What Happens If The USMNT Wins, Loses Or Ties Friday Night

Arena, meanwhile, needs look no further than former USA player and current Fox Sports analyst Alexi Lalas for his team talk. By then Pulisic had left, replaced by Bruce Arena to spare his star any more abuse at the hands (or, really, at the feet) of the Panamanian players, who took to kicking the American star since they could not catch him.

"This is an important game, no question about it".

Arena needed his side to heap early pressure onto a Panama side who have been notoriously hard to break down, conceding just five goals in their prior matches of the six-nation final round of qualifying. Finishing fourth would mean they have more work to do.

United States of America coach Bruce Arena says his team must show no fear, urging them to banish all doubts over their participation at 2018 World Cup Russia by defeating Panama in Orlando tomorrow night.

Each team will play 10 games - meaning they each have two left.

One of the strong points of this Costa Rica side is the understanding between the players.

While the fourth-place playoff remains an option, the squad is focused on its pivotal matchup with Panama. A win at Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday will send the USMNT to Russian Federation for the 2018 World Cup; a draw would also likely be enough.

Heading into the final matches, the USA sits in fourth with nine points, one behind Panama and tied with Honduras, but ahead of the latter on goal differential. A draw would change nothing between the two.

Honduras, whose match in Costa Rica was put back a day because of adverse weather, also remain in the mix.

The 19-year-old new face of the American national team had too many indifferent stretches during the qualifying games last month.

Whatever the US opts to do, players know they will be in for some kind of fight on the road.

Bruce Arena's side are winless in their last three qualifiers, including a defeat at home to second-placed Costa Rica, the first time in which the Americans have lost two home games in the same World Cup cycle since 1957.

The lopsided result provided a cozy cushion in the first tiebreaker (goal differential), leaving both Panama and Honduras (2-3-3) to win their final matches by inconceivable margins. "And come through in a huge way", added Bradley of a USA team that gave it most complete effort of the qualifying tournament, putting eight shots on goal while giving up just two. This was Panama, after all, in Florida on a hot night in October. Arena was likely swayed by Johnson's scant number of appearances for Borussia Mönchengladbach, although Johnson did log 90 minutes in a league win this weekend.

With a win, the USMNT would all but punch their ticket to Russian Federation next year - and playing against an inferior opponent on American soil in Orlando, the Americans should win.

Kellyn Acosta, Paul Arriola, DaMarcus Beasley, Alejandro Bedoya, Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, Cameron, Clint Dempsey and Yedlin all would be suspended for the Trinidad match if they get a yellow card against Panama.

Getting three points on Friday would be monumental.

Panama have proved to be a good defensive unit, and their aim will be a clean sheet on Friday.

Mathematically speaking, the USMNT still has a great chance to make it to Russian Federation (83 percent, per ESPN's SPI). A win against Panama brings it up to 93 percent, a draw brings it down to 63 percent, and a loss gives them a 44percent chance.

While there are a few MLS players on Panama's roster, the United States does have the better players that should be able to win this game.

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