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2 PANAMA

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Because ...

SAINT ZUSI

A QUICK history lesson. It's Oct. 15, 2013, the last day of the CONCACAF hexagonal qualifiers before the World Cup in Brazil. Graham Zusi, an American winger of average skill and far-far-above-average hair, buries a stoppage-time equalizer away at Panama, sending the Panamanians crumpling to the turf in tears; Zusi's goal means they're out. Across Mexico, meanwhile, El Tri supporters erupt in euphoria and canonize Zusi; thanks to his strike, they're in. (Americans shrug; already qualified.) So, you could say we owe Panama some love. Oh, and there's this: The U.S. blitzed Panama 4--0 in the teams' last hex meeting before the Russia World Cup. If Los Canaleros (led by Sounders centerback Román Torres) win it all, then by the transitive property the U.S. has championship cred too. Kinda. In any case: Go, red-white-and-blue!