USA vs. Panama 2017 live blog: Scores, highlights, and news from World Cup qualifier

FINAL SCORE — Panama 1-1 USA
Neither team is going to be terribly disappointed with that result. It was a sloppy game, and a draw leaves both feeling OK about qualifying for the World Cup. Here’s a recap of the game.

90’ — Both teams pushing harder for a winner than you might think, given that a draw is an OK result for both of them. Neither seems particularly afraid of giving up a goal.

82’ — Jozy Altidore is the third American to be substituted, and he had a frustrating day. The USMNT couldn’t get him the ball very often. He’s been replaced by youngster Paul Arriola, who was called up as an injury replacement for this team.

Panama wants a target man on, and takes off Torres for Abdiel Arroyo.

79’ — Howard has to make another save, and again he’s up for the challenge. Godoy takes a rip from 20 yards and gets some good power on it, but the American goalkeeper smothers the ball. Less than a minute later, Torres has a chance to shoot from inside the box and misses wide at the near post.

77’ — Having to play your sixth-string right back isn’t great.

74’ — Sub No. 2 for the Americans, and it’s another player to add some athleticism and work rate to the midfield. Kellyn Acosta comes on to replace Jermaine Jones, who struggled tonight, if we’re being honest.

69’ — The USMNT’s first sub is to bring Alejandro Bedoya on for Darlington Nagbe, and that’s puzzling. Nagbe’s probably the only American player who’s done a decent job keeping the ball in this game. Tough to figure out what Arena is thinking with that move.

62’ — As this second half wears on, Panama is piling on more pressure and the USMNT is looking more disorganized. The entire back line is struggling, and they’re not getting any help from Bradley or Jones in front of them. A combination of good play by Howard and poor execution by Los Canaleros is keeping the Americans level.

59’ — Panama misses another big chance! Again, Torres has a chance from eight yards, but Howard steps up to stuff him.

57’ — Gabriel Torres is clean through on goal, but can’t even challenge Howard. Tim Ream does an incredible job to recover and block his shot.

51’ — Decent attack by the Americans. Jorge Villafaña crosses for Pulisic, but Baloy blocks it out for a corner. The USMNT sets up a shot for Nagbe, but he pulls his effort wide.

46’ — And we’re back for the second half. No substitutions for either team, though Arena should probably start thinking about how to solidify his midfield.

HALFTIME — Panama 1-1 USA. Very little action for the first 39 minutes, besides all the uncalled fouls. Then, BOOM, the game sprang to life. Bruce Arena will be upset that his team conceded in the 44th minute — it’s likely changed his halftime plans considerably.

44’ — Panama 1-1 USA, goal! The USMNT defends poorly on a long throw-in. The ball pings around the box off the throw-in and falls for Gabriel Gómez, who equalizes for the hosts. Great throw by Adolfo Machado, but the USMNT should do better than this.

39’ — Panama 1-0 USA, goal! Christian Pulisic beats two men one-on-one on the right flank and squares to Clint Dempsey for a tap-in. Pulisic, perhaps the smallest man on the pitch, refused to get out-muscled by two big, strong dudes — Felipe Baloy and Roman Torres.

36’ -- Panama is pretty mad at a no-call for a Jermaine Jones tackle/foul on Aníbal Godoy, then more mad that Christian Pulisic takes a long time to put the ball out of play so Godoy can get treatment. There’s a lot of pushing and shoving, but no cards. Referee César Ramos is insisting on doing as little as possible.

33’ — Big chance for Panama! Alberto Quintero absolutely skins Zusi on the left flank and creates a shot for himself from 15 yards, but he doesn’t curl it far away enough from Tim Howard and the American goalkeeper is up to the challenge.

32’ — Legitimately the best thing to happen in this game is Omar Gonzalez doing a butt bump.

29’ — First promising move for the Americans, Jones releases Pulisic, but his shot is stopped by Luis Ovalle with an excellent sliding tackle. The resulting corner leads to nothing.

27’ — Panama’s taken up a strategy of hacking the heck out of the USMNT’s smaller, more technical players. It’s working — the Americans haven’t created any shots.

21’ — So the USMNT could certainly be playing better, but a lot of their bad touches and turnovers have to do with the pitch. It’s...

