U.S. Soccer Set To Take The Pitch In Panama For Another Crucial World Cup Qualifier Match
By US Soccer // March 28, 2017
USA-Panama begins at 10 p.m. ET on beIN Sports, Telemundo and NBC Universo
ABOVE VIDEO: Coming off a resounding 6-0 victory against Honduras on Friday, the U.S. Men’s National Team resumes the Final Round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying seeking to #Get3More points with another crucial clash away to Panama on Tuesday, March 28 at Estadio Rommell Fernandez in Panama City.
PANAMA CITY (US SOCCER) – Coming off a resounding 6-0 victory against Honduras on Friday, the U.S. Men’s National Team resumes the Final Round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying seeking to #Get3More points with another crucial clash away to Panama on Tuesday, March 28 at Estadio Rommell Fernandez in Panama City.
Coverage of USA-Panama begins at 10 p.m. ET on beIN Sports, Telemundo and NBC Universo. Fans can also follow the game live on Facebook and Twitter at @ussoccer and @ussoccer_esp.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; WCQ Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids; 34/0), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo; 33/6), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City; 10/1), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG; 20/2), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX; 13/0), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 3/0), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX; 1/0), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas; 0/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City; 16/3)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 1/0), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana/MEX; 1/1), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 7/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 32/6), Jermaine Jones (LA Galaxy; 16/0), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls; 18/2), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers; 4/0), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 6/3)
Entering Friday’s match against Honduras with zero points from its first two Final Round World Cup Qualifiers, the U.S. answered the call to get three points in a resounding way, using a Clint Dempsey hat trick as well as strikes from Sebastian Lletget, Michael Bradley and Christian Pulisic to earn an emphatic 6-0 win.
The six-goal win set a record for largest margin of victory in the Final Round since the current qualifying format was set by CONCACAF for the 1998 FIFA World Cup and also serves as the MNT’s biggest win against Los Catrachos through 24 all-time meetings.
CLINT DEMPSEY CHASING MILESTONES
After recovering from an irregular heartbeat, Clint Dempsey made a storybook return to the MNT, recording an impressive hat trick to lead the USA past Honduras 6-0. With his three goals, Dempsey re-took the crown as the MNT’s all-time leading scorer in World Cup Qualifying with 17.
The hat trick also pulled his overall international goal total to 55, putting him just two back of Landon Donovan to also become the USA’s all-time leading goal scorer. After Friday’s match, Dempsey spoke at length about his return and desire to continue helping the team in its quest to qualify for an eighth-straight FIFA World Cup.
STATEMENT WIN FOR THE MNT
Playing its first World Cup Qualifier since November’s 4-0 defeat at Costa Rica as well as the first competitive match under new head coach Bruce Arena, multiple MNT players said that the 6-0 victory was a statement win for the team.
“It’s the first step in terms of getting ourselves back in a good position in the table,” MNT captain Michael Bradley said post-game. “We’ve waited a long time for tonight, especially given the way the two games went in November. I thought across the board, every guy stepped on the field tonight with the right mentality, ready to give everything to make sure we walked off the field with three points.”
Winning against Honduras was only part of the equation for the MNT’s March World Cup Qualifying set. The team now travels on the road to Panama, looking to #Get3More points to bring their Final Round total to six heading into June’s matches vs. Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico. After starting camp in last place in the six-team Final Round qualifying group, depending on other results Tuesday, a win could see the MNT climb as high as second by the end of the night.
ROSTER CHANGES ANNOUNCED
Following the win against Honduras, Club Tijuana winger Paul Arriola was added to the MNT roster, while Sebastian Lletget (left foot), John Brooks (illness), Jordan Morris (right foot) and Michael Orozco (right knee) returned to clubs due to injury. With the changes, the U.S. MNT roster stands at 23 players heading into Tuesday’s match.
JERMAINE JONES ELIGIBLE FOR PANAMA
After serving a one-match suspension due to yellow-card accumulation, Jermaine Jones is eligible for selection Tuesday vs. Panama. The 2014 World Cup veteran said this week that he was encouraged by the team’s performance against Honduras and is ready to contribute Tuesday vs. Panama.
GAME-BY-GAME: USA-PANAMA ALL-TIME WCQ HISTORY
The U.S. has met Panama in six World Cup Qualifiers during two different cycles. A brief rundown of every qualifying match between the two nations:
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