U.S. settle for a 1-1 draw against Panama

The United States men's national team went on the road in CONCACAF against a very respectable side and earned a hard-fought draw on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, Christian Pulisic's progress over the past four months at Borussia Dortmund translated seamlessly to World Cup qualifying even when he had, as Arena put it, "a bull's-eye on his back" in terms of physical play from opponents.

The United States entered Tuesday night coming off a resounding 6-0 win over Honduras in San Jose, California, last Friday.

"You felt this place dip", Jozy Altidore recalled Monday.

That will be no easy task, given how the USA men's national team dismantled Honduras at Avaya Stadium on Friday night. After the two World Cup qualifying matches this week, the US dug itself out of the hole it was in when Jurgen Klinsmann was sacked, drastically improving its chances of qualifying for Russian Federation 2018 in the first two competitive matches under Bruce Arena.

Before a light workout at Estadio Rommel Fernández, American players thought the Panamanians might still have that 2013 match on their minds.

Panama tied the score on Gomez's 12th global goal, the first against the U.S.in four games under Arena.

Wounds heal, however, and Panama have fresh hopes of reaching the World Cup for the first time in their history.

"If we were smart enough, we wouldn't have broken their hearts".

"From what I remember from CONCACAF in qualifying, it hasn't changed a whole lot in 12 years", Arena said. "There are always going to be games that leave a mark on you, and I think that was one of those days".

In the next round of qualifying on June 8th, the U.S. will host Trinidad & Tobago, while Panama will visit Costa Rica. It was a defensive breakdown from the US, which failed to clear a throw-in from Adolfo Machado.

Said Arena: "He plays in a big league with a big club team in big competition". I was among them.

For the US and Coach Bruce Arena, three points from two games puts the American team back in the conversation ahead of matches in June against Trinidad and Tobago (June 8), and at Mexico (June 11).

They have jumped from sixth to sit in forth place in the six-team World Cup 2018 qualifying table.

"The reality of the situation that we're in and the reality of the start that we had is we're not playing with house money", USA captain Michael Bradley said. There will be at least two. Slow, loping Omar Gonzalez and Tim Ream manned the center of defense while an out-of-place-looking Jorge Villafaña and Graham Zusi primarily ran around ineffectually.

Midfielder Jermaine Jones returns after serving a one-game suspension Friday for yellow-card accumulation. With 55 global goals, Dempsey is two short of Landon Donovans U.S. career record of 57.

Leave it to the 18-year-old kid from Hershey to be the most poised and influential player for the USMNT in a tough away qualifier. "But if it comes, it comes". That's exactly what the US did in these two matches and here they now sit with a great chance to go to Russian Federation.

The temperature had cooled to 81 degrees by the 9:05 p.m. start, but humidity remained high.

Panama's players also may not be used to the heat, given some play in New York, Seattle, Toronto, Switzerland, Romania and other cool climates.

  • Julie Sanders