Crowd goes wild for USA, Seattle star at World Cup qualifier

Sounders’ Eddie Johnson scores in 2nd half as Americans take sole possession of first in World Cup qualifying group

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.comJune 12, 2013 

SEATTLE — An announced crowd of 40,847 at CenturyLink Field got to cheer its national team and its local team Tuesday night, as Seattle Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson scored in the United States’ 2-0 World Cup qualifying win against Panama.

Johnson’s second-half goal combined with Jozy Altidore’s first-half goal to move the USA to 3-1-1, alone at the top in the six-nation, 10-game competition in which at least the top three finishers continue on to the 2014 World Cup.

The United States moved ahead in the 36th minute when midfielder Fabian Johnson feathered a pass to the far post, where Altidore ran on and knocked it home.

Johnson added the insurance goal in the 53rd minute when he settled a long, high pass from Geoff Cameron and beat Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo from about 15 yards.

He was subbed out in the 87th minute and received a loud cheer from the crowd.

Sounders midfielder/defender Brad Evans went 90 minutes at right back. Evans had scored in the United States’ 2-1 win over Jamaica last week.

With Johnson’s goal Tuesday, four of the USA’s last 11 goals have come from Sounders players.

The crowd was the seventh-largest ever drawn for a qualifying match on U.S. soil. It also was the second-largest ever drawn for the national team in Seattle, behind the 43,651 that watched the USA draw with Russia in the Kingdome in 1994.

The USA continues World Cup qualifying Tuesday when it meets Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer @donruiztnt

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