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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.

#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.

MNT Concludes Gold Cup Group Play with 1-1 Draw Against Panama

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (July, 13 2015) – After already winning Group A with its 1-0 win over Haiti, the U.S. Men’s National Team concluded group play in the 2015 Gold Cup with a 1-1 draw against Panama in front of a sell-out crowd of 18,467 at Sporting Park in Kansas City. 

Panama was the first to strike with Luis Tejada working to find Blas Perez for the game’s opening goal. The U.S. responded early in the second half when Alejandro Bedoya crossed to Michael Bradley, who buried the game-tying goal, which was his second against Panama in 2015. The U.S. dominated possession following the goal and threatened with a number of opportunities, but had to settle for a share of the points. 

The U.S. MNT has won its group in 12 of the 13 Gold Cups and with this draw improves its all-time record against Panama to 12-1-3 its Gold Cup record against Los Canaleros to 5-1-2. 

The tournament continues for the MNT on Saturday, July 18, with the Quarterfinal match at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, against the third place team from either Group B or C. The game will be broadcast live FOX and Univision. Fans can also follow the action on Twitter @ussoccer and @ussoccer_esp.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Blas Perez (Luis Tejada) 34th minute: Tejada brought the ball inside the box on the right side with his back to Ventura Alvarado. Tejada deked right and then turned back to his left, where he sprinted past Alvarado to the end line. From there Tejada crossed to Perez, who had read the play and volleyed home from close range for the first score of the game. USA 0, PAN 1 (FINAL) (SEE GOAL) 

USA – Michael Bradley (Alejandro Bedoya) 55th minute: The U.S. pressured down the left side. The ball was intercepted by the Panama defense, but the USA recovered possession and moved it to Alejandro Bedoya, who continued down the left side and into the box. As the defense shifted towards Bedoya’s attack it freed Bradley in the center. Bedoya threaded a cross to the captain and he applied a sliding finish to level the game. USA 1, PAN 1 (FINAL) (SEE GOAL) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Fabian Johnson, 21st minute: Off a Panama corner kick, the ball was flicked on at Guzan, who made a quick reaction save and punched the ball out in front of the goal. Valentin Pimentel was the first to run on to it. Pimentel smashed a shot back at goal, but Fabian Johnson was there with the block. 

USA – Brad Guzan, 75th minute: A sweeping counter from Panama saw the ball floated out wide to second half sub Roberto Nurse, who picked out the near post run of Alberto Quintero. Without breaking stride, Quintero volleyed a one-time blast toward the inside of Guzan’s near post, but the USA ‘keeper made a spectacular one-handed reaction save to deny what could have been a game winner for Panama. 

Next on the Schedule: The U.S. MNT continues play in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the Quarterfinals on July 18 at M&T Bank stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.
Broadcast information: FOX, Univision
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer@ussoccer_esp); FacebookInstagram 

Milestone Watch:

  • Michael Bradley scored his 14th career goal and his first in a Gold Cup since 2011. It was Bradley’s second goal against Panama this year.
  • Midfielders Alfredo Morales and Alejandro Bedoya made their first appearances in the 2015 Gold Cup. The start was also Morales’ first-ever Gold Cup appearance.
  • With his start Morales is officially cap-tied to the U.S. Men’s National Team, following in the footsteps of Alvarado Ventura who became cap-tied to the U.S. earlier in the tournament.
  • With his appearance tonight, Bradley tied Kasey Keller for 12th on the MNT’s all-time caps list at 102.

Additional Notes:

  • John Brooks earned his second yellow card in the group stage and as a result will be suspended for Saturday’s Quarterfinal match.
  • With both Alfredo Morales and Alejandro Bedoya making the starting XI, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann utilized 21 of his 23 players during the group stage. The only players to not appear yet are goalkeepers Nick Rimando and William Yarbrough.
  • Midfielder Michael Bradley and goalkeeper Brad Guzan are the only U.S. players to start all three Gold Cup group matches.
  • 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski made his first start of the tournament.
  • U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann deployed the same back line that played in the tournament opener against Honduras: Chandler, Alvarado, Brooks and Johnson.
  • The U.S. is unbeaten against Panama in the teams’ last six meetings. All of what have come under the auspices of Jurgen Klinsmann.
  • The USA is 3-0-1 all-time at Sporting Park and 1-0-1 in Gold Cup games

- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Panama
Date: July 13, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup; Group A
Venue: Sporting Park; Kansas City, Kan.
Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. CT
Attendance: 18,467
Weather: 92 degrees; Partly cloudy

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            0          1          1
PAN                            1          0          1

PAN – Blas Perez (Luis Tejada)                     34th minute
USA – Michael Bradley (Alejandro Bedoya)  55

Lineups:
USA: 1-Brad Guzan; 21-Timmy Chandler, 13-Ventura Alvarado, 6-John Brooks, 23-Fabian Johnson; 5-Kyle Beckerman, 11-Alejandro Bedoya (9-Aron Johannsson, 71), 7-Alfredo Morales (2-DeAndre Yedlin, 46), 4-Michael Bradley (capt.); 18-Chris Wondolowski (8-Clint Dempsey, 46), 20-Gyasi Zardes
Subs Not Used: 12-Nick Rimando, 22-William Yarbrough; 3-Omar Gonzalez, 10-Mix Diskerud, 14-Greg Garza, 15-Tim Ream, 16-Brad Evans, 17-Jozy Altidore, 19-Graham Zusi
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

PAN: 1-Jamie Penedo; 11-Armando Cooper, 5-Roman Torres (capt.), 3-Harold Cummings, 15-Erick Davis; 2-Valentin Pimentel (14-Miguel Camargo, 62), 20-Anibal Godoy, 6-Gabriel Gomez, 19-Alberto Quintero (22-Abdiel Arroyo, 86); 7-Blas Perez, 10-Luis Tejada (9-Roberto Nurse, 71)
Subs Not Used: 4-Alfredo Stephens, 8-Gabriel Torres, 12-Luis Mejia, 13-Adolfo Machado, 16-Rolando Blackburn, 17-Luis Henriquez, 18-Darwin Pinzon, 21-Jose Calderon, 23-Angel Patrick
Head coach: Hernan Gomez

Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 6 / 12
Shots on Goal: 3 / 8
Saves: 7 / 2
Corner Kicks: 2 / 4
Fouls: 14 / 17
Offside: 2 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
USA – John Brooks (caution)             16th minute
USA –Timmy Chandler (caution)       44
PAN – Anibal Godoy (caution)           45
USA – Alvarado Ventura (caution)     48

Officials: 
Referee: Roberto Garcia (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Alberto Morin (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Leonel Leal (CRC)
4th Official: Henry Bejarano (CRC)

Budweiser Man of the Match: TBA

#OTD 2013: U.S. MNT Runs Rampant in Second Half to Defeat Cuba 4-1

In a match that was strikingly similar to a Gold Cup group game from eight years prior in Seattle, Cuba again ran out to a 1-0 lead when Ariel Martinez beat Edgar Castillo to the end line and crossed for Jose Ciprian whose volley beat Nick Rimando at the near post in the 36th minute.

The goal marked the last time the MNT has trailed in a Gold Cup match and like in 2005, the U.S. would equalize just before halftime as Castillo made amends by earning a penalty kick in stoppage time and Landon Donovan stepped up to slot home the equalizer.

Twelve minutes after the break, Joe Corona picked up a bouncing ball just outside the area and curled his effort inside the right post to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead.

In the 66th minute Kyle Beckerman’s pinpoint cross from the right picked out Chris Wondolowski, who re-directed his effort past Odelín Molina to make it 3-1.

Wondo would bag a brace in the 85th minute as a one-two combination in the box between Castillo and Corona gave the striker an easy finish from close range and the U.S. ran out 4-1 winners.

The win moved the U.S. to a perfect 5-0-0 record against Cuba in Gold Cup play and clinched a quarterfinal spot for the team en route to their fifth tournament title. 

#OTD 2013: Chris “Wondowlowski” Bags Hat Trick Against Belize

Opening up the team’s 2013 Gold Cup campaign against Belize, a new U.S. MNT player, Chris Wondowlowski, took the field for the very first time.

130710 Wondolowski 02.jpg

Wondowlowski’s impact was felt almost immediately against the Central American side, knocking home a close-range rebound off a Joe Corona header in the 12th minute.

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Wondolowski found the scoring touch in his third international campaign with the U.S. MNT, tying for third on the team with six goals in only 365 minutes played in 2013. In Major League Soccer play, Wondolowski scored 11 goals in 29 games for the San Jose Earthquakes, becoming the 11th player in league history to boast double-digit goal totals in four consecutive seasons.

