Panama vs US Men Live
Panama vs US Men Live Following two bad losses in November, the United States men’s national team got their World Cup qualifying campaign back on track on Friday, posting an impressive 6-0 win over Honduras. But their job isn’t done — the USMNT needs to avoid defeat in Panama on Tuesday to feel good about their chances of getting to the World Cup.
Panama already has a win against Honduras and a draw against Mexico in the bag, so they’re looking likely to be the USMNT’s biggest rival for a qualification spot in the Hex. A win for Trinidad and Tobago over Los Caneleros helped the Americans’ cause during the last round, but a loss in Panama City would put the USMNT in bad shape again.
U.S. coach Bruce Arena opted for an attacking 4-4-2 diamond shape with only one true central midfielder at home, but might opt for a more solid look in the middle against Panama. Jermaine Jones is available again after suspension, and Arena has a large group of younger center mids to turn to as well.
The United States had to send four players home after the game against Honduras. John Brooks, Sebastian Lletget, Jordan Morris, and Michael Orozco Fiscal were all taken off the roster due to fitness concerns, while attacker Paul Arriola was added. Panama is not expected to be without any of their first-choice players, but could make a lineup change. They switch between 4-4-2 and 4-5-1 formations, and were shut out using the latter against Trinidad and Tobago. Expect them to put on a second forward at home.
The Bruce Arena re-return is officially upon us, and his first meaningful match in his second tenure is tonight, as the United States Men’s National Team takes on Honduras in San Jose, CA. Through the first two games of the Hex, both Honduras and the U.S. are looking up at the rest of the table with three and zero points, respectively.
Honduras started the World Cup qualifying six-team group stage with a narrow 1-0 home loss against Panama. Four days later Los Catrachos got back into qualifying contention with a 3-1 win at Trinidad and Tobago.
Los Catrachos have kept the momentum going since the first stage of World Cup qualifiers by winning the 2017 Copa Centroamericana, Central America’s qualifying tournament for the Gold Cup.
For the Americans, the story is completely different. After an embarrassing 2-1 loss against rival Mexico, then-head coach Jurgen Klinsmann led his team into a 4-0 massacre in Costa Rica. Klinsmann was then fired and Arena was brought in to bring life back into the USMNT.
Arena has called in a veteran, experienced team to get the U.S. six points from the next two games. Only six players called up have never appeared in a World Cup qualifier, including Nick Rimando and Chris Wondolowski, whom combine for 58 total caps. Other players with no qualifier experience are David Bingham, Jorge Villafaña, Walker Zimmerman, Sebastian Lletget, and Dax McCarty, all of whom have experience with the national team and Bruce Arena.
The biggest question going into the game is what lineup Arena will use. There have been reports of a three-back system, a 4-4-2, and a 4-2-3-1, but I think Arena will stick with his 4-4-2, which will put players in positions where they can best succeed.
Tim Howard will be in goal, Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey together again up top. The midfield will feature Christian Pulisic, Darlington Nagbe, and Michael Bradley. On the USMNT back line, John Brooks and Geoff Cameron are practically locks.
With the injury to DeAndre Yedlin, who would likely have played right back, question marks fill the fullback positions. The easy solution would be slotting Cameron over to right back, and sticking Omar Gonzalez in the center, but the Brooks-Cameron pairing is too good to break up. The better option is keeping Brooks and Cameron in the center and inserting Graham Zusi into right back, who showed promise in the January camp.
Jermaine Jones is unavailable for this match because of yellow card accumulation. Altidore, Bradley, and Brooks are on thin ice, as they are each one yellow card away from a suspension as well.
So what should you expect from this match? A U.S. team that looks completely different from four months ago. They will be energized and hungry for the win. While it will not be pretty at times, the U.S. will come out with the three points.