The goal was scored in Orlando, but it was created in Nashville.
The US men’s national team took a 1-0 lead Sunday over Panama in their crucial World Cup qualifier at Orlando City SC's Exploria Stadium, with attacking star Christian Pulisic burying a penalty kick after a Video Review decision.
That opportunity arose from Nashville SC center back Walker Zimmerman getting fouled in the 18-yard box by MLS teammate Anibal Godoy, a central midfielder for Los Canaleros. The PK wasn’t awarded at first, but then the officiating crew realized the illegal nature of Godoy’s obstruction on Zimmerman.
Zimmerman also held the ball to encourage a closer look on Video Review, delaying play restarting to grant the opportunity at all.
PENALTY: Anibal Godoy, Panama - 13th minute
With a Qatar 2022 World Cup spot on the line, it was a remarkably savvy move from the back-to-back MLS Defender of the Year.
And while it might introduce a unique element to the Nashville training ground and locker room, odds are Zimmerman won’t care, knowing what’s at stake as Concacaf Octagonal play winds down.
It also started a rough night for Godoy, who was called for a handball just before halftime as Pulisic converted his second PK for a 4-0 lead going into the break.
The USMNT eventually won 5-1, putting them on the brink of next fall's tournament.