USA QUARTERFINAL OPPONENT SET: It took until the final kick of Group C play for the USA's quarterfinal opponent to finally be locked in, with Panama dropping from first to third with a 1-0 loss to Mexico on Wednesday night that guaranteed them a showdown with the USA on Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The match is set for 4 p.m. ET and can be seen live on Fox Soccer Channel and Univision, and can be followed on-line via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.
THREE FOR THREE? The U.S. and Panama have met twice previously in Gold Cup play, including the championship of the 2005 tournament. That thrilling match went 0-0 after 120 scoreless minutes, as both Kasey Keller and Panamanian ‘keeper Jaime Penedo made several big-time saves to keep the match even. Keller continued his dominance by saving Panama’s first attempt by Luis Tejada in the shootout, and then got some help from the crossbar and a clear miss over the frame. On the U.S. end, Santino Quaranta and Landon Donovan buried their attempts from the spot before Brad Davis secured the victory with a well-placed shot to the right corner. The teams have met once before in the Gold Cup, the U.S. grabbing a 2-1 win on July 14, 1993 in Dallas.
• With the 4-0 win against El Salvador, the United States clinched first place in Group B by collecting the maximum nine points. The U.S. completed the preliminary phase as the only undefeated team in the tournament, having gone three matches without surrendering a single goal.
• The U.S. and Panama have met twice previously in Gold Cup play, including the championship of the 2005 tournament. That thrilling match went 0-0 after 120 scoreless minutes, as both Kasey Keller and Panamanian goalkeeper Jaime Penedo made several big-time saves to keep the match even. The U.S. went on to win 3-1 in penalties.
• All cautions accumulated during the preliminary phase have been expunged.
• The U.S. has 22 players available for selection, with third choice goalkeeper Brad Guzan with his club team Chivas USA.
• Panama will be without Gabriel Gomez, who received his second yellow card of the preliminary phase in the 1-0 loss to Mexico, and Rolando Escobar and Roman Torres, who were sent off from the same match.
• The U.S. has a 10-4-4 record in the knockout rounds of the Gold Cup, having reached the semifinals in seven of the eight previous tournaments.
• Heading into Saturday’s encounter, the U.S. holds a 4-0-2 lifetime advantage over Panama, including four consecutive shutout victories.
• Landon Donovan’s penalty kick goal against El Salvador gave him 87 career points with the USA, extending the record he set on Saturday against Trinidad & Tobago. With 31 career goals, he is now in sole possession of second place on the USA’s all-time scoring charts, just three behind Eric Wynalda.
• The Gold Cup goal against El Salvador was Donovan's ninth all-time, tying him with Wynalda for the USA's all-time tournament lead.
• Sierra Mist Man of the Match DaMarcus Beasley’s two-goal performance increased his lifetime scoring mark in the Gold Cup to six career finishes. His last two-goal came during the 2005 edition of the tournament when the U.S. cruised to a 3-1 quarterfinal victory against Jamaica here in Foxborough.
• The U.S. has played six Gold Cup matches in Foxborough since 2003, amassing a perfect 6-0-0 record with five shutouts.
• In addition to the multiple goal performance from Beasley, Donovan let loose for four goals here in the 2003 quarterfinal against Cuba, becoming the fourth player in U.S. history to record that many goals in a single game. The 5-0 win on July 19, 2003, was the largest margin of victory for the U.S. in any Gold Cup match.
• Overall, the USA is 15-1-4 in Foxborough, posting 11 shutouts.
• With the 3-1 win against El Salvador, Tim Howard snatched one U.S. goalkeeping record away from Keller, now having won seven consecutive matches as a starter. The 28-year-old had posted 10 shutouts in 21 career appearances for the senior team.
• A total of 13 players have now cut their Gold Cup teeth in the first three games, with four players collecting their first points: Brian Ching, Eddie Johnson, Justin Mapp and Taylor Twellman. Both Ching and Twellman have a goal and an assist, Ching putting in the game-winner against Trinidad & Tobago.
