The U.S. men’s national team needed three points on Friday night against Panama in Orlando to feel good about its chances of making the 2018 World Cup. After that display, the players and fans should feel great about their chances.
Jozy Altidore scored twice and Christian Pulisic once again put on a show as the Americans beat Panama 4-0 to move into third place in the hexagonal.
Now two points above Panama, the U.S. could be two points clear in third place if Costa Rica beats Honduras on Saturday entering the last day of matches on Tuesday.
Three of USA’s goals came in a dominant first half, as a high backline for the Central Americans resulted in tons of space for the U.S. to work, and Bruce Arena’s team made it look easy.
Then it was Jozy Altidore, who put home a brilliant ball from Pulisic on 19 minutes.
And with that, the exact type of win the U.S. needed, one that results in three points and a massive amount of momentum.
Now, the U.S. turns its focus to Tuesday at Trinidad and Tobago, where a win will book a spot at next summer’s tournament, but the U.S. could lose and still qualify if other results go their way.