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.
8 Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC) 109/41
Poked home pass from Pulisic for second U.S. goal. Assisted on Pulisic's goal. Converted PK with Panenka style.
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).
Great game for the USA. Bradlley deverves better he was often alone and forced to cover the whole defensive mid-fielld.
Nagbe, good player but mostly absent. Little help on defense. That position needs to be much more alert to conter atack.....................Soccer America, Your new format NEEDS work.
Agree with you on Nagbe, talent laden but reluctant. I was very impressed with Kelyn Rowe during the Gold Cup. Very technical, quick, smart and looks to finish when its there. With regard to MB, unless we are going to forgo a more dynamic wing/flank play, yes include more help for him. But that begs the question, has MB's current form/speed made him a liability going forward to Russia? It's a rhetorical question.
WS, you know the question for any starter is not whether they are good enough, but rather is there a better choice. Bradley did an awesome job and did it in the first half without much support from the other midfielders while we were pushing hard for goals. The shape got stretched too often, but Panama didn't make us pay for it.
Great match. Pulisic's goal and assist were top quality as was Wood's turn on his goal.
Finally a good performance on offence, but some spotty defensive play. Keep the startingeleven together for the T & T match barring injury. Pulicic, Woods and Altidore were the stars of the match. Referree let some off the ball and dead ball fouls go unpunished and if the game was closer, he could have lost control.
I think Yedlin deserves at least one grade higher for his hard work and covering for both centre-backs who were a hot mess at times. Perhaps Pulisic as well for his domination.
Michael Bradley is a hot mess. For every good play he made, there was a bad pass in the defensive half that Panama should have been able to exploit. The difference between his club play and his national team play is stunning. If the center backs struggled, it was because Bradley set them up to fail. My view is that the back line saved Bradley's ass, not the other way around.
Altidore finally gets one tapped in! The goal in the run of play was a gift. The PK was excellent and very very cheeky. He is no star but his rating here is strickly due to the work of others. Bobby Wood was an animal his deserved a high rating except for being unlucky in the finishing. Poor Dempsey, slow of foot and while he is a ledgend his time is past. The back line needs help and played confused at times. At least they hustled making up for lack of finese. Arriola was a breath of fresh air! Now about Tim Howard, he desrved at leat an 8 for his leadership in the back and for commanding the box. Finally a match that made fans smile. Over all well done.
Oh and Dax, he gave away more balls in his time on the pitch than the defense did the entire match.
If and when we finally qualify this week it will be time to schedule many Friendly's and see if there are some new faces that can upgrade some of the mediocre talent currently on the national team roster.
I can't imagine what the comments would have been if we had lost or even if we had won 4-3.
Talk about a "great" game? The opponent is a minnow, nothing else could have been expected. There was nothing great about this performance, except that it exposed Pulisic's quality well above his teammates.
As far as US soccer is concerned it might as well be 1975. It is over.
US soccer has regressed back to the 70s for all I am concerned.
I have decided no longer to follow the national team or MLS. As I stated before as far as US soccer is concerned it might as well be 1975. It is over.
Oh come now Andrew, I know it is depresssing, but the U.S. has loads of new talent on the way: Josh Sargent, Brooks Lennon, Tyler Adams, to name a few. This will be a blip, and good times are on the way. I remember 1975. Soccer in this country is thousands of years ahead of 1975. You have no idea if you weren't an adult back then. And Caligiuri's goal was in the 30th minute - hardly the "final minutes"!