Currently riding the wave of a three-game win streak after a tough loss to Belgium, a side who many pick to be the surprise of 2014, the U.S. men’s national soccer team is exhibiting some of their best form under the direction of head coach Jürgen Klinsmann. With five games played, the U.S. stands atop the CONCACAF Hexagonal fourth-round qualifying with 10 points and a 3-1-1 (W-L-D) record, two points clear of Mexico (1-1-5) and Costa Rica (2-1-2).
Starting with a wild 4-3 win over Germany, the Yanks then returned to World Cup qualifying, traveling to Jamaica’s National Stadium (also known as “The Office”) and registering their first-ever World Cup qualifier win there, a 2-1 thriller over the struggling Reggae Boyz. Following that, just four days and a long trip from Kingston to Seattle later, Klinsi’s squad registered a solid 2-0 win over Panama, handing the Canaleros their first outright loss of the tournament.
Forward Jozy Altidore continued his hot form (31 goals in all competitions) from his season at Dutch side AZ Alkmaar, scoring in both games, while additional tallies were logged by defender Brad Evans, who shocked Jamaica with his late, stoppage time game winner; and Eddie Johnson, who delighted his home-club (Sounders FC) crowd in Seattle with his score.
The Yanks have one more World Cup qualifier game remaining in this window, before embarking on CONCACAF Gold Cup play in July. On June 18, always-tough Honduras arrives for another home match, to be at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah — the home of Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake. The Catrachos are currently in fourth place in the Hex, with seven points on a 2-2-1 record.
Later this fall, the national team will finish its second loop through the Hex, with home games at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio in September against regional archrival Mexico; and then hosting Jamaica at Sporting Park (home to MLS’s Sporting Kansas City) in Kansas City, Kan. in October, sandwiched in between trips to Costa Rica and Panama.
Image Credit: Joe Klamar/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images