USA vs. Panama: USMNT Are Becoming the Class of CONCACAF
The U.S. Men's National Team dominated the action against Panama on Tuesday evening, resulting in three points for Jurgen Klinsmann's side. The 2-0 victory showcased that the USMNT is quickly becoming the class of CONCACAF.
A scary thought considering the Americans are not at full force.
Are we getting ahead of ourselves? Perhaps. There is no question that Mexico is still a very talented team that has yet to hit their stride. However, their recent performances may be a trend.
The string of goalless matches at Azteca has brought out some classless fans in the stadium. Against Costa Rica they began throwing objects at the Costa Rican players. Frustration is growing in Mexico. The class of the federation would not be hearing rumblings of firing its coach.
Yet, that's exactly what is happening to Mexico right now.
Meanwhile, the Americans are putting together more solid performances that have them looking very strong. All of this without the likes of Landon Donovan on the pitch. Other role players are stepping up, and we are finally starting to see Jozy Altidore blossom beneath the crest.
Tuesday's match against Panama was not perfect, but it highlighted the strides they have made under Klinsmann.
The backline has been better in 2013. They have given up some late goals, but as a whole they have performed better. The clean sheet against Panama will continue to bolster their confidence for future matches.
What is most important, and long overdue, is the creativity on offense.
We are beginning to see brilliant interplay from all of the key performers. Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and others are putting together excellent passes that find holes in the opposing defense. These type of touches take more than skill. They take chemistry.
Mexico is frustrated from top to bottom while the USMNT is having fun. The results are clear as day on the pitch.
The USMNT still has a lot of work to do. The product is not perfect. But it is much improved, and only getting better.
It was a surprise that the U.S. won at Azteca last year—a depleted roster then too if you recall. Then the U.S. got the all-important draw during World Cup Qualifying. These are no longer anomalies. They are the product of the U.S.'s improvement as a soccer nation.
Are the USMNT the class of CONCACAF?
Honduras will venture to Salt Lake City on June 18 for the second meeting between the two. Thus far, Honduras is the lone blemish on the Americans' record. A late goal conceded cost the USMNT a point.
A draw will give the U.S. a three-point lead over Mexico, but more importantly they will begin to get a stranglehold on one of the important qualifying spots.
The United States is no longer playing second fiddle. It is now the class of CONCACAF.
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