Viewing parties will be held at six locations in the Southland for Friday’s telecasts of the U.S.-Panama World Cup qualifier.
The 4 p.m. game from Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, Florida will be televised in English by ESPN2 and in Spanish by Univision and Univision Deportes Network.
The viewing parties will be held at:
— The Auld Dubliner, 2497 Park Ave., Tustin;
— Buffalo Wild Wings, 2548 E. Workman Ave., West Covina;
— Q’s Billiard Club, 11835 Wilshire Blvd., Brentwood;
— 1739 Public House, 1739 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz;
— Shannon’s On Pine, 209 Pine Ave., Long Beach; and
— Underground Pub & Grill, 1334 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach.
The parties are organized by various chapters of American Outlaws, a nationwide support group for the U.S. men’s and women’s national soccer teams.
The U.S. enters the game needing victories in both of its final two games of qualifying to assure itself of berth in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
A tie or loss against Panama could mean the U.S. would need help Tuesday when qualifying concludes.
The U.S. is fourth in the final round of qualifying in the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football with a 2-3-3 record for nine points, while Panama is third with 10 points on a 2-2-4 record.
The top three teams are assured of a World Cup berth, while the fourth-place team will play a home-and-home series against the fifth-place finisher in the Asian Football Confederation for another berth.
Mexico has assured itself of a berth while Costa Rica is virtually assured of a berth, setting up a three-team race among the U.S., Panama and Honduras for third and fourth.
The U.S. is 28th on the rankings compiled by FIFA, soccer’s international governing body. Panama is ranked 60th.
The U.S. is 11-1-6 against Panama, which is known as Los Canaleros (“The Canal Men”). The U.S. is 5-0-2 against Panama in World Cup qualifiers, including a 3-0-0 record in matches played in the U.S.
The 25-player U.S. roster includes four players who played on the high school or club level in Orange County — Hamburg SV forward Bobby Wood (Irvine Strikers), Santos Laguna defender Jorge Villafana (Anaheim High), Club Tijuana defender Michael Orozco (Irvine Strikers) and Sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber (Northview High School, Irvine Strikers.)
The U.S. team consists of 17 players who play in Major League Soccer, three each in England and Mexico and two in Germany.
Panama’s 22-player roster consists of six players who play in Major League Soccer, three each in Panama and Peru, two each in Colombia and Guatemala and one each in Honduras, Mexico, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland and Uruguay.
–City News Service