USA handles business against Panama with a 2-0 victory

Ted S. Warren/AP

How amazing is it to be on top! We are very happy for the USMNT as they sit atop their group in the hexagonal above Mexico and Costa Rica. As I was hoping, Jozy Altidore kept his goal streak alive with an early goal to set the game at 1-0 with a beautiful low-cross from Fabian Johnson. That’s 3 games straight where Altidore has found the net. This has to be doing a number on his confidence level after the drought he had prior to this. Fabian Johnson’s assist was the 3rd in his national team career and 1st of 2013.

Their 2nd goal came early in the second half with a long ball from Geoff Cameron that found an open Eddie Johnson who curled it home for goal. If that wasn’t enough the Americans were inches away from making it 3-0 when Altidore found a streaking DeMarcus Beasley but Beasley’s shot hit the sidebar and rolled out-of-bounds for a goal kick.

The attacking in this game was great and consistent which is what the USA needed. There were other close strikes from that of Clint Dempsey (who bounced it over the keepers head but hit the crossbar) and Michael Bradley (who’s shot sailed just above the keepers grasp out-of-bounds). Cameron, Beasley, Johnson, and Altidore had a great show but the one area that always scares me is that back line. When Panama saw their window slowly closing as we approached the 85′ minute, out of nowhere, a barrage of long balls and crosses began penetrating the USA’s defense. Tejada and Sanchez put Tim Howard to work the last 6 minutes of the game and that’s where I always cringe and I’ll tell you why. Had Sanchez’s cross been more accurate and had Tejada took one less step against Tim Howard, the game would’ve been tied 2-2 in a mere 6 minutes. It took the USA 50+ minutes to make it 2-0 and it that would’ve been vanquished in a mere 6? That is what worries me.

But overall it was a great game and I hope Klinsman tweaks the back-line a little more so we don’t have center-backs getting smoked on long balls and crosses. The next game is against Honduras on June 18th at 9pm EST. Where will you be watching? Because there’s more drama to come! Oh yes, we’ll be playing Honduras with 8, count them 8 yellow carded players (ouch). Beasley will be out because he picked up a yellow in this game. It’ll be interesting next week, you know it can’t be a USA game without a little bit of drama 🙂

Catch highlights of the USA’s victory HERE

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