SEATTLE – The U.S. Men’s National team took another step towards the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with a 2-0 win over Panama on Tuesday night. The US netted goals from Jozy Altidore and Eddie Johnson to aid goalkeeper Tim Howard’s clean sheet. They now sit atop the CONCACAF qualifying group with 10 points, which is a two point edge over both Costa Rica and Mexico.
The USMNT is now unbeaten in its last 24 home World Cup qualifiers. They held Panama at bay for the majority of the match, holding possession 58.2% of time and outshooting them 12-5. The goal by Altidore was his third in three games and Johnson’s goal came in front of his home crowd; he currently plays for the Seattle Sounders.
In goal Tim Howard earned his first clean sheet of 2013 and qualifying. He’d previously allowed goals in matches against Honduras and Jamaica. His teammate Brad Guzan held both Costa Rica and Mexico scoreless. Together they’ve helped the US to +4 in goal difference, which is best in the group and important as it is the first tie-breaker after total points in group matches.
The USMNT will play its next qualifier against Honduras in Utah next Tuesday night at 8 p.m. CDT. They also play a qualifier at Sporting Park on October 11 against Jamaica; that kick-off time has not been announced yet.
Seattle makes great impression.
While the product on the field was top class last night, it was the fans in the stands that caught the attention of the players.
“Unbelievable. The best crowd I’ve played in in the United States, without a doubt,” U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley said during his postgame interview.
The announced attendance at CenturyLink Field was 40,847, which dwarfs Sporting Park’s capacity of 18,467. However, Sporting fans have made a name for themselves as some of the best and Sporting Park has been named by Forbes as one of America’s best sporting experiences. So, can Sporting Park live up to Seattle’s example? Go to our Facebook page and let us know what you think.