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)
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
- 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).
- 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.
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.
Eight months to the day after announcing his retirement from the U.S. Men’s National Team, DaMarcus Beasley strolled back into camp as an addition to the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup roster on Wednesday night.
As he joined up with his teammates in Baltimore, he did so with out-of-date National Team gear – a product of his nine-month international absence.
“I had to knock some dust off some of my old U.S. stuff,” Beasley joked. “Packing my bag for camp, I got the butterflies again.”
After appearing in 121 matches and four FIFA World Cups for the USA, Beasley originally chose to retire from the international game to spend more time with his family and focus on his club career with the Houston Dynamo. It was a decision he says U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann fully respected.
But as preparations for this summer’s Gold Cup ramped up, Klinsmann made the approach last month during the team’s European friendlies to see if the National Team veteran would be interested in the team’s push for automatic qualification to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.
“I was in Houston sleeping when he called and left a message on my phone,” said Beasley. “In the message he said, I’m thinking about having you for the Gold Cup. Think about it, let me know how you feel and give me a call in the next day or two.”
Beasley was surprised and humbled to get the call but, “It wasn’t easy. The main thing was me spending more time with my family, but when your National Team calls, you can’t turn that down. He didn’t have to keep asking me.
“Jurgen knew if he needed me, I was available,” Beasley said.
“Having DaMarcus come into the team is huge,” Klinsmann said earlier this week. “Because of his character, his giving nature, the spirit he brings, but also the high quality he brings. He brings a lot of experience into this group, and he’s hungry -- he’s still as hungry as day one in his career. That speaks for us having him back in the group and now it gives us a couple of different options on how to put pieces together.
A veteran of more than 300 professional matches in six top flight leagues in Europe and North America, Beasley captained the side to the 2013 Gold Cup and has the opportunity to become the first player to win the tournament on five occasions.
In the end, that opportunity to lift a trophy again played a key role in his decision to return.
“It’s one thing to be called in for a friendly game, but to have a chance to win something, to be a champion, it’s a great feeling. The Gold Cup is a great tournament, all the teams are so much better than 2000. It’s a hard tournament to win, not like it was before. I want to challenge myself, like I always have my whole career. This is another challenge for me, another challenge to win another trophy. Putting back on the red, white and blue shirt is a great feeling.”
And as Beasley searches for his 122nd international appearance in the team’s Gold Cup quarterfinal Saturday against Cuba in Baltimore, he’ll do so in front of about 30 members of the “Beasley clan”.
“I’m looking forward to that. Most of my family, except for my mom and dad, all live in the Washington D.C. area. They’re all coming. My mom and dad are flying in from Indiana as well. They’ve always supported me throughout my career, so it’s great to have them here rooting me on and hopefully it’ll be my first game back.”
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.
Possessing speed, quickness, and the ability to play on both sides of the ball, DaMarcus Beasley has experienced a mild renaissance as he enters his second decade of play with the U.S. National Team. The three-time World Cup veteran has represented the U.S. in World Cups at the U-17, U-20 and full-team level, as well as the FIFA Confederations Cup. Varying injuries during the past few years challenged his ability to get consistent playing time at Rangers in Scotland and Hannover 96 in Germany. Now with Puebla in the Mexican Primera Division, Beasley has established himself as a regular starter.
- Made consecutive appearances in 2011 against Honduras, Ecuador and France
- Named to the roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, making a substitute appearance in the historic 1-0 win against Algeria
- Has made 26 appearances for the U.S. in World Cup qualifying, recording six goals
- Captained the U.S. for the first time in his career when he led the team out for the World Cup qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago in Port of Spain in 2008
- Has played professionally in the U.S., Netherlands, England, Scotland, and Mexico, becoming the only American to appear in the semifinals of the Champions League when he helped PSV Eindhoven to the final four in 2004-05 tournament with four goals in 12 games
- Got his start in March 1999 when he became what was then the youngest player to sign an MLS contract at 16 years, 10 months, and was originally allocated to the L.A. Galaxy
Date of Birth
May 24, 1982
Ft. Wayne, Ind.