  • Made his World Cup debut against Portugal on June 22, 2014, coming on as a sub in the 87th minute, and played against Belgium on July 1 in the Round of 16
  • Scored the first six goals of his international career in nine appearances in 2013, tying for third on the team
  • Tied Landon Donovan with five goals during the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, scoring three times in the USA’s 6-1 victory against Belize on July 9 to become the third U.S. player to record a hat trick in a Gold Cup match
  • Called up to the full U.S. National Team in January 2011, his first appearance in a U.S. camp at any level
  • The all-time leading scorer for the San Jose Earthquakes has twice won the MLS Golden Boot (2010, 2012)
  • A three-time member of the MLS Best XI, he won league MVP honors in 2012

2015: Named to the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup roster... Has played in four games for the MNT this year... Recorded a goal in USA's 4-0 win over Guatemala on July 3, reaching double-digit goals in his MNT career... 2014: Made his World Cup debut against Portugal on June 22, 2014, coming on as a sub in the 87th minute, and played against Belgium on July 1 in the Round of 16 ... Has scored three goals in 2014, recording a brace against South Korea on January 2 in a 2-0 victory and contributing a goal in a 2-2 draw with Mexico on February 4 ... Has appeared in seven games for the U.S. in 2014, starting in three ... appeared in two of three Send-Off Series games leading up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup ... 2013: Wondolowski notched his first six international goals in nine games and only 365 minutes to tie for third on the team … Became the third U.S. player to record a hat trick in Gold Cup play with three goals against Belize during a 6-1 victory on July 9 in Portland, Ore. ...2010: Earned his first ever call up to the U.S. MNT 24-player training camp roster in preparation for the international friendly against Chile … First Appearance: Jan. 2, 2011 First Goal: July 5, 2013

2014: Finished the season with 14 goals and three assists in 26 appearances … Became the third player in MLS history to score at least 10 goals in five consecutive seasons with his strike against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on Aug. 24 … 2013: Tallied 11 goals and three assists in 29 MLS games, becoming the 11th player in league history to record double-digit goals in four consecutive seasons … Led MLS with eight game-winning goals … In CONCACAF Champions League action, scored the game-winning goal during the San Jose Earthquakes’ 1-0 victory against CD Heredia on Oct. 23 to advance to the tournament quarterfinals … 2012: Became first player in club history to earn the MLS Most Valuable Player award ... Picked up his second career Budweiser Golden Boot after leading the league with 27 goals, tying Roy Lassiter's MLS record ... Received MLS Best XI honors for the third-straight season ... Started and scored a goal in the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game against Chelsea FC ... MLS Player of the Month honors in April, June, September and October ... Named the club's Most Valuable Player ... Finished the season with 27 goals and seven assists in 32 games, 31 of which were starts ... His 11 game-winning goals set an MLS single-season record ... 2011: Named Team MVP … Named to the MLS Best XI … Earned the inaugural MLS Castrol Index Player of the Year award, a system that utilizes data collected during the course of the season to measure player values … 2010: Led Major League Soccer in scoring with 18 goals, capturing the MLS Golden Boot, propelling San Jose into the MLS Playoffs … Named part of MLS Best XI … 2009: Acquired by the ‘Quakes in a trade with the Houston Dynamo … Appeared in seven games with three starts with Dynamo, tallying two goals and one assist … Played in 14 games with three goals and one assist for San Jose … 2008: Made eight MLS appearances …Scored in the Superliga championship-game shootout at New England on Aug. 5 … Started both legs of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against Municipal and scored third goal in 3-1 home win on March 19 … Came on as a substitute in both legs of the semifinal against Saprissa … 2007: Appeared in 16 games, making three starts and grabbing a goal and an assist … Made first start of the season on April 29 in 1-0 loss vs. the Chicago Fire … 2006: Scored his first MLS goal on Aug. 21 against Chicago in 2-2 tie …2005: Made Earthquakes MLS debut on Sept. 10 vs. Chivas.

College:

Named to the CCAA first team for four consecutive seasons at Chico State … Scored five goals and registered two assists … In 2003, he was named second team Division II All-America … Helped Chico State to CCAA Championship with a 19-4-1 record … Led Chico to NCAA Division II championship game … Played 23 games, registering 11 goals and eight assists … In 2002,  Wondolowski played 19 games, tallying 12 goals and seven assists … In 2001 he led his team with 10 goals and six assists in 19 games.

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