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MNT Falls To Panama on PKs in 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup Third Place Match

CHESTER, Pennsylvania (July 22, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team was defeated by Panama 3-2 in penalty kicks in the Gold Cup Third Place match Saturday afternoon at PPL Park. 

Trailing 1-0 at the tail end of the second half, substitutes DeAndre Yedlin and Clint Dempsey combined to level the match, 1-1. 

As the clock continued ticked away, both sides attacked and generated chances, but none found the back of the net, and after an additional 30 minutes of extra time, the match was off to penalty kicks. 

In PKs, the U.S. converted its two opening penalties, but then saw a miss and two consecutive saves by Panama ‘keeper Luis Mejia, which made Harold Cummings’s conversion in the fourth round the winning kick. With the result, the MNT finished fourth at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. 

Later this year, the MNT will face the winner of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup – either Jamaica or Mexico – in a one-game playoff for a spot in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The playoff pits the winner of the 2013 and 2015 Gold Cups against one another for a spot at the tournament in Russia the year before the World Cup. The USA last featured at the Confederations Cup in 2009 when the team beat then No. 1-ranked Spain and advanced to the Final against Brazil. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
PAN– Roberto Nurse (Ronaldo Blackburn) 55th minute: Roberto Blackburn slipped a pass up to Nurse, who attacked U.S. defenders Tim Ream and John Brooks and pushed into the box. Nurse sidestepped Brooks, freeing himself to curl a shot around Guzan and into the net for the game’s first goal. USA 0, PAN 1 (SEE GOAL) 

USA – Clint Dempsey (DeAndre Yedlin) 70th minute:  Michael Bradley looped a long ball to Yedlin, who chested it down in the box, took a turn and sent it across to Dempsey on a late run. The defense and goalkeeper had collapsed on Yedlin, which freed Dempsey to bury his seventh goal of the tournament to level the game. USA 1, PAN 1 (SEE GOAL)

Penalty Shootout:
USA-Aron Johansson: Johansson sent the first shot right down Broadway and in for a score. USA 1, PAN 0
PAN-Roman Torres: Torres responded with a well struck goal into the top right corner. USA 1, PAN 1
USA-Clint Dempsey: In what was signature style for the month of July, having already chipped two goalies on PK’s, Dempsey did so again to put the U.S. ahead. USA 2, PAN 1
PAN-Abdiel Arroyo: Arroyo stutter stepped and blasted a shot low and hard by a diving Guzan. USA 2, PAN 2
USA-Fabian Johnson: Johnson came up third for the U.S. and sent his kick over the crossbar. USA 2, PAN 2
PAN-Armando Cooper: Cooper rolled his attempt and Guzan dove to his left and corralled it to keep the shootout level. USA, 2, PAN 2
USA-Michael Bradley: The U.S. captain sent a shot hard to the left, but Mejia guessed right for Panama and deflected it away. USA 2, PAN 2
PAN-Harold Cummings: Cummings sent a shot to the left, Guzan dove and got a hand to it, but the ball powered into the net. USA 2, PAN 3
USA-DaMarcus Beasley: Beasley blasted a shot toward the right side of the goal, but Mejia was headed that way, and he made a diving save to end the game in Panama’s favor. USA 2, PAN 3 (FINAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Time Ream 36th minute: Armando Cooper intercepted an errant MNT pass and countered with pace down the center of the field. He attacked the box, beat a defender and then slid a shot past Brad Guzan towards the back post. Fortunately for the U.S., Tim Ream was there, booting the ball off the goal line and out of bounds for a corner kick.

USA – Fabian Johnson 54 minute: From a corner kick, Panama sent a ball in that forward Ronaldo Blackburn headed sharply at goal. Fabian Johnson was there to clear it off the goal line to safety.

USA – Brad Guzan (save) 81st minute: A Panama cross from the outside on the left found the head of Ronaldo Blackburn, who directed it firmly toward the back post. Brad Guzan fully extended and just reached the ball with his left hand, pawing it down before taking another dive to smother it.

USA– Brad Guzan (save) 108st minute: Roberto Nurse was freed on the left side for an attack at goal. As he wound up and fired off a shot, DeAndre Yedlin slid in and deflected it. The Ball continued to spin at goal, but Guzan was ready for it and knocked it away on a dive.

