Bruce Arena sounds rally cry ahead of USA's crucial qualifiers

United States head coach Bruce Arena is confident his side will qualify for next year's World Cup in Russian Federation following Friday's rout of Panama.

Viewing parties will be held at six locations in the Southland for Friday's telecasts of the U.S. -Panama World Cup qualifier.

The United States took a massive step toward qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation with a 4-0 victory over Panama on Friday night at Orlando City Stadium in Florida. Honduras has nine points going into its match Saturday at Costa Rica, which is second with 15. But third place would also be within the realm of possibility, as a victory on Friday would vault the United States over Panama with just a very winnable game at Trinidad and Tobago remaining.

"It didn't surprise me because they're players who need space and we gave them space", Panama coach Hernan Dario Gomez said when asked about the performances of Pulisic's supporting cast.

Hence, Panama need to win at least one match to put themselves in a safe position and the best possible chance of a win is against the struggling United States team. "We want to come out flying".

"The game in Trinidad won't be easy but we are in a good position now".

"Trinidad are out but will be a handful".

Loss: A loss would be fairly catastrophic, but it would not eliminate the Americans from contention. Mexico is already through.

Friday's match in Orlando against Panama has become a must win, with even a draw allowing the Panamanians to control their own destiny on the final match day.

Pulisic, who has now been involved in 11 of his side's 16 goals in this entire qualifying run - had the kind of youthful, skillful exuberance needed to unlock the most miserly of backlines.

Pulisic fed Altidore for a 2-0 lead in the 19th.

Wood's shot from inside the box missed the goal by about five feet.

After missing September's qualifiers through injury, DeAndre Yedlin returns to the starting XI vs. Panama.

His wastefulness was to prove key as Pulisic produced some brilliance to settle USA nerves.

Pulisic got the United States' opener after eight minutes when he sprinted free of the defense and slotted the ball home from a tight angle after rounding the goalkeeper. Arena said his squad was aware of what was stake if the United States fails to deliver the goods in Orlando tomorrow: "I have not had to lecture the players in any way as to just how significant this game is".

Now age 19, Pulisic has plenty of time to reach more milestones as he appears to be visibly improving for both club and country game by game. Altidore stepped up and calmly chipped the ball down the middle for his brace. We have a pretty balanced roster with experienced players.

Wood drew the penalty kick after he exchanged passes with Paul Arriola along a flank, broke past Felipe Baloy, spurted diagonally into the penalty area and was pushed down by Armando Cooper.

"We're well positioned to hopefully qualify for Russian Federation". Against Peru on Thursday, it was tough to single out any other Argentina player for praise on a night when there were scoring chances but no goals against a disciplined Peruvian defense. "They took advantage and they were superior and we were bad and they hit us hard".

  • Julie Sanders