A crowd of 40,847 at CenturyLink Field got to cheer both their national team and their local team Tuesday, as Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson scored in the United States’ 2-0 World Cup qualifying match against Panama.
Johnson’s second-half goal combined with Jozy Altidore’s first-half goal to move the USA to 3-1-1 and alone at the top in the 10-game competition in which at least the top three finishers continue on to the 2014 World Cup.
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 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 overwhelmingly pro-USA 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 USA continues World Cup qualifying Tuesday when they meet Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.