Coming up Next: #USAvPER
Location: RFK Stadium – Washington D.C.
Date: September 4, 2015
Opponent: Peru 

Milestone Watch:

  • Clint Dempsey’s game-tying goal was his seventh of the competition, which is the most-ever by an American player in a single Gold Cup tournament.
  • Dempsey’s 12 Gold Cup goals tie him with Mexico’s Luis Roberto Alves for second on the tournament’s all-time list behind only Landon Donovan (18).

Additional Notes:

  • U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann made six changes to his starting XI from the team that began Wednesday’s Semifinal against Jamaica: Timmy Chandler, Omar Gonzalez, Tim Ream, Graham Zusi, Joe Corona and Chris Wondolowski all came into the lineup.
  • Corona earned his first start of the tournament. 
  • Brad Guzan and Michael Bradley were the only two U.S. players to start all six matches of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
  • The match was the U.S. MNT’s third in a Gold Cup third place match and marked the first time the team had not won the game (2-1-0)
  • The U.S. MNT record against Panama dropped to 12-1-4 (5-1-3 in Gold Cup games)
  • The MNT is now 3-2-3 all-time in matches in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

USA Cruises Past Cuba with 6-0 Win in Gold Cup Quarterfinals

BALTIMORE (July 18, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National team dominated its Quarterfinal match-up against Cuba at M&T Stadium, winning 6-0 to punch its ticket to the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinals.

Clint Dempsey tallied a hat trick, Aron Johannsson, Gyasi Zardes and Omar Gonzalez also scored for the MNT, with Gonzalez’s goal the first of his international career. Goalkeeper Brad Guzan and the U.S. MNT backline earned their second shutout of the tournament. 

The MNT improved its Gold Cup Quarterfinal record to 8-0-1 and extended its record to 6-0-0 against Cuba in the regional tournament. The six-goal win was the largest margin of victory for the USA in the history of the tournament. 

The USA continues its title defense on Wednesday, July 22, in the tournament Semifinal at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia, against Jamaica. The Semifinal will be broadcast live FOX Sports 1 and UniMas. Fans can also follow the action on Twitter @ussoccer and @ussoccer_esp. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Clint Dempsey (Timmy Chandler) 4th minute: The U.S. struck first in the game’s early minutes. From the right side, Timmy Chandler curled a left-footed ball in to Clint Dempsey, who out-jumped his defender and headed it over Cuba’s diving ‘keeper for the early advantage. USA 1, CUB 0 (SEE GOAL) 

USA – Gyasi Zardes (Fabian Johnson) 15th minute:  Just over 10 minutes after collecting the match’s opening score, the U.S. doubled up with Zardes’ first-career Gold Cup goal. Fabian Johnson set it up with a spinning cross from the left that found Zardes on the right. Zardes hit a side-footed volley out of the air and into the goal. USA 2, CUB 0 (SEE GOAL) 

USA – Aron Johannsson (Michael Bradley) 32nd minute:  Bradley hit a perfect lofted ball into the Cuba half from behind the midfield line. Johannsson sprinted to get to it, and Cuba goalkeeper Diosvelis Guerra was caught in a position where he couldn’t converge and tried to break down and defend. Johannsson sensing the hesitation, gracefully chipped the ball into the goal for the USA”s third tally of the half. USA 3, CUB 0 (SEE GOAL) 

USA – Omar Gonzalez (Aron Johannsson) 45th minute:  From a corner kick Michael Bradley sent the ball to the far post. As it bent toward the endline Johannsson rose and headed it back through the box. Omar Gonzalez reached it first and finished for his first international goal and the USA’s fourth of the game.  USA 4, CUB 0 (SEE GOAL) 

USA – Clint Dempsey (penalty) 64th minute: Brad Evans played a beautiful ball into Aron Johannsson, who was dragged down in the box by Cuban defender Angel Horta to set up a penalty kick. Dempsey stepped up and confidently clipped it down the middle for his fifth goal of the tournament. USA 5, CUB 0 (SEE GOAL) 

USA – Clint Dempsey (Michael Bradley) 78th minute: Michael Bradley played the architect, knifing through the Cuban defense and into the box, before threading a ball back across to Dempsey. Dempsey jetted over to it and slammed it into the net complete his hat trick. USA 6, CUB 0 (FINAL) (SEE GOAL) 

Coming up Next: Gold Cup Semifinal
Location: Georgia Dome – Atlanta, Georgia
Opponent: Jamaica
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 1, UniMas
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer@ussoccer_esp); FacebookInstagram 

Milestone Watch:

