The state of the United States Men’s National Team was tested last week in a couple of qualifiers that the US needed to get points. The United States was sitting in dead last out of 6 teams heading into it’s second cycle of games. The USMNT faced a weary Honduras side in San Jose and a gritty Panama team in Panama City. With 2 games played and 8 games left, and two of the three toughest games games for the USMNT are out of the way (Mexico @ home and Costa Rica in CR) which resulted in 0 points (0-2,) they hope to get on the road to Russia in 2018.
The US sacked then-coach Jurgen Klinsmann and brought in former coach Bruce Arena, who led the LA Galaxy to multiple MLS Cups. Bruce Arena has always dreamed of a second stint with the USMNT and this seemed to him like the perfect opportunity.
He has his work cut out for him. Honduras at home is a must in game. Good sports teams always win at home, and being the USMNT, we should throttle Honduras in San Jose.
And that is exactly what the boys in red did!
Christian Pulisic, who is the 18 year old starlet from Hershey, PA had himself a game! He would’ve been man of the match if it wasn’t for Clint Dempsey’s hat trick. Bruce Arena said back in January that Clint Dempsey had no chance of making this qualifying roster after being diagnosed with a heart problem back in November. Dempsey got cleared earlier this year and started playing for his club team (Seattle) and caught the attention of Arena. Rosters come out, and Dempsey is on it. Scores three goals, and is in fact 1 goal away from tying Landon Donovan for the all time goal scoring record in the red, white, and blue.
After the 6-0 victory, the USMNT had to quickly jump on a plane and head to Panama City, where it’s always tough to get points. They do not treat “Gringos” well at all. The game was extremely difficult but the US somehow managed to get a point which is a decent result. Pulisic to Dempsey was the summary of this qualifying cycle, which is weirdly funny. Clint Dempsey is 16 years older than Pulisic and these boys are out there playing and having fun like its nothing to them.
Here are the standings through 4 games. The top three automatically qualify for Russia next year, and the fourth gets a two leg playoff with some team from either Asia or Oceania (a team that any of these teams should beat easily)
- Mexico- 10 Points
- Costa Rica- 7 Points
- Panama- 5 Points
- United States- 4 Points
- Honduras- 4 Points
- Trinidad and Tobago- 3 Points
Next up: Mexico in Mexico City, and Trinidad and Tobago in Denver, Colorado.
“It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.”