It was an ugly match that both sides may be kicking themselves for, but the United States did what Bruce Arena said the team was aiming for: four points from its two March World Cup qualifying matches. The US and Panama drew 1-1 on Tuesday night in Panama City, keeping them in fourth and third place in the Hex, respectively.
The US’ goal was scored in the 38th minute by Captain America himself, Clint Dempsey. After a long ball forward found a streaking Christian Pulisic, he put on some nifty moves that left the Panamanian defense in awe, schooling two defenders in the process. That opened up Clint Dempsey right in front of the six yard box unmarked for the easy goal. The tally moves Dempsey only one goal behind Landon Donovan for most in US history.
Panama wouldn't let the US hold on to the lead too long. Only three minutes later, Gabriel Gomez leveled the match at 1 after some shoddy defending by the boys in white. Even though both goals were scored in the first half, the final result would hold.
Neither of New York Red Bulls players - midfielder Sacha Kljestan and defenseman Michael Amir Murillo - saw action for the second straight match of World Cup qualifying. Unfortunately for Kljestan, Pulisic plays the same position as him and has been the team’s best player, so it could be tough to dethrone the 18 year old.
In the next round of qualifying on June 8th, the US will host Trinidad & Tobago, while Panama will visit Costa Rica. Kljestan and Murillo will return to their club to face the Houston Dynamo on Saturday.
In other Bulls Abroad news, Derrick Etienne started and played 55 minutes for Haiti against Nicaragua, but after his departure, Nicaragua opened the flood gates, eliminating Haiti from the Gold Cup.