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USA in Must-Win Spot in World Cup Qualifier Versus Panama

Christian Pulisic United States Soccer World Cup

If ever there was a must-win game for the United States Men’s National Team, it is Friday night in Orlando against Panama.

Bruce Arena’s men currently sit fourth in the CONCACAF hexagonal with nine points through eight matches and must win tonight and then next week against Trinidad and Tobago to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Failure to do so could see the USA miss its first World Cup since 1986.

The pressure is on, indeed.

Feel confident? If you do, you can currently get the USA at -210 in moneyline markets, while backing them to cover the -1 goal spread is priced at -110 at online shop Bovada. As far as the total is concerned, it’s on the board at 2 with the OVER priced at -150 and the UNDER at +115.

Panama has a lot at stake as well, however. Los Canaleros own the third spot heading into tonight’s massive fixture with 10 points and a three-point haul would punch their ticket to Russia. That said, a win in the U.S. would be the first ever for the country.

Panama is a stingy defensive side that has conceded just five goals while only netting seven of their own through eight matches. The United States are joint top scorers in the hex with 12 goals, but have conceded a dreadful 11.

In the first meeting in Panama, the teams drew 1-1 with Clint Dempsey striking first before Gabriel Gomez pulled his side even at 44 minutes.

Home turn hasn’t necessarily been friendly for the Stars and Stripes either, though. In four matches, they’ve won two and lost two, but have managed to bag nine goals.

Make no mistake, it’s going to be a thrilling affair in Florida with nothing less than three points acceptable for Arena and the Yanks.