THE United States of America took another giant step towards World Cup Qualification during the early hours of Wednesday morning . . . by recording a thoroughly deserved victory against Panama, in Seattle.
Goals from former Hull City forward Jozy Altidore and Eddie Johnson secured the Stars in Stripes all three points in their latest Fourth Round Qualifier, moving them to the top of the group ahead of both Costa Rica and Mexico in the process.
It was our very own Geoff Cameron who proved to be the star of the show however, despite the goal-scoring heroics of the two aforementioned Major League Soccer stars.
The 27-year-old has regularly commanded a starting role in defence under the guidance of boss Jurgen Klinsmann, but injuries and suspensions meant an unusual start in midfield for the former Houston Dynamo man, who went on to produce a man-of-the-match winning performance.
Playing a key role in Altidore’s neatly taken opener, the versatile star featured even more prominently in Johnson’s second, having set the winger through on goal with undoubtedly the pass of the match ten minutes into the second half.
The result gives the United States a two-point cushion at the top of the CONCACAF Fourth Round Qualification Group having now taken ten points from their opening five matches.
Victory against Honduras next week will all but secure the States a spot at the showpiece Finals in Brazil next summer, although Klinsmann and co will know that they won’t be having it all their own way having slipped to a 2-1 defeat in the reverse fixture earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Wilson Palacios starred for Honduras in their comfortable 2-0 success against Jamaica, playing the entire 90 minutes of the clash in Tegucigalpa.
His impressive performance sets up a potential showdown against a number of his Stoke City team-mates in Sandy, USA next Tuesday, who will be hoping to welcome Brek Shea and Maurice Edu back into contention following minor injuries.