July 9, 2013
The USMNT began this set of qualifying matches in 2nd place in the group with 4 points. They only trailed group leader Panama by a single point.
The U.S. continued their road to Brazil on June 7th with a hard-fought victory over Jamaica in Kingston.
Jozy Altidore put the U.S. on the board first with a well-timed header in the 30th minute off a cross from Graham Zusi.
The one goal lead lasted until the 89th minute, when Jermaine Beckford scored on a free kick from 6 yards away.
However, the U.S. was unfazed and looked to rebound right away. In the 92nd minute, U.S. defender Brad Evans found himself all alone on the back post and buried it past the diving Jamaican goalkeeper.
This frantic finish gave the U.S. 7 points as they continued to climb up the group standings.
Just 4 days later, the Americans took on Panama in Seattle. It was more of the same as Altidore again finished on a beautiful cross from Fabian Johnson in the 36th minute.
The U.S. got some insurance on a great goal by midfielder Eddie Johnson in the 53rd minute. Panama had no answer all night and was only able to place 2 shots on goal as U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard recorded a fairly simple shutout.
This win propelled the U.S. to the top of the group. With 10 points, they led both Costa Rica and Mexico by two points.
A week later in Utah, the Americans battled Honduras. The teams played to a scoreless tie at halftime. The U.S. broke the tie in the 73rd minute when Altidore took a pass from Fabian Johnson and buried into the lower corner of the net.
Honduras, much like Panama only was able to get one shot on goal, while only attempting 6 the whole contest.
Tim Howard posted his 2nd straight shutout and the American remained at the top of the group with 13 points, 2 in front of Costa Rica.
The U.S. men’s national team will compete in the Gold Cup from July 7th-July 28th. The U.S. has won the Gold Cup 4 times.
2014 FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFYING continues September 6th, 2013 when the Americans battle Costa Rica at Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica.