- Panama Scores Two Goals in the First Half and Holds Off Late U.S. Surge
- U.S. Sits in Second Place in Group C and Needs a Victory in Final Match Against Guadeloupe to Ensure Advancement to the Quarterfinals
- U.S. Faces Guadeloupe on Tuesday, June 14 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., Live on Fox Soccer and TeleFutura at 8 p.m. CT
TAMPA, Fla. (June 11, 2011) - The U.S. Men's National Team lost its first ever match in CONCACAF Gold Cup group play this evening with a 2-1 loss to Panama at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The loss, which was also the first against Panama, puts the U.S. in second place with one match left to play in Group C action.
The U.S. takes on Guadeloupe on Tuesday, June 14 at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. Kickoff for the match is 8 p.m. CT, and the match can be seen live on Fox Soccer and TeleFutura. Fox Soccer will also have a 30-minute pre-game show beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET (tickets).
The U.S. can clinch a spot in the quarterfinals with a victory against Guadeloupe because no other team could finish in third place in Group A or B with six points. However, there are scenarios that could have the U.S. finish in any of the four positions in the group. The U.S. could also finish as high as second in the group with a draw or even a loss, depending on the match earlier in the evening between Panama and Canada.
There are also scenarios where the U.S. ties or loses against Guadeloupe and finishes third in the group, but still advances. Those scenarios are dependent on results in Group A and B matches involving the current third and fourth place teams.
With the loss, the U.S. unbeaten record in Gold Cup group play ended at 26 games and now stands at 24-1-2 all-time. The U.S.â€™s record against Panama now stands at 6-1-2 all-time.
â€œOn the night we werenâ€™t good enough. In the game we had the ball early and a chance to gain control,â€ said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley. â€œPanama did a good job defending, and as weâ€™re trying to open them and find spaces, we allow them the first goal. At that point their game plan becomes stronger. We still have the same approach, but the second goal makes it hard. In the second half we put a lot into it. We had some good chances, but nonetheless we werenâ€™t sharp enough in the areas that mattered.â€
Bradley selected the same starting line-up as the teamâ€™s opening match and early on it appeared the U.S. might again take the lead when Dempsey nearly finished in the eighth minute. Starting with a throw-in deep in Panamaâ€™s defensive half, Jozy Altidore challenged three defenders and the ball deflected away from goal towards Dempsey, who pounced on the loose ball and hit a fantastic one-time volley from 17 yards out that went barely wide left.
U.S. midfielder Jermaine Jones had an attempt from 35 yards out that went over the bar a few minutes later, but it was a foul called against him on the defensive end that eventually led to Panamaâ€™s first goal in the 19th minute. Panamaâ€™s free kick was blocked by the U.S. wall, but the ball deflected back to Gabriel Gomez who sent a perfectly placed pass over everyone to the far post where Eduardo Dasent had lost his marker. Crashing in towards goal, Dasent bent down to head the ball on goal from the right corner of the six-yard box, but Howard was up to the challenge with a low reaction save to his right. With the ball loose inside the box, Goodson tried to get a foot to it, but Tejada got there instead and was able to direct it over the goal line from five yards out.
After going down a goal, the U.S. peppered Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo for the next 10 minutes but werenâ€™t able to find the equalizer. After an attempt by Agudelo was easily saved by Penedo, Dempsey made things more difficult with a dipping shot from 25 yards out that forced the â€˜keeper into a diving save.
Landon Donovan, who set the U.S. and CONCACAF record for the most all-time Gold Cup appearances with 24, provided a number of dangerous crosses into the penalty area from free kicks and corners. In the 26th minute, Dempsey got his head to a Donovan free kick but couldnâ€™t get enough on it to trouble Penedo and two minutes later Goodsonâ€™s header off a corner went wide right.
Donovan had his own chance in the 30th minute when he ripped a volley from 22 yards out, but it was straight to Penedo.
While it was the U.S. pressing, Panama was able to increase their lead when defender Tim Ream was whistled for a foul on Blas Perez while trying to clear the ball near the edge of the penalty area. Referee Marco Rodriguez quickly pointed to the spot for a penalty kick and Gomez stepped up and drilled his shot high and right up the middle of the goal past a diving Howard.
Down two goals, the U.S. struggled to gain back any momentum and continued to be on the defensive early in the second half. In the 60th minute, Bradley made his first two substitutions in the game, brining Sacha Kljestan in for Jones and Alejandro Bedoya for Agudelo. While staying in a 4-4-2, Bedoya took over the left midfield position as Dempsey moved up front with Jozy Altidore.
