News Worms
News Worms

Christian Pulisic Inspires USMNT To Vital 4-0 Rout Of Panama

On Sunday, Pulisic was the subject of a "60 Minutes" special, in which Arena said that Pulisic had the potential to become "the first American superstar in the sport".

Jozy Altidore scored and assisted for the a 4-0 rout of Panama in Friday's World Cup Qualifier at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

Arena brought in defender Michael Orozco and midfielders Benny Feilhaber and Juan Agudelo for Friday's game against Panama at Orlando, Florida, and the qualifying finale four days later at Trinidad.

Yet with Panama, who are one point ahead of Arena's side in third place and eyeing an historic first ever appearance at the World Cup finals, riding a crest of a wave built on a defensive doggedness which has seen them concede just five goals in their last nine outings, that task will be far from straightforward.

The other automatic place at next year's World Cup in Russian Federation will probably go to either Panama or the United States, although Honduras also has a chance.

Jozy Altidore of the United States celebrates a goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying match against Panama at Orlando City Stadium on October 6, 2017.

Pulisic then set up Altidore for the second goal in the 19th minute. Pulisic has been one of the best players in the region, yet Bruce Arena has done little to tailor an attack around his talents.

Picking up the ball on the left wing, Pulisic delivered a superb cross which was gleefully tapped in by Altidore.

Strike partner Altidore flicked the ball on and after the Dortmund star escaped the challenge of Roman Torres, he calmly rounded Jaime Penedo and slid home from a tight angle.

"It was a good win for our team", manager Arena said afterwards. It was Altidore's early lay-off passes that created chances for Pulisic, including his expertly taken eighth-minute goal.

Their opponents Honduras go into this match boosted by their encouraging draw against U.S. and the blistering starts they have been making of late. Altidore also made way with 20 minutes left, to be replaced by Clint Dempsey, by which point the crowd was rocking, the scoreboard and the points table both told a happy message, and the World Cup was suddenly within reach once more.

The game kicks off Friday night at 7:35 Eastern time and is being televised on ESPN2 and Univision Deportes. Which of Paul Arriola and Darlington Nagbe is more essential to the USA gameplan?

Speaking of tinkering with line-ups and formations, the United States looks to have found the right set up on the field in the form of a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield.

And the fourth came after 60 minutes, when Paul Arriola cut in from the right flank and dinked a neat pass to Wood, who turned with his first touch and fired in with his right foot to effectively end the match. But moments later, Altidore gave the US the 3-0 lead when he converted on a penalty kick in the 43rd minute.

Panama looked shell shocked as the halftime whistle blew, lingering around on the pitch perhaps terrified of the berating they'd take from their coaches in the locker room. Panama would need to beat Costa Rica by eight goals to overtake the USA.

By the eighth minute, Arena's change had proved to be a shrewd one.

The United States men's national soccer team has some work to do Friday night.

The U.S coasted the rest of the way for a vital victory. Put simply, if Los Catrachos leave San Jose empty handed, they will no longer be in control of their World Cup destiny.


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