United States of America vs Honduras FIFA 2018 Qualifier Match Preview

United States Sebastian Lletget right celebrates his goal as teammate Darlington Nagbe left follows during the first half of a World Cup qualifying soccer match against Honduras on Friday

Clint Dempsey, simply put, holds the key to the United States' 2018 World Cup bid.

As recently as two years ago, Christian Pulisic could have walked around a US national team practice and relaxed in nearly complete anonymity.

Sebastian Lletget and Michael Bradley had scored earlier for Bruce Arena's men, who climb into fourth with their much-needed win.

And the goals poured in. With the back four and Bradley providing adequate cover, the attackers were free to make things happen. Additionally, the promising Kellyn Acosta is itching for to make his second appearance for the American team. It was a sight to behold. The Americans will be able to jump ahead to one of the three guaranteed positions with a win on Tuesday and after Friday's big win, there will be confidence abound for Arena's group.

Showing poise beyond his years, Pulisic agreed with Arena that he has only begun to scratch the surface of his talents, and the combination of big club games with worldwide appearances will only increase his effectiveness.

Before losing to Mexico, the usa had been unbeaten in their last 30 home World Cup qualifiers. His deflected shot was tapped in by Lletget in the fifth minute.

Surprise starter Sebastian Lletget got his first global goal in the fifth minute after 18-year-old Christian Pulisic's shot deflected off the goalkeeper. My Christian Pulisic Jersey will be here on Monday. Pulisic did his part, scoring a fine goal, recording two assists and helping in two other goals. Thursday night, the Americans were aggressive from the opening whistle, looked hungry, organized and confident.

Deuce wasn't supposed to be on this roster. Brad Guzan, who might have started in goal, skipped the match because of the birth of his daughter. He scored three goals and became the oldest player in CONCACAF to score a hat-trick since 1961. I hate using these terms, but they kind of play with two number 10s underneath a number nine, and he's been playing there (at 10) recently. Back in 2002, Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley were both 20 when they helped the US reach the World Cup quarterfinals in the best American result since the first tournament in 1930. Clearly feeling it, the Red White and Blue scored five minutes later after Clint Dempsey outmuscled his defender and lashed a volley into the roof of the net.

Arena may have been seen as an emergency fix to get the USMNT back on track.

Despite that track record, the USA knows all too well the challenges road qualifiers can present. "He played late Sunday afternoon in Seattle (for the Sounders), and he comes in late Sunday night here, and Monday he does a little bit of training and he feels good". This was evidenced by his selection of Nagbe and Lletget in the midfield alongside no-brainers such as Bradley and Pulisic. "He's got exceptional skill, vision, he's pretty smooth". As a result of recent injuries to DeAndre Yedlin, Bobby Wood, and Fabian Johnson, some relatively inexperienced players on the USMNT will need to step up and deliver strong performances.

Honduras, on the other hand, enter Friday's encounter in fourth place in the Hexagonal.

United States forward Clint Dempsey (8) celebrates after scoring a hat trick against the Honduras during the second half of the Men's World Cup Soccer Qualifier at Avaya Stadium. The only thing wrong was that all these attractive passes and intricate interplay and magnificent goals happened in the dead of night on a Friday.



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