In the 64th minute, it looked as if the U.S. was going to earn a penalty kick when Bedoya appeared to be brought down in the box by Penedo after chasing down a well-placed through ball by Donovan. Instead, Rodriguez gave a yellow card to Bedoya for diving.
Despite not getting the penalty, the U.S. continued to push forward and finally broke through three minutes later off a Donovan corner kick. Michael Bradley flicked the ball to the back post where Goodson laid out to finish from five yards into the open net. The goal was the third of Goodsonâ€™s career and his second in Gold Cup competition, with his first coming against Honduras in the 2009 semifinal.
Bradley made his last substitution in the 78th minute, bringing on forward Chris Wondolowski for Goodson and changing to a 3-4-3 in an attempt to find the equalizer.
Three minutes later, it looked as if Bradleyâ€™s tactical move would pay dividends when the U.S. put together the best passing sequence of the night. Starting deep in their defensive half, the U.S. quickly moved up the field, starting along the left sideline before switching it to the left where Donovan dribbled toward the penalty area. He slipped the ball into the box for Altidore who got around his defender and was able to put in a cross for a wide-open Wondolowski in front of goal, but the forwardâ€™s touch failed him and he skied the ball over the goal from four yards out.
The U.S. created their next great opportunity in the 90th minute with another impressive build-up. Donovan crossed the ball from the right flank to Kljestan at the top left corner of the penalty area and the midfielder quickly found Bedoya to his right. Bedoya touched the ball inside the box to Wondolowski and he touched it back for a streaking Bradley who hit a one-timer that screamed past the right post.
A minute later, Dempsey connected well on a header from seven yards out that looked destined for the upper right corner, but a sprawling save from Penedo kept it out.
The final chance came in the 92nd minute when a cross in by Steve Cherundolo deflected off Dempsey and fell to the feet of Donovan, but his one-time volley hit the outside of the side netting.
The U.S. is seeking their fifth Gold Cup title and first since 2007 when they defeated Mexico 2-1 in the final in Chicago. The winner of this yearâ€™s tournament earns a berth in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.
-- U.S. Men's National Team Game Report --
Match: USA vs. Panama
Date: June 11, 2011
Competition: 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup; Group C
Venue: Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Weather: 85 degrees, warm
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
PAN 2 0 2
PAN - Luis Tejada 19th minute
PAN - Gabriel GÃ³mez (penalty kick) 36
USA - Clarence Goodson (Michael Bradley) 68
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 21-Clarence Goodson (11-Chris Wondolowski, 78), 15-Tim Ream, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.); 8-Clint Dempsey, 4-Michael Bradley, 13-Jermaine Jones (16-Sacha Kljestan, 60), 10-Landon Donovan; 17-Jozy Altidore, 9-Juan Agudelo (22-Alejandro Bedoya, 61)
Subs not used: 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 7-Maurice Edu, 14-Eric Lichaj, 23-Marcus Hahnemann
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
PAN: 1-Jaime Penedo; 5-RomÃ¡n Torres, 14-Eduardo Dasent, 17-Luis HenrÃquez, 23-Felipe Baloy (capt.); 6-Gabriel GÃ³mez, 10-Nelson Barahona (8-Gabriel Torres, 70), 11-Armando Cooper (19-Alberto Quintero, 84), 21-Amilcar HenrÃquez; 7-Blas PÃ©rez, 18-Luis Tejada (22-Eybir Bonaga, 81)
Subs not used: 3-Harold Cummings, 12-Luis MejÃa, 15-Eric Davis, 16-Luis Renteria
Head Coach: Julio Dely Valdes
Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 20 / 12
Shots on goal: 4 / 5
Saves: 2 / 6
Corner Kicks: 7 / 2
Fouls: 18 / 17
Offside: 0 / 2
USA - Jermaine Jones (caution)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 18th minute
PAN - Armando Cooper (caution)Â Â Â Â Â 25
USA - Jozy Altidore (caution)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 25
USA - Clarence Goodson (caution)Â Â Â Â 56
USA - Alejandro Bedoya (caution)Â Â Â Â Â 64
PAN - Jaime Penedo (caution)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 90+2
USA - Carlos Bocanegra (caution)Â Â Â Â Â 90+3
Referee: Marco RodrÃguez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Jose Luis Camargo (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto MorÃn (MEX)
Fourth Official: Jeffrey Solis (CRC)
Budweiser Man of the Match: Clarence Goodson