  • Clint Dempsey scored his fourth, fifth and sixth goals in this Gold Cup Tournament. He is the current golden boot leader. He now has 47 goals in his MNT career, including 11 in the Gold Cup, which ranks second on the all-time list.
  • Dempsey’s hat trick was the fourth in MNT Gold Cup history: Brian McBride - 1/27/02 QF v. SLV; Landon Donovan (4) - 7/19/03 QF v. Cuba; Chris Wondolowski - 7/9/13 v. Belize
  • Omar Gonzalez’s goal was the first of his international career.
  • Gyasi Zardes scored his second goal of 2015 and his first in a Gold Cup.
  • Aron Johannsson’s goal was his first in a Gold Cup and his second in 2015 with his first coming against Denmark on March 25 in Arhus.
  • Brad Guzan earned his 12th career shutout and his second in this tournament.

Additional Notes:

  • U.S. captain Michael Bradley and goalkeeper Brad Guzan made their fourth straight starts of the 2015 Gold Cup.
  • After missing the first two matches of the tournament, Alejandro Bedoya made his second straight start.
  • The back four of Timmy Chandler, Ventura Alvarado, Gonzalez and Fabian Johnson was the third different combination used in the team’s four Gold Cup matches.
  • Clint Dempsey now has five career goals against Cuba. He also tallied in the team’s 4-1 win in the 2005 Gold Cup opener and the 1-0 shutout win in a World Cup Qualifier on Sept. 6, 2008 in Havana.
  • Eight U.S. players made their first-ever appearance in a Gold Cup Quarterfinal as well as against Cuba: Alvarado, Bedoya, Chandler, Gonzalez, Aron Johannsson, Johnson, Guzan and Gyasi Zardes.
  • This was the first time the USMNT scored 4 goals in a first half or led by four at half since Dec. 1993 vs El Salvador.
  • The last time the MNT scored four goals in one half of a competitive match was in a World Cup Qualifier against Cuba on Oct. 11, 2008. The USA scored four second-half goals in a 6-1 win at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. that clenched the team a berth in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.
  • The MNT is 8-0-1 in Quarterfinal matches and 20-6-4 in knockout matches all-time in the Gold Cup.
  • The MNT is 8-1-1 all-time against Cuba and a perfect 6-0-0 in Gold Cup matches. The U.S. is currently on an eight-match winning streak against the island nation, dating back to Sept. 21, 1949. 

#USAvCUB: Five Things to Watch for

Cuban Roster Challenges

As has become relatively common place for Cuban sides when coming to the U.S., the team enters Saturday’s match missing several players. Goalkeeper Aral Arguellez, midfielders Arichel Hernandez and Dario Suarez as well as forward Keiler Garcia have all departed the teams at different times during the tournament. As a result, Cuba has only 18 players available for Saturday’s quarterfinal, the most experienced of which is 36-year-old defender/midfielder Yenier Marquez, Cuba’s all-time appearance leader with 126 caps.

Despite Cuba being shorthanded, they still overcame a favored Guatemala side to advance to the quarterfinals for the second straight Gold Cup. With a potential U.S. path to the final being through Cuba and the winner of the Jamaica / Haiti match, Bradley was asked if CONCACAF’s Caribbean nations were on a rise in recent years.

“Things go in cycles,” Bradley said. “Teams go in cycles in some ways. Does the fact that there are a number of teams now that are in good moments now make things more difficult? Yeah, probably. This idea that Caribbean teams are good now and they weren’t four years ago, six years ago, eight years ago -- I don’t buy that. I was on the field in a lot of those games and trust me, they weren’t cake walks.”

Under Klinsmann, the MNT is 7-1-0 against Caribbean sides.

Plan vs. Cuba

Cuba has probably been the most mixed bag of the 2015 Gold Cup. Missing a number of players due to visa issues, the side was blown out 6-0 by Mexico in their tournament opener before losing 2-0 to Trinidad & Tobago in their second match. There was little hope held they’d get a result against Guatemala in the group finale, but the team’s defensive style paid off as they held Los Chapines scoreless before Maikel Reyes’ 72nd minute goal held up to put the team through.

The U.S. has outscored the island nation 19-2 in its last four matches, but has surrendered the first goal in two of those games, including the last meeting in the 2013 Gold Cup. On Friday, Klinsmann said that after a tight group stage and extra days to recover over the past few days, he and his staff have emphasized the team’s need to put its stamp on the game early.

