The United States and Panama have kicked off their World Cup qualifier, and they'll both be encouraged by the 0-0 draw between Costa Rica and Mexico, even if they don't get a chance to be encouraged by it until after this match. that result gives both of these teams an excellent chance of qualifying for the World Cup, regardless of the result of this match.
With Graham Zusi and Jermaine Jones out, the roles of some other players have changed. Michael Bradley has come back deep to get the ball while playing next to Jones, giving his partner a chance to get forward while he holds his position. With Geoff Cameron in the game, Bradley's a bit more advanced and Cameroon is playing as a true defensive midfielder early.
Eddie Johnson's inclusion has changed things early as well. He's a pacy player who's excellent on the counter, while Zusi is a much more technically adept player. The U.S. is playing fast down that flank early, running Johnson onto the ball, as opposed to playing it into Zusi's feet and letting him create.