Christian Pulisic opens the scoring vs. Panama

The USMNT Can't Afford To Lose

Men's World Cup qualifying match to be held in Orlando Friday

Pulisic got the Americans off to an electric start with a tremendous individual effort en route to the opening goal in the eighth minute. "We're in the United States", Arriola said.

But if that happens and fifth-place Honduras loses at second-place Costa Rica - which would book its World Cup ticket to Russian Federation with a win - the USA would be all but guaranteed to finish no worse than fourth. "I think we have to move on to the next stage and focus on the next challenge".

"I don't know. Ideally we'd like to be qualified for the World Cup".

Three of USA's goals came in a dominant first half, as a high backline for the Central Americans resulted in tons of space for the work, and Bruce Arena's team made it look easy. "I think that's fine and we'll get it done".

"The game in Trinidad won't be easy but we are in a good position now", said United States manager Bruce Arena. It doesn't happen that way. "It was a great atmosphere, and I'm glad we gave them a game to remember". Why are they fourth right now, with a worse goal differential than Panama?

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However, it is still too early to make accurate predictions on the future path of the system, according to USA forecasters. Severe Weather Team 2 is tracking the storm and will have a look at its potential impact on Channel 2 Action News .

All of those statements apply in the present, too, right down to Tuesday's qualifying finale at Trinidad.

Heading into his first worldwide match since turning 19 in September, Pulisic has developed into the top American player since making his debut in the Bundesliga in January 2016.

"[The crowd] came out on a big night for us", Altidore said. I know he's a young kid. Maybe he let himself get complacent for a second and needed to hear some criticism. The biggest difference between Friday night and the dismal offensive showings against Costa Rica and Honduras in September?

"Of course there was pressure", defender Matt Besler said. In the wake of last month's 2-0 loss to Costa Rica at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey - a match that saw a sizeable visiting contingent seize control of the atmosphere - a partisan crowd was a refreshing development for Bruce Arena's men.

Wood and Altidore manned the front line.

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They've got a good lineup, as well. "I just want our guys to go out and do what they've been doing since the All-Star break". In 27 starts overall this year for the Oakland A's and New York , Gray was 10-12 with a 3.55 ERA .

A desperation tackle by DeAndre Yedlin on Alberto Quintero and fine save by Howard on Gabriel Torres midway through the first half kept Panama scoreless, but its forays forward exposed the US defensive deficiencies with five attacking players and only Bradley anchoring the middle. I was able to play off those guys, and they had some great layoffs to me. Pulisic opened the scoring inside of eight minutes while Bobby Wood closed the account in the 63rd minute. Just 11 minutes later, Pulisic skinned Michael Murillo on a textbook cutback out wide before delivering a pinpoint cross to Altidore for the goal.

With the ease of a butterfly and the tenacity of a wasp, Pulisic ran onto a Jozy Altidore flick-on, floated through the Panama defense, rounded goalkeeper Jaime Penedo and finished into the empty net. The Borussia Dortmund midfielder now has eight goals in 19 worldwide caps.

As Pulisic continued his star turn, he also got the CONCACAF star treatment. It was Syria's home leg, but because of the security situation there, it was played in Malaysia.

No one benefited more from having Pulisic in the thick of things than Altidore, he of the two goals and one assist on the night. Wood surged past three players and drew Armando Cooper's foul in the box. As Pinedo dived to his left, Altidore chipped the ball down the center for his 41st global goal. As a sell-out crowd of 25,303 packed Orlando City Stadium, the US fed off a pulsating atmosphere en route to a 4-0 thrashing of Panama on Friday.

Despite the uncertain depth chart and fierce competition for playing time, Reis said, Howard and Guzan support one another.

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