“We need to make sure that from the first second on, we raise the bar and create a high tempo rhythm and creating chances so we can score. Things can happen, two years ago we go a goal down and things suddenly got difficult.

U.S. ‘keeper Brad Guzan agreed.

“First and foremost we need to put them under a bit of pressure,” said the first-choice net minder. “We need to make sure our intensity, our pressure is there. We need to make sure we’re on the front foot. The start to the game will be important, we want to try and make sure we don’t give them any room to breathe, any space to ply to run at us or any of that sort of thing.”

Referring to their team’s absences, Klinsmann continued, “A lot of what they went through is very emotional. When you go through those emotional roller coasters, you never know what the ending will be. The message to our players is to be spot on from the first second and hopefully create chances and get an early goal that will make things a lot easier.”

Bradley on the Difficulty of the Gold Cup            

With only two days between matches in the group stage, the U.S. team has had the chance to get a little more rest the past week in Baltimore as they prepared for Saturday’s quarterfinal against Cuba.  Asked about the difficulty of the tournament as whole on Friday, U.S. captain Michael Bradley was open about the challenges that all 12 teams have faced.

“Between the travel, the short turn around between games, grass being laid over field turf, the weather, it’s a huge challenge. That’s absolutely no excuse, because it’s the same for everybody. It’s not like it’s any different for us than the other teams, again I want to be clear that’s no excuse, that’s not me complaining – that’s just reality.”

The conditions combined with the fact that only three of the 18 group matches were decided by more than a goal has put the entire tournament field on notice that nothing will be easy in the 2015 Gold Cup.

“You see that every game is a dog fight, every game is close and hard and that’s exactly what we expected,” Bradley continued. “We expect that it becomes even more like that. Everything you’ve done up until this point means nothing and everything you’ll do in the next week means everything. We’re very focused and very excited to step on the field tomorrow in a quarterfinal, expect a great crowd and we’ll be ready to do anything in any way to get to a semifinal.”

John Brooks Suspended

The U.S. will be without defender John Brooks after the starting center back picked up his second yellow card of the tournament in the Group A finale against Panama on Monday and is suspended for one match. Klinsmann indicated after that match he was happy that the team was able to get minutes out of all of its field players in the group stage, saying he’d be confident in either Omar Gonzalez or Tim Ream as replacements in the quarterfinal.

Predictably though, Klinsmann wouldn’t tip his hand Friday on who would get the nod next to Ventura Alvarado against Cuba, saying, “We’ll see tomorrow night how we put the pieces together on the backline.”

History against Cuba

With their only defeat coming in a 5-2 loss on July 20, 1947, the U.S. is 8-1-1 all-time against Cuba and ride an eight-match winning streak into Saturday night’s game. Five players on the current roster have scored goals against Cuba, with DaMarcus Beasley tallying three, Clint Dempsey and Chris Wondolowski bagging two each and Joe Corona also scoring.

In Gold Cup play, the U.S. is a perfect 5-0-0 against the Caribbean nation.

Klinsmann Q&A: “Now It’s About Knockout Games. It’s Do-or-Die.”

After winning the group with an undefeated 2-0-1 record and seven points, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has made three changes to the roster for the knockout phase. He talks with ussoccer.com about his review of the group games, the roster replacements and the huge value of the support of the U.S. fans.

Klinsmann Makes Three Changes to USMNT 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup Roster

CHICAGO (July 14, 2015) — U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has made three changes to the 23-player 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup roster. Per tournament regulations, teams had the opportunity to make up to six changes to the roster in the 24 hours following the completion of the group phase.

DaMarcus Beasley, Joe Corona and Alan Gordon have all been added to the U.S. team and will report to Baltimore in advance of the USA’s Quarterfinal matchup on Saturday (5 p.m. ET on FOX, Univision). Beasley comes in for Greg Garza, Corona for Alfredo Morales and Gordon for Jozy Altidore.

Beasley joins the group as the MNT’s most experienced player of the 23, having earned 121 caps for the United States. Beasley has been a part of four U.S. World Cup teams, and last appeared for the USA in its run in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Beasley now returns for his sixth Gold Cup (2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2013), having already been a part of four Gold Cup title winning teams, including as captain of the 2013 title winning team.

Gordon, a part of the team that won the Gold Cup in 2013, the LA Galaxy striker makes his 2015 debut for the National Team. Corona also played a big part in the MNT’s 2013 Gold Cup title run, scoring twice in the tournament.

