USMNT in Orlando
The United States Mens National Soccer team is back in Orlando and prepping for their final 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches on Friday, Oct. 6 against Panama in Orlando, Fla. (7 p.m. ET; ESPN2, Univison, UDN) and Tuesday, Oct. 10 at Trinidad & Tobago (8 p.m. ET; beIN SPORTS, Universo).
The team practiced today in what they hope will be a winning effort moving forward. Winning its Semifinal Round group gave the USA one of six spots in CONCACAF’s brutal final qualifying round known as the Hex. Similar to the previous round, the six teams play a home-and-away round robin schedule against each other, with the top three teams booking a ticket to Russia while the fourth place team moves to the Intercontinental Playoff with the fifth-place team from Asia.
After nearly two years and 14 matches, the Hex is coming to a close. The U.S. has fought back from a rough start and sits fourth in the table with two games to go. With just a point separating third from fifth place in the group, the current standings reflect the tightest the Hex table has been between those three positions since this qualifying format was adopted for the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
Here is US midfielder Benny Feilhaber discussing his call up to the team and thoughts on playing a very good competitor in Panama at Orlando City Stadium.