• Twellman scored the game-winner in the teams’ last meeting, a 2-0 result in the final match of 2006 World Cup qualifying on Oct. 12, 2005, in Washington, D.C.
• Almost a year earlier to the day, Eddie Johnson made history in his first encounter with Panama, becoming the first player in U.S. history to score a hat trick coming into the game as a substitute, which he did in the 65th minute. The three goals came in an 18-minute span in the second half as the U.S. routed Panama 6-0 on Oct. 13, 2004, in a semifinal round World Cup qualifier.
• Kasey Keller, who is the all-time leader in Gold Cup appearances for the USA (22), became the only player in U.S. history to appear in six of the regional championship tournaments with his 2-0 shutout of Trinidad & Tobago. Frankie Hejduk is second among active players in Gold Cup appearances with 19 across five tournaments.
• With the appearance of Michael Parkhurst against T&T, there are now 45 players with at least one cap in 2007 over the first seven games (27 domestic and 18 foreign-based), and 13 have made their debut appearance for the U.S.
• Six players on the roster have two Gold Cup medals in their trophy case (Beasley, Bocanegra, Donovan, Hejduk and Keller).
• Keller is the oldest player at 37 years of age. At 19 years old, U-20 midfielder Michael Bradley is the youngest on the block.
• Johnson is currently leading MLS in scoring, with nine goals in as many matches. Taylor Twellman is second on the charts with seven goals.
• The U.S. returns eight players from the 2005 championship team, led by Golden Boot winner DaMarcus Beasley. The midfielder had three goals and four assists in the 2005 tournament.
• Beasley, who collected his 13th career goal in the 4-1 win against China on June 2 in San Jose, scored his first-ever international goal in the USA’s opening match of the 2002 Gold Cup. His goal in the 92nd minute sealed a 2-1 win against Korea on Jan. 19 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. He is only the second U.S. player over the last 10 years to score a game-winner in the final 15 minutes for his first goal.
• The other is Oguchi Onyewu, who scored his first international goal in the 2005 edition of the tournament, his strike in second-half stoppage time lifting the U.S. past Honduras in the 2-1 semifinal win on July 21, 2005, at Giants Stadium.
THERE MUST BE A WINNER: Reaching the knockout phase means no match ends without a winner, and the U.S. has had some experience in that regard. Four times in their Gold Cup history has the USA decided the outcome with penalties, with the good guys coming out on top on three of those occasions. In addition to the championship matches in 1991 and 2005, the U.S. defeated Canada in the 2002 semifinals 4-2 in a shootout. The only penalty kick loss suffered by the U.S. was a 2-1 defeat against Colombia in the 2000 quarterfinals.
GOLD CUP UPDATE: The 2007 edition of the confederation championship proved quite unpredictable through the preliminary phase. While the USA’s group broke down along fairly normal lines, the other two groups went down to the wire as teams jockeyed for spots in the next round. In Group A, Canada rebounded to win the group after stumbling in their second match with a loss to Guadeloupe. Group favorites Costa Rica pulled into second place with a win on the final matchday after earning only one point from the first two matches, while the tiny French department of Guadeloupe advanced in their first ever appearance in the tournament. Group C remained wide open until their last matches, with all four teams still contending in the hunt for advancement heading into this past Wednesday. Mexico survived a serious onslaught from Panama to escape with a 1-0 victory that put them at the head of the class while simultaneously dropping Panama to third. Meantime, Carlos Pavon exploded for four goals as Honduras plowed through Cuba, 5-0, securing second place and a trip to Foxborough to face Canada prior to the USA’s quarterfinal clash. For all the latest standings, news, and updates, go to the special Gold Cup section on ussoccer.com
DONOVAN HAUNTS PANAMA… Landon’s scoring prowess gives many teams too much to handle, but he has been particularly potent against Panama. Donovan has three goals and two assists in the last four matches he has played against the marearoja, including a two-goal performance in the 6-0 semifinal round World Cup qualifier on Oct. 13, 2004 at RFK Stadium. He also provided the game-tying assist to Cobi Jones in second half stoppage time that earned the U.S. a point from the 1-1 draw on Sept. 9, 2004, in Panama City. The USA’s all-time leader in points scored the middle goal of the comprehensive 3-0 final round qualifying win on June 8, 2005, in Panama.