The United States finished in first place in the 2015 Gold Cup “Group of Death” after collecting seven points and going undefeated (2-0-1), improving its all-time record to 30-1-3 in group play.

CAREER STATS   GP/GS            MIN          G              A            Pts              Y                R               W-L-T

2012                       3/0                 26           0             0               0                0               0               3-0-0 
2013                       8/5                411           2             0               4                0               0               8-0-0 
2014                       3/1                125           0             0               0                1               0               1-0-2
______________________________________________________________________________________
3-Year Totals       14/6               562          2              0               4                1               0             12-0-2

Technically gifted and a composed passer, Joe Corona brings another element to Jurgen Klinsmanns midfield options. The 24-year-old, who joined Club Tijuana's reserve team following one campaign at San Diego State, isn't afraid to go at goal and either shoot or dish. Getting his first taste of action for both the youth and senior National Teams in 2012, he also started to blossom in his club career as he helped Club Tijuana capture the 2012 Liga MX Torneo Apertura.

  • Selected to the U.S. Men's National Team 30-man preliminary roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on May 12
  • Scored two goals in five of the USA's six 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup matches, helping the U.S. claim its fifth tournament title
  • A dual citizen of the United States and Mexico, he officially became tied to the U.S. team when he played in the 3-1 win against Guatemala in World Cup qualifying
  • Posted a hat trick against Cuba in the first goup match of the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament, and finished the event with four overall
  • Played in the final that earned Tijuana promotion into the Mexican top division, then a year later in the game that clinche its first Liga MX Championship
  • Had the opening goal in teh 2011 Torneo Clausura playoffs of the Liga Ascenso that helped lift Tijuana into Mexico's top flight

2014: Has started one and played in three games for the U.S. in 2014 ... Came in for Landon Donovan as a  first-half sub in a 1-1 draw against Ecuador on Oct. 10 during Donovan's last game with the U.S. MNT ... Selected to the preliminary U.S. MNT's 30-man roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on May 12 ... 2013: Featured in five consecutive games for the U.S., starting four from July 5-12 ... During that stretch he scored his first two international goals against Cuba on July 13 and El Salvador on July 21 en route to helping the U.S. to its fifth CONCACAF Gold Cup title ... 2012: Made his full team debut as a reserve in the 5-1 win against Scotland on May 26 ... Got to be a part of U.S. history when he entered in the 89th minute of the USA's 1-0 win against Mexico on Aug. 15 at Estadio Azteca ... Replace Eddie Johnson to help finish off the 3-1 win against Guatemala on Oct. 16 that sealed the USA's place in the final round ... Under-23s: Started all three matches in group play of Olympic Qualifying ... Exploded for three goals in the 6-0 thrashing of Cuba in the opening match on March 22 ... Scored the third goal in the 3-3 draw against El Salvador on March 26 ... Made his U.S. U-23 debut when he played 90 minutes on Feb. 29, 2012, during a 2-0 victory against Mexico's U-23s in Frisco, Texas ... First Appearance: May 26, 2012, vs. Scotland ...  First Goal: July 13, 2013, vs. Cuba.

2013: Featured in 14 of Tijuana's 17 Clausura matches, making eight starts ... Started six of his seven appearances in the Copa Libertadores, scoring a goal against Bolivian side Club Deportivo San Jose on Feb. 27 as he helped Xolos make a run to the tournament quarterfinals ...  2012: A mainstay in the squad that lifted the Liga MX championship for the first time in club history, he made eight starts and 14 appearances in the Torneo Apertura ... Started all four games in the playoffs, including the championship clincher on Dec. 2 in Toluca ... Corona continued to have a regular role in the lineup during the Torneo Clausura, making 14 appearances out of 17 games ... Added two goals including the game-winner against Atlante on April 7 ... 2011: Scored the team's first ever goal in Mexico's top division in a 2-1 loss to Monarcas on July 23 ... Made 13 appearances in the first season, six as a starter ... Tallied twice in the promotion playoffs, grabbing his first goal in the 2-2 draw of the quarterfinal first leg at Hidalgo, then performing the same feat in the second leg of the final against Irapuato on May 21 that pushed Tijuana into the top flight ... Started in all six matches in the playoffs .. Appeared in 15 of 17 matches in the torneo Clausura ...2010: Made 17 starts and scored his first goal in the Torneo Apertura in the 2-0 win on Aug. 29 against Alacranes ... Debuted in the Liga de Ascenso on April 3 vs. Necaxa.
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