Major Link Soccer: USMNT Stun Panama, Rescue Mexico

Evans, always photobombing - Kyle Rivas

Down a goal in stoppage, goals from Graham Zusi and Aron Johannsson send the states to the top of the table.

USMNT score twice after the 90'

Coaches will tell you that every game matters. They aren't wrong, but in reality it's coach speak for "always play as hard as you can, regardless of the competition". Sometimes, games matter more or less than others. For the US Men's National Team, Tuesday's fixture with Panama was a "take it or leave it" type of match. Win, and they go to Brazil. Lose, and they still go to Brazil. The only difference was really a choice for the United States participants; would they rather chance seeing Mexico or Panama in the World Cup? For most of 90 minutes, it looked like Panama was the choice. The Canal Country was up 2-1 with only the referee's discretion standing between them and a trip to the ticket-punching counter.

Then, Graham Zusi struck. And suddenly, all of those dreams that had surely been dancing in the heads of the Panama players evaporated. There was still time left on the clock, but then the dagger came from Iceland-American Aron Johannsson near the top of the box, and Panama could do nothing but put their hands on their heads and wonder what they could have done differently.

The most joy to come from the match was almost certainly in Mexico's camp, as they retain a chance to play in the World Cup pending a play-in game with New Zealand. Mexico had lost minutes earlier in Costa Rica, and were surely gnawing on their fingers as Panama entered the closing minutes with a lead. All Mexico needed was for the US to tie, and they got that with interest.

Before the match, USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann talked about his lineups, saying that there are no guarantees on who makes the World Cup roster and prioritizing Clint Dempsey's health over appearances for his country.

Sounders

As well-researched and interesting as last night's Bloomberg piece on the franchise was, this story about Wexley School for Girls and their contribution to the Sounders phenomenon was the opposite of all that. Come learn about how the Sounders moved into Centurylink Field this year, and how Wexley is now among three or four entities claiming to have started the March to the Match.

Yesterday Randy pointed out that Seattle doesn't have a street named after a Sounder. A "Take 2" from the desk of Bellevue resident Gary Gray makes the argument that perhaps former Sounders Manager Harry Redknapp would be deserving of the honor.

MLS

DC United ownership has been flashing the cash as of late. First they (mostly) secure a new arena for the District of Columbia, and now they're getting into the Serie A game with a purchase of the Italian club Inter Milan.

Marco Di Vaio has been a strange case this season. On certain days he is hard to tell apart from the folks who escaped the nursing home. On others he is the most talented striker in MLS. Montreal will hope he continues to fight off the Alzheimers for another year after extending him through next season. But the Grim Reaper must have one, and so he will take the career of Ramiro Corrales, the last active player to participate in MLS back in the opening year of 1996.

For the compulsive gambler in your life, Gotsoccer will soon be doing a series of rankings for youth teams as young as U-10. So if your niece's Select match wasn't high-stakes enough for him/you, Gotsoccer has you covered.

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