Panama? Kickoff, livestream, watch online (3/28/17) World Cup qualifying
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 01, 2017,
Apr 01, 2017, 16:27
Dempsey buried it in the back left corner of the goal, giving the US men's national team the opening goal in its World Cup Qualifying match at Estadio Rommel Fernandez Gutierrez in Panama City, Panama Tuesday night.
For many people, 2016 was a bad year, and the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team was no exception. However, it needs to really rally down the homestretch of the brutal qualifying round.
First up will be another crucial tie against another Central American side.
Panama's Luis Ovalle falls on the pitch as United States' Christian Pulisic drives the ball during a 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match in Panama City, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. And as that position improves, Arena will be empowered to put his stamp on the team.
After a flashy US victory against Honduras came a gritty tie with a hard-won road point in hostile Panama. It's insane. But it's effective on certain nights when the referee isn't on your side.
The odds of making it an eighth straight weren't good after the US lost fall qualifiers to Mexico and Costa Rica.
"From what I remember from CONCACAF in qualifying, it hasn't changed a whole lot in 12 years", said Arena, who last managed a road qualifier on October 8, 2005, when the US lost 3-0 to Costa Rica. A further bonus came with both of those nations failing to win at all over this worldwide break, all of which means that, through four rounds, the USA lies fourth in the Hexagonal standings. The next game for the US soccer team will be on June 8 against Trinidad and Tobago, who is also a team in a desperate situation with three points.
The United States men, playing their best match in recent memory, blasted Honduras 6-0 in front of 17,729 tonight in a CONCACAF World Cup final-round quailfier in a rainy and chilly Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif.
The hosts will remember the last time US visited Panama City, a dramatic 3-2 loss where two late goals, including a memorable Graham Zusi stoppage-time equalizer, knocked Panama out of the fourth spot in the Hex and a playoff against New Zealand for a chance to advance to the country's first ever World Cup. Getting a result in at least one of these games will be crucial in keeping alive the hopes of an automatic qualifying berth.
Gabriel Gomez scored to level the score before halftime for Panama (1-1-2), which is now one spot ahead of the U.S.in the standings and in search of its first-ever World Cup bid. Increasingly, it appears Pulisic will be the engine that powers the U.S.
Mexican referee Cesar Ramos, working in place of injured countryman Roberto Garcia, called 26 fouls, including 19 against Panama, but no yellow cards.
Bring it! Team USA is coming off a massive World Cup qualifier win against Honduras and wants to keep that momentum alive as they travel to play Panama next. They represent both the rearguard and the team's offense, and reflect the widest mixture of experience imaginable. Christian Pulisic again stepped up when the team needed him, and perhaps just as important, he received a lesson in the difficulties of playing on the road in CONCACAF. But after his fine passing performance against Honduras, Altidore failed to make any discernible impact on Tuesday night.
Pulisic, an 18-year-old who made his worldwide debut on March 29 last year, is quickly establishing himself as a top American player with exceptional skill.
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the US national team for ESPN FC. And while the talented Pulisic will no doubt be crucial to the pursuit of an automatic qualifying berth for Russian Federation 2018, head coach Bruce Arena is quick to ensure that his feet are kept firmly on the ground when comparisons are made. It is something you can't tell him about, he has got to experience it. The most notable thing from that monumental win against Honduras was that Clint Dempsey came up huge providing a hat-trick in that game.
The hat trick also pulled his overall global goal total to 55, putting him just two back of Landon Donovan to also become the USA's all-time leading goal scorer.
"Yeah, it's on your mind", the 34-year-old Dempsey said. "I'm sure it still means a lot to them". Back playing in the USA after successful spells at Everton FC and Manchester United in the English Premier League, the American stopper has been a stalwart of the national side since 2007 after making his debut in 2002.
Hard, of course, wait for the Americans another scoring extravaganza, and Panama at the start of the selection team looks very closed, her three match yielded only two goals scored.