MLSers past and present lead Honduras, Panama to decisive qualifying wins

Roman Torres - Panama - celebrating his World Cup-clinching goal

MLS standouts past and present grabbed the CONCACAF spotlight as the region's World Cup qualifying process concluded with the final round of Hexagonal matches on Tuesday night. 

Unfortunately for the United States' hopes for Russia 2018, none of them were wearing US national team colors. 

The USMNT's shock 2-1 loss at Trinidad & Tobago opened the door for Panama and Honduras to leapfrog the US in the Hex standings, and both duly seized that opportunity, spearheaded by the Seattle Sounders' Roman Torres and the Houston Dynamo's Romell Quioto

A center back by trade, Torres (pictured above) ranged forward to slam home the game-winning goal in the 88th minute of Panama's 2-1 comeback win over Costa Rica in Panama to earn Los Canaleros third place in the Hex, the region's final automatic qualification spot, and thus the first World Cup berth in their nation's history.

Their comeback began with venerable striker Blas Perez, a standout for FC Dallas and the Vancouver Whitecaps during his stint in MLS, scored a goal that replays showed had not crossed the goal line, but was given nonetheless. 

In San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Quioto scored the game-winner for Los Catrachos, who also came from behind to defeat already-qualified Mexico, who were paced by a goal from LAFC signing Carlos Vela.

His Dynamo teammate Alberth Elis opened the scoring for Honduras, who finish in fourth place and will face off with Australia, Asia's runners-up, in a two-legged intercontinental playoff later this year.