The US men’s national team have enjoyed a comfortable win over Panama in Orlando to give them a major step forward to securing World Cup berth.
This was their second to last game of the Hexagonal and a win on Tuesday when they play Trinidad & Tobago will see Bruce Arena’s team advance to the Russia World Cup 2018.
What has become blatantly obvious is America has a seriously good footballer in the name of Christian Pulisic, who struck home for the first goal in Friday’s 4-0 victory.
Pulisic combined well with Wood and Altidore after starting high and central, which clearly made a difference after the previous 180 minutes of qualifying game play with only 1 goal. The 19-year-olds goal was followed by goals from Jozy Altidore and Bobby Wood and all three also either assisted or drew a penalty on the night.
There had been much speculation before the match whether or not Arena would give Pulisic a start, as his experiment of playing him as a winger had left him with an uneven result, but in the end he decided to play him in the middle of the field.
His decision paid dividends as 8 minutes in a U.S. goal kick sailed down the field, Wood flicked the ball to Altidore on the forward line who then deposited the ball at the feet of an onrushing Pulisic. Then with his third touch with his right foot, sent the ball around the goalkeeper.
Altidore doubled the score just 10 minutes later and after Pulisic had assisted, it took his tally to four goals and four assists, out of fourteen goals scored up to that point by the U.S. team during this tournament.
Altidore scored a brace with a penalty kick, just before halftime, whilst Wood put the icing on the cake in the 63rd minute.
The squad now travel to ATO Stadium, Trindad & Tobago for their next venue.