...yeah, basically the surface of the moon.

16’ — The closest thing to a chance for either team has been Panama’s corners. They’ve missed a couple of decent looks.

8’ — This could best be described as a demolition derby so far. Constant turnovers, neither team can string three good passes together and the tackling has been aggressive.

3’ -- The Jones lineup question has been answered. He’s playing the same role as Lletget did. The USMNT has kept their diamond shape.

1’ -- Kickoff! American fans will be happy to learn that The Star Spangled Banner was heartily booed by the Panama City crowd. The Panama crowd display was solid.

9:55 p.m. — Pregame conversation about the USMNT lineup has been centered around how it will function, since one of the changes Arena was forced into due to injury isn’t like-for-like. Jermaine Jones, a true central midfielder, has come in for Sebastian Lletget, a midfielder-winger ‘tweener who was well-suited for doing a little bit of both in a diamond formation.

Is the USMNT going to play the same formation, just with one of their shuttlers playing more narrow? Or is Jones’ introduction going to cause a formation re-shuffle? Keep an eye on Jones’ positioning early in the game.

9:46 p.m. — It’s pretty common for teams playing away in Central America to deal with fans trying to ensure they don’t get a good night’s sleep, and this game is no different. Last night, Panama fans had a little fireworks display at the USMNT hotel.

Bruce Arena was brought into the United States men’s national team to halt a crisis, and he’s managed to do just that. Last week’s 6-0 win over Honduras was the most impressive USMNT performance in years, and has them in decent shape in the Hexagonal again. Still, they’ll need a result away to Panama on Tuesday night to feel good about their chances to finish top three in CONCACAF qualifying.

Clint Dempsey and Christian Pulisic were the stars of the show on Friday night, putting up truly dominant showings. Dempsey scored a hat trick, while Pulisic scored one of his own while being the USMNT’s primary creative outlet.

Panama lost to Trinidad and Tobago last week, but will still be in decent shape if they avoid defeat in this match. They got four points from their first two qualifying matches and will be a serious challenger to the United States for a qualifying spot.

Injuries have not been kind to the USMNT during this World Cup qualifying cycle. Three starters from the Honduras match — John Brooks, Geoff Cameron and Sebastian Lletget — all miss out due to injury. They’ve been replaced in the lineup by Tim Ream, Graham Zusi and Jermaine Jones. Panama played 4-5-1 in their last game, but they’ve thrown another striker into their team for this game, apparently unafraid of losing the midfield battle.

This is a live blog that will update constantly as the match rolls on, with the newest updates at the top of the page.

Lineups
United States lineup (4-2-3-1): Tim Howard; Jorge Villafaña, Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, Graham Zusi; Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones; Christian Pulisic, Clint Dempsey, Darlington Nagbe; Jozy Altidore

Panama lineup (4-4-2): Jamie Penedo; Luis Ovalle, Roman Torres, Felipe Baloy, Adolofo Machado; Alberto Quintero, Anibal Godoy, Gabriel Gomez, Armando Cooper; Gabriel Torres, Luis Tejada

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images


USA Vs. Panama Live Stream: Watch CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier Online

United States men’s soccer team is one away from exorcising the ghosts of the late-2016 disaster. Team USA will visit Panama on Tuesday in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier. USA can overtake “Los Canaleros” in the CONCACAF standings with a victory, while a draw will keep Bruce Arena’s team outside the automatic qualification zone.

The U.S. started the final round poorly, with losses to Mexico and Costa Rica costing Jurgen Klinsmann his job as head coach. Arena replaced Klinsmann and led USA to a 6-0 win over Honduras last Friday in the first World Cup qualifier in this tenure at the helm. Arena would amass stores of goodwill with another resounding win in tougher circumstances.


LINEUP NOTES: USA MIXES UP STARTING XI IN AWAY QUALIFIER VS. PANAMA

Today’s U.S. MNT Starting XI vs. Panama: 1-Tim Howard, 2-Jorge Villafaña, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 4-Michael Bradley (capt.), 8-Clint Dempsey, 10-Christian Pulisic, 13-Jermaine Jones, 14-Tim Ream, 15-Darlington Nagbe, 17-Jozy Altidore, 19-Graham Zusi

Substitutes: 12-David Bingham, 22-Nick Rimando; 5-Matt Besler, 6-Dax McCarty, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 9-Paul Arriola, 11-Alejandro Bedoya, 16-Sacha Kljestan, 18-Chris Wondolowski, 20-Geoff Cameron, 21-Walker Zimmerman, 23-Kellyn Acosta
  • Bruce Arena makes three changes to the starting XI that faced Honduras on Friday, inserting Jermaine Jones, Tim Ream and Graham Zusi.
  • After serving a one-game suspension during Friday’s 6-0 win against Panama, Jones earns his 17th World Cup Qualifying appearance and his 69th cap.
  • Ream replaced John Brooks in the 70th minute of Friday’s win and earns his fourth career World Cup Qualifying cap and first start since a 0-0 draw at Trinidad & Tobago on Nov. 17, 2015.
  • Zusi entered Friday’s match in the 59th minute as a substitute for Geoff Cameron. Two of Zusi’s five international goals have come against Panama at Estadio Rommel Fernández, including the game-tying goal in the MNT’s last visit a 3-2 World Cup Qualifying win on Oct. 15, 2013.
  • With his hat trick Friday, Clint Dempsey is once again the MNT’s all-time leading scorer in World Cup Qualifying with 17 goals. Sitting on 55 international goals, Dempsey is just two shy of the USA’s all-time leading scorer Landon Donovan (57).
  • Dempsey (38) is also now just two World Cup Qualifying appearances shy of Donovan (40) for the MNT’s all-time lead.
  • Just a day shy of the one-year anniversary of his MNT debut, Christian Pulisic starts for the U.S. in his seventh World Cup Qualifying appearance. The 18-year-old leads the team with four assists in 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, while his three goals tie him with Bobby Wood for third on the team’s Road to Russia.
  • Set to captain the side again tonight, Michael Bradley’s sixth career World Cup Qualifying goal on Friday tied him for seventh with DaMarcus Beasley, Brian Ching and Willy Roy.
  • Making four saves to earn his 38th career clean sheet vs. Honduras, Tim Howard makes his 113th international cap and 35th appearance in World Cup Qualifying.
  • Having made his World Cup Qualifying debut against Honduras, Jorge Villafaña gets the start at left back again tonight in his fourth-straight appearance for the MNT.
  • Altidore joins Zusi as the two players in the starting XI that have scored World Cup Qualifying goals against Panama. The MNT forward found the back of the net in a 2-0 World Cup Qualifying win against Los Canaleros on June 11, 2013 in Seattle.
  • Clint Dempsey has three career international goals vs. Panama, while Michael Bradley has also tallied twice against Los Canaleros.
  • Altidore, Dempsey and Zusi are the only three starters to have previously played a World Cup Qualifier in Panama. Altidore and Zusi appeared in the 3-2 win on Oct. 15, 2013, while Dempsey was a substitute in the MNT’s 3-0 victory on June 8, 2005.
  • The MNT starting XI has a combined 197 appearances and 45 goals all-time in FIFA World Cup Qualifying.
  • The U.S. Men’s National Team holds an 11-1-4 all-time advantage against Panama and has gone 3-0-1 in Panama City.
  • The MNT is an unbeaten 5-0-1 against Panama in World Cup Qualifying and 2-0-1 when playing at Estadio Rommel Fernandez.
  • Bruce Arena managed against Panama five times during his first tenure in charge of the MNT, going 3-0-2.
  • Arena led the MNT to its first win on Panamanian soil, using first-half goals from Brian McBride, Carlos Bocanegra and Landon Donovan and a big performance in goal from Kasey Keller to earn a 3-0 victory on June 8, 2005. To date, the win is the MNT’s largest margin of victory in a World Cup Qualifier played in Central America.
  • The U.S. also won in its last visit to Panama on Oct. 15, 2013. Trailing 2-1 in the 82nd minute, the MNT rallied with two stoppage-time goals from Graham Zusi and Aron Johannsson to win 3-2, knocking Los Canaleros out of a fourth-place finish which would have sent them into an Intercontinental Playoff against New Zealand for a berth in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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