AND KELLER CONFOUNDS THEM… Going into this weekend, the Panamanians will try their hardest to forget the last two times they went up against the venerable U.S. netminder. We don't mind reliving it, however. Prior to his Man of the Match performance in the 2005 Gold Cup final, Keller stood in goal on June 8, 2005, in Panama for the match that meant the midway point of final round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. With the U.S. leading 2-0 midway through the first half, Julio Medina hit a cross into the penalty area where Roberto Brown powered a header pegged for the right corner that Keller sprawled to his left to save. On the first rebound, Baloy was lurking at the far post and slammed a shot toward goal that Keller stuffed from five yards out. The rebound of Baloy’s attempt then popped into the air where Brown’s second shot was headed sharply from three yards out, where Keller somehow sprung from the ground into its path to not only stop the attempt, but snare the shot in his hands. The sequence of three brilliant saves for Keller took all of five seconds. Watch it HERE.
2005 GOLD CUP REWIND: The USA’s route to their third Gold Cup title was a tricky one, culminating in a penalty kick shootout against Panama after a scoreless draw in regulation in the tournament final at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Beasley, Donovan and Onyewu were named to the all-tournament team, while Keller and John O’Brien received honorable mentions. To get to the final, the U.S. needed two goals in the semifinal’s dying moments to overcome a 1-0 deficit to Honduras in a match that saw head coach Bruce Arena sent off early in the second half. O’Brien scored the equalizer just four minutes from time, setting the stage for Onyewu’s game-winning header in the 92nd minute. The U.S. had collected two wins and a draw in the group phase, the scoreless tie against Costa Rica ending their 18-game winning streak in the first round of the Gold Cup. In the quarterfinal, a pair of Beasley goals highlighted an inspired 3-1 win against Jamaica.
GOLDEN IN GROUP PLAY: Through eight tournament appearances, the U.S. has remained remarkably unforgiving in the group phase. After their clean sweep in 2007, the U.S. stands at an unbeaten 21-0-1 record in group play, recording 15 shutouts in 22 matches. The lone blemish to an otherwise perfect record came in 2005 when the U.S. and Costa Rica played to a scoreless draw on July 12, 2005, in Foxborough.
U.S. MNT GOLD CUP BY THE NUMBERS:
0 – Number of losses in group play
3 – Gold Cup championships won
5 – Number of finals reached, the most of any nation
8 – Players on the roster who were part of the 2005 Gold Cup-winning team
9 – Goals scored by Landon Donovan in Gold Cup play, tied with Eric Wynalda for the most in U.S. history
14 – Players on the U.S. roster who had never played a match in the Gold Cup going into the tournament
22 – Gold Cup appearances by Kasey Keller, the most of any U.S. player in history
31-4-5 – Lifetime record in the Gold Cup (which includes three championships, two second-place finishes and one third-place finish)
ON THE HORIZON - ARGENTINA, COLOMBIA AND PARAGUAY IN COPA AMERICA: The U.S. Men’s National Team has been drawn into Group C with Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay for the 2007 Copa America, a 12-team tournament which will take place from June 26 to July 15 in nine cities across Venezuela. The U.S. will open the tournament against Argentina on Thursday, June 28 at Estadio Jose “Pachencho” Romero in Maracaibo. The U.S. will then face Paraguay on July 2 at Estadio Agustin Tovar “La Carolina” in Barinas, before finishing group play against Colombia on July 5 at Estadio Metropolitano de Futbol de Lara in Barquisimeto. For the United States, the appearance will mark their third entrance into CONMEBOL’s signature event. The last time the U.S. competed in the tournament in 1995, the U.S. upset defending champion Argentina, 3-0, to advance to the quarterfinals where they defeated Mexico and eventually finished in fourth place.
AND THEN A TRIO OF FRIENDLIES ACROSS THE POND: Following a busy summer of tournament play, the U.S. has scheduled a series of friendlies in Europe. The team will play its first match on European soil in 2007 when they travel to face 11-time World Cup finalists Sweden on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Ullevi Stadium in Goteborg, Sweden. For the double fixture date in October, the U.S. will first meet Catalonia on Sunday, Oct. 14, at the famed Camp Nou in Barcelona (time TBD), marking the debut match between the teams. Three days later, the U.S. will take on 2008 European Championship co-hosts Switzerland for the first game between the two sides in nearly 13 years, and the first since the 1-1 draw in the 1994 FIFA World Cup hosted by the United States. All three matches will be shown on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision, and fans can also follow live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
On the field for the USA
June 12, 2007 – Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass. – 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Group B
USA 4 DaMarcus Beasley 34’, 89; Landon Donovan 49+; Taylor Twellman 73’
El Salvador 0
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 17-Jonathan Spector (15-Frank Simek, 81), Oguchi Onyewu, 16-Michael Parkhurst, 13-Jonathan Bornstein; 6-Michael Bradley (11-Brian Ching, 64), 4-Pablo Mastroeni, 5-Benny Feilhaber; 10-Landon Donovan (20-Taylor Twellman, 46), 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 8-Clint Dempsey
SLV: 25-Miguel Montes, 2-Leonel Guevara (15-Manuel Salazar, 46), 5-Jose Henriquez, 12-Ramiro Carballo (13- Julio Martinez, 46), 14-Ramon Sanchez, 17-Dennis Alas, 18-Alexander Escobar, 19 Alfredo Pacheco, 23-Jose Martinez, 9-Juan Campos (16-Cesar Lario, 77), 11-Ronald Cerritos
On the field for Panama
June 13, 2007 – Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas –2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Group C
Mexico 1 Carlos Salcido 60’
MEX: 1-Oswaldo Sánchez, 2-José Magallón, 5-Ricardo Osorio, 22-Francisco Javier Rodríguez, 3-Carlos Salcido, 18-Andrés Guardado (16-Jaime Lozano, 89), 7-Alberto Medina (20-Fernando Arce, 76), 8-Pavel Pardo (Capt.), 6-Gerardo Torrado, 9- Jared Borguetti, 21-Nery Alberto Castillo (Francisco Fonseca, 81)
PAN: 1-Jaime Penedo, 23-Felipe Baloy (Capt.), 3-Luis Moreno (Luis Tejada, 80), 2-Carlos Rivera, 10-Rolando Escobar, 6-Gabirel Enrique Gómez, 22-Victor Herrera (15-Ricardo Phillips, 66), 4-Juan Pérez, 9-Jose Luís Garces (Luis Henríques, 90), 7-Blas Pérez, 5-Roman Torres
On the field vs. Panama
October 12, 2005 – Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass. – 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier
USA 2 Kyle Martino 51’, Taylor Twellman 57’
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 8-Jonathan Spector, 22-Chad Marshall, 12-Danny Califf, 5-Chris Albright; 16-Brian Carroll, 10-Kyle Martino (13-Ricardo Clark, 68), 2-Clint Dempsey; 21-Santino Quaranta, 20-Taylor Twellman (9-Brian Ching, 74), 19-Justin Mapp (14-Steve Ralston, 58)
PAN: 1-Jaime Penedo; 5-Felipe Baloy, 3-Luis Moreno, 6-Gabriel Gomez, 2-Joel Solanilla; 4-Ubaldo Guardia, 10-Angel Lombardo (19-Gabriel Torres, 62), 7-Jorge Dely Valdes, 8-James Brown (13-Roman Torres, 62), 11-Luis Gallardo (18-Anthony Basile, 62); 9-Julio Dely Valdes (capt.)