SAN DIEGO, Calif. (July 12, 2023) – The U.S. Men’s National Team fell to Panama 5-4 on penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 draw in the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup Semifinals. After playing 120 minutes only three days ago, the U.S. team went the distance again and faced back-to-back penalty shootouts for the first time in team history. The result ends the USMNT’s run at this year’s confederation championship as forward Jesús Ferreria netted his tournament-leading seventh goal in front of a crowd of 31,690 at Snapdragon Stadium.
It was the USA’s 12th Gold Cup meeting with Panama- its most-frequent opponent at the competition- and only the second time the Central American side has bested the USMNT in the tournament. Panama will face the winner of Wednesday’s other semifinal -- either Jamaica or Mexico -- in the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup Final at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday, July 16.
It didn’t take long for the USMNT to get things going up front in the game’s early stages. Inside the first minute of play, Forward Brandon Vazquez laid a dangerous pass in after a Panamanian defensive giveaway. Teenage sensation Cade Cowell, starting his second game of the tournament, slammed the ball off the base of the post with a right-footed effort from the edge of the penalty area.
After that, Panama had the majority of possession and dictated the first-half attacking. Forward Ismael Diaz, who bagged a hat trick in Los Canaleros’ quarterfinal against Qatar, fired a warning shot at the U.S. defense and forced goalkeeper Matt Turner into a tidy save with a quick snapshot from a tight angle in the 12th minute. Midfielder Yoel Bárcenas then had the ball in the back of Turner’s net with a close-range volley in the 29th minute on the end of a pinpoint ball from midfielder Adalberto Carrasquilla. The assistant referee’s flag was up, though, signaling the play dead for offside. Another scramble, off a miscleared ball from defender DeJuan Jones, forced Turner off his line to deny Diaz a free header near the penalty spot in the 43rd.
The second half started much like the first, with a good chance for the U.S. A dazzling bit of approach work on the right side of the penalty area saw Cowell unlock the Panama backline and clip the ball across the goal mouth in the 52nd minute. With the centering pass at an awkward height, Vazquez – in his first start of the 2023 Gold Cup – struck the ball over the bar.
A minute later at the other end of the field, a sharp cross from the right was headed down and goalward by Panama’s Diaz. Turner made his second save of the game, diving to tip the bouncing ball up and out for a corner kick.
The game began to open up after the hour mark and the USMNT carved out its best chance to that point in the 65th minute. It came as s a sweeping move that started back with Turner and saw midfielder Gianluca Busio roar forward with the ball through the middle of the park. Second-half substitute DeAndre Yedlin’s low cross from the right picked out Golden Boot leader Ferreira, but the striker guided his shot just wide of the far post. Both teams had chances to ice the game in the dying seconds of regulation, but neither were able to finish the job as the U.S. headed for yet another bout of extra time.
Fatigue began to show for the USMNT, on a day’s less rest than its opponent, in the first period of extra time. Panama made the U.S. pay in the 99th when defender Ivan Anderson scored his first international goal after holding his run and sneaking in behind the U.S. defense. Turner sprang off his line to snuff out the danger, but the substitute was a step quicker and put the bal in the back of the net.
Panama’s lead didn’t last long. Second-half substitute Jordan Morris rose to nod a long ball down into the penalty area in the 105th. Ferreira reacted with lightning reflexes to volley home off his shin in the last seconds of the period. The goal marked Ferreira’s tournament-leading seventh of the Gold Cup, tying him with Clint Dempsey in 2015 for most goals by a U.S. player at a single edition of the confederation championship.
The 1-1 deadlock at the end of extra time forced the USA into a shootout for the second time in as many matches for the first time in team history. After tallying the equalizer moments before, Jesús Ferreira’s first effort was saved by Panama goalkeeper Orlando Mosquera. Turner managed to stop Cristian Martínez’s try, but a saved kick from substitute Cristian Roldