2. Carli Lloyd still has a big role on the team.
Lloyd came into the tournament with 102 international goals, but her role on the team was something of a question mark. She started only three of 13 games this year and hadn't start in almost six months.
But Lloyd, 36, showed she has not lost her scoring touch, finishing with a hat trick against Panama -- the eighth international hat trick of her career. The finishing of others left a lot to be desired on Sunday, but Lloyd was efficient.
She put away headers off a Christen Press corner kick and Rose Lavelle free kick and scored a nifty goal when she eluded three defenders to get open in the middle of the Panama area and calmly score from 12 yards out.
3. Valiant Panama is very much alive.
Most of the nations in Concacaf remain far behind the USA, Canada and Mexico, which have accounted for 16 of the confederation's 17 appearances in the Women's World Cup. All the traditional Central American men's powers with the possible exception of Costa Rica have neglected their women's programs.
But Panama, one of just four UNCAF nations to enter 2019 World Cup qualifying, held the USA scoreless for the last 42 minutes after falling behind 5-0. Its 17-year-old goalkeeper, Yenith Bailey, made 12 saves, several of them spectacular, to keep the score respectable.
The 5-0 result was better than Mexico managed against the USA -- 6-0 loss -- and puts Panama in a position to advance to the semifinals with a win or tie against Mexico in their group finale on Wednesday.
TRIVIA. The USA's current unbeaten streak stands at 23 games (20-0-3) with a goal advantage of 76-17.
Oct. 7 in Cary, North Carolina
USA 5 Panama 0. Goals: Mewis 5, Lloyd 23, 29, 48, Press 32.
USA -- Harris; Sonnett, Dahlkemper (Horan, 77), Mace, Short; Ertz (Lavelle, 46), Mewis, Brian; Pugh, Lloyd, Press.
Panama -- Bailey; Jaen, Murillo, Pinzon, Alvarado (Rangel, 34); Castillo, Quintero, Batista, Riley (Cedeno, 59); Cox, Mills (Hernandez, 59).