What: The USA men's national soccer team hosts Panama in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Final Round game.
Pulisic has scored or created nine of the 12 USA goals during the final round of World Cup qualifying so clearly is the American player to watch against Panama, the nation lying directly ahead of the fourth-place Americans in the Hexagonal.
Arena, who coached the national team from 1998-2006 before returning in November, brought in a new temporary assistant this week Bob Bradley, who succeeded him as US coach.
"This is why we play and coach in these types of games", Arena countered. If the US loses on Friday and Honduras beats Costa Rica, then the USA would need a win against Trinidad and Tobago and a Honduras loss against Mexico on Tuesday to reach the playoff.
That run dates back to the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup final, in which the US won in a penalty shootout over a Panama team that included current players Jaime Penedo, Felipe Baloy and Luis Tejada, who, along with Blas Perez, Gabriel Gomez and Roman Torres, have formed what is considered the best collection of talent in Panama's modest soccer history. The team that finishes in fourth place will face either Syria or Australia in a playoff, with the victor also qualifying.
"It's an important game, but we've been here before", Altidore said.
"Right now we feel good, knowing a tough challenge on Friday is just another step to get to the World Cup", said Arroyo. We just have to be hopeful, and we'll conquer the game.
The road to, or at least toward Russian Federation, began for the U.S.in late 2015.
'It's a big occasion, ' Arena said.
'We need three points bad, ' star teenage midfielder Christian Pulisic said ahead of Friday's qualifier against Panama. "We need to be aware of direct balls forward and the runs off them". In March, they outshot the US 19-7, and had 54 percent possession.
Defensively, the USA will look to improve on a poor September that saw some lackluster defending punished by Costa Rica and Honduras. It's been an ugly qualifying process for USMNT defenders (and goalies), and the spotlight will be firmly focused on the back come kickoff on Friday.
"It's certainly a big game". "We definitely need to get an early goal. You get to the end and our margin for error is virtually gone".
US notes: The Americans have an 11-1-6 all-time record against Panama, including 5-0-2 in World Cup qualifiers, but the past four meetings have ended in 1-1 draws. And Panama might be the trickiest of opponents to face from the CONCACAF region when you're desperately chasing a win.
Bradley pointed out that the United States of America used three in the back a lot differently against Mexico - when it was set up to contain El Tri and counter - than at Honduras - where the US needed a tying goal.
The policy was adopted in response to US women's national team midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who in a bid to show solidarity with then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt for the anthem prior to a match against Thailand, and did the same several times with her club, the Seattle Reign. In fact, at times, we're not even good (just think back to our humiliating losses to Iran in 1998, the Czech Republic in 2006, or more recently, the 2-0 defeat a year ago to Guatemala, a team ranked 95th in the world).
The U.S. has faced Panama twice this year, both times settling for 1-1 draws.
"It is to be expected", Pulisic said.
Every major tournament lately England easily qualifies and yet they disappoint when they're not playing teams like Malta, Lithuania and Scotland. In a cycle where the results have often come from grinding, the next two games they will have to dominate.
Panama is missing a few players due to injury.
These are tense times and a need to step up is overdue. There's no shop window like the World Cup. "I don't think I need to lecture our players on the significance of the game; I think they understand that".