Against Honduras the United States was at its classic best, but with a youthful infusion that enabled one of their greatest performance in their World Cup qualifying history. Bruce Arena turned to the greatest player he’s ever coach - Clint Dempsey - while nodding towards the future of American soccer - Christian Pulisic. Those two carried the day. A day they won 6-nil.
Dempsey scored in the 32nd, 49th and 54th minute. Pulisic scored a minute after the half. Sebastian Lletget and Michael Bradley also scored. Alejandro Bedoya and Jozy Altidore also assisted.
The result surges the US from 6th in the Hex up the 4th, with a bullet (that’s an old Billboard music phrase).
It will be hard to overstate the morale boost from crushing an opponent in the Hex like this. For all the doubts sown during the Jurgen Klinsmann era, this was a very American 4-4-2 that enabled its best talents, old and new, to succeed.
Both John Brooks and Lletget left early due to injury. But this was a team already suffering numerous injuries to half of their best players.
On a Friday night in San Jose American soccer stood up and declared “We’re back.” It was a day when even the fired coach could support his old hands.
6:0! Awesome result and fantastic to see @clint_dempsey being back healthy and scoring again! Way to go!— Jürgen Klinsmann (@J_Klinsmann) March 25, 2017
It’s OK to feel sorry for Panama. They have to face a US side that isn’t just firing on all cylinders, it’s ready to ascend to its previous highs.