Panama 0-3 USA
|A good preformance tonight. It was a very sloppy and physical game, but Panama rarely threatened and we won handily. Despite not playing our best, we took advantage of the opportunties we had and it wasn't really close. Keller again had a moment of brilliance to keep the shutout (at 2-0), and they also hit the post. Those was really their only scoring chances. After scoring three times in the first half, the second was largely uneventful, except for some awful tackles from Panama. I don't know how they didn't get a red.|
It was very similar to the Costa Rica game in many respects, not just the scoreline. We scored early in both games (for the third straight qualifier), and then absorbed pressure while maintaining the shutout. Keller is on fire, and seems impossible to beat. Getting benched at Tottenham may have been the best thing that ever happened to him. Donovan again had a beautiful goal, and this one was really special. A perfect header. (ussoccer.com always puts the goals highlights up)
The Bruce always seems to have a surprise or two, and tonight was no different. Hejduk and Noonan started in place of Convey and Wolff. Noonan played alright, but he's not ready to be a regular starter. Can't say I was too impressed with Hejduk, who started at left back as Bocanegra moved to the center. Hopefully we can find a permanent solution there, which seems to be our biggest weakness. McBride was the captain tonight, instead of Keller. I don't why they would switch it up like that, but McBride is the consummate professional, a total class act.
Despite the two wins, we can play better than this. That's the encouraging thing. We're also getting it done on the road now, which is the sign of a great team. Donovan had a quote after the Costa Rica game where he basically said just that. The top teams dominate no matter where they play. And this is all despite missing Reyna, Lewis, Ching, O'Brien, Gibbs, Onyewu, and Mastroeni. It's a good time to be an American soccer fan.