In one of the most high-pressure games the USA has faced, fears of failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup were greatly alleviated with a 4-0 win over Panama.
USA Player Ratings:
Player (Club) GP/G
6 Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids) 120/0
His goal kick helped set up Christian Pulisic's first goal. Well positioned to block Gabriel Torres' 30th-minute shot.
Yedlin (Newcastle United) 47/0
Right back stifled Joel Barcenas, who didn't last long. Came into middle to stop Alberto Quintero on first-half chance.
6 Matt Besler
(Sporting KC) 46/1
Solid central defensive effort with Gonzalez, his partner for the second game in a row.
6 Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX) 47/3.
Rendered Blaz Perez ineffective.
6 Jorge Villafana (Santos Laguna/MEX) 13/0
Competent effort by left back.
7 Paul Arriola (D.C. United), 14/2.
Manned the right wing and surged in the second half. Delivered the ball to Bobby Wood on fourth goal. Denied goal by good Jaime Penedo save in 81st minute.
6 Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), 139/17.
Toiled defensively for attack-minded fellow midfielders
8 Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER) 19/8.
Set up a shot for Jozy Altidore in the third minute. Opened the scoring by rounding Penedo and assisted Jozy Altidore with perfect low pass after roasting Michael Murillo.
6 Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), 23/1.
Left midfielder set up early chance for Wood. Sent pass to Pulisic on second-goal sequence.
8 Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER) 35/10.
Shot wide in 3rd minute and failed to finish 22nd-minute breakaway -- but threatened constantly. Nodded Howard's goal kick to Altidore leading to Pulisic goal. Drew fouls that resulted in two yellow cards and penalty kick. Scored fourth U.S. goal with well-placed 13-yard shot.
6 Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire) 13/0
Came on for Pulisic in the 56th minute and helped Bradley patrol the midfield. Sent excellent pass to Arriola for 81st-minute breakaway.
5 Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders) 140/57
Replaced Altidore in the 71st minute. Helped U.S. keep possession.
Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union)
Replaced Nagbe for last 11 minutes.
(Ratings: 1=low; 5=middle; 10=high.)
NOTABLE: Christian Pulisic, who turned 19 last month, scored his eighth goal in 18 U.S. appearances -- and has now been involved in 11 of the 16 goals scored by the USA in the final round of 2018 World Cup qualifying.
Oct. 6 in Orlando, Florida
USA 4 Panama 0.
Goals: Pulisic 8, Altidore 19, Altidore 43 (pen.), Wood 63.
USA -- Howard, Yedlin, Besler, Gonzalez, Villafana, Arriola, Bradley, Pulisic (McCarty, 56), Nagbe (Bedoya, 79), Wood, Altidore (Dempsey 71).
Panama -- Penedo, Torres, Baloy (Escobar 46), Ovalle, Murillo, Barcenas (Cooper, 26), Gomez, Quintero, Godoy, Torres, Perez (Arroyo, 60).
Referee: Roberto Garcia (Mexico).