[USA-PANAMA] Having already taken four points on the road -- all from its last two games on the road -- the USA is well placed to qualify for the World Cup for the seventh straight time. That carries one major assumption -- that the USA gets the job done at home. That begins Tuesday when the USA hosts Panama in Day 5 of the Hexagonal at Seattle's CenturyLink Field (kickoff: 10:08 pm ET).
The USA has not lost at home since a 3-2 defeat to Honduras in Washington -- 10 days before 9/11 -- in qualifying for the 2002 World Cup, a span of 12 Hexagonal matches. Only Mexico has a longer home unbeaten streak in the Hexagonal with a 15-game unbeaten streak since a 2-1 loss to Costa Rica in 2001, its only defeat ever at Azteca Stadium in World Cup qualifying.
"We badly want three points against Panama and next week [against Honduras] in Salt Lake," says U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann. "They're home games, so they're must-wins."
CLASSEMENT ANGLAIS.The French call it "le classement anglais" (literally "English standings"), and they've used it to break down how teams are doing based on the points they've dropped at home (1 for a tie and 3 for a loss) and earned on the road (3 for a win and 1 for a tie).
Based on these calculations, the USA -- which played three of its first four qualifiers on the road -- has opened up a three-point lead at the top of the Hexagonal.
+4 (7 pts) USA (Home--W; Away--L T W)
+1 (7 pts) Mexico (Home--T T; Away--T W T)
+1 (7 pts) Costa Rica (Home--W W; Away--T L)
0 (6 pts) Panama(Home--W T; Away--T T)
-2 (4 pts) Honduras (Home--W T; Away-L L)
-7 (2 pts) Jamaica (Home--T L L; Away-T L)