Christian Pulisic scored twice as the United States defeated Trinidad & Tobago 2-0 in a crucial CONCACAF World Cup qualifier in Commerce City, Colorado on Thursday.
The in-form Borussia Dortmund midfielder scored in the 52nd and 62nd minutes to set the stage for the Americans' upcoming match at rival Mexico, who top the group table, on Sunday.
The win gives Bruce Arena's side, who came into the night in fourth place, seven points from five matches, while last-placed T&T sit on three points.
The U.S. next travels to face Mexico, who maintained its stranglehold on the top of the Hexagonal qualifying table with an easy 3-0 win against Honduras in Mexico City.
After a flurry of first-half chances went begging, Mexico finally broke through from a set piece in the 34th minute when Oswaldo Alanis' glancing header caught goalkeeper Donis Escober flat-footed.
Despite dominating possession and shots on goal, Mexico only took a 1-0 lead into the dressing room.
Jesus Corona spurned two golden opportunities early in the second half, beating his defender to get in on goal only to lose it to Escober with his final touch, then passing up a shot minutes later to instead cross in front of an empty net.
Mexico's second came in the 63rd minute when Hector Herrera played a perfect ball to Hirving Lozano over the top of the Honduras defense, which the Pachuca winger then collected and dribbled around Escober to finish into an empty net.
With the floodgates open, Raul Jimenez was next to get on the scoresheet. The 26-year-old forward was played in on goal with a lovely through ball that he chipped over Escober to make it 3-0.
The win keeps Mexico atop the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying table on 13 points ahead of the match against the United States on June 11 in Estadio Azteca.
Panama slipped behind the U.S. and into fourth in the standings after being held to a 0-0 draw against 10-man Costa Rica.
The Ticos are still in second place, but are ahead of the Americans by just a single point on eight following the goalless draw with Panama.