United States vs Honduras

Bruce Arena LA Galaxy MLS 09122015

The Diez report also suggested that Honduras was looking for an alternative site for Thursday's training session due to the time limit the Catrachos would have faced if they trained at Avaya Stadium, where Friday's match is being played.

"The most important thing I learned from Bruce that still rings true today is his ability to not only prepare a team but how to prepare yourself", said goalkeeper Tim Howard, a two-time World Cup starter who made his national team debut in 2002 under Arena.

Local product Sebastian Lletget opened the scoring in the fifth minute, and veterans Michael Bradley (27th minute) and Dempsey (32nd minute) boosted the lead before halftime.

Bruce Arena just wanted three points in his return to the USA soccer team Friday night at Avaya Stadium. The U.S.is not mathematically in danger of missing the 2018 World Cup. yet. A first qualifying loss to Mexico on home soil since 1972 and a 4-0 drubbing in Costa Rica, where the team lost their nerve, spelled the end of the Jurgen Klinsmann era. Results matter- they can get you fired! - and since we're on an interim coach at the moment (oh wait, actually), Bruce Arena's just keeping the seat warm for the next guy.

The U.S. has had qualifying success against Honduras. His first qualifier in charge could not have gone better. The Netherlands, World Cup finalists in 2010 and semifinalists in 2014, missed out on last year's European Championships after a slow start in qualifying injected a dose of nervousness.

Honduras are determined opposition, though, and they will feel confident of exploiting a United States side that have been short on confidence lately. The Dutch are struggling again as they try to make it to Russian Federation, while Lionel Messi's Argentina and Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal are also in need of improvement.

The U.S. posted their first shut-out of the hexagonal after giving up 6 goals in their first two games. After a nightmare start to the Hex in November with losses to Mexico and Costa Rica, the USSF fired Jurgen Klinsmann and hired Bruce Arena for his second stint in charge of the national team with the sole goal of qualifying for the World Cup.

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With that in mind and wishing to keep a consistent standard for the USMNT, anything less than six points is a failure, especially given the touted depth. In that situation, they'd need to be as close to ideal as possible over the final six games, including June 11 trek to Mexico City.

On paper, the U.S.is better than most of its regional rivals and no one doubts it has the quality to mount a strong comeback and clinch a World Cup place for the eighth time in succession.

"It's a huge game for us", Howard said.

But the first half was just a warmup, with Pulisic making it 4-0 seconds into the second half by lining a right-footed shot from the center of the penalty area into the bottom right corner. Panama (1-1-1) saw a goal waved off on an errant offside call.

Clint Dempsey notched a hat trick while Christian Pulisic ran the show in the Americans' 6-0 victory.

Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the US national team for ESPN FC. He'll also be under significantly more pressure, with both games essentially must-wins. Entering the summer set of qualifiers, the MNT used a late goal from Brad Evans to earn a 1-0 win at Jamaica on June 7, and goals from Eddie Johnson and Jozy Altidore to take a 2-0 home win vs. Panama on June 13. Panama beat the USA on penalties in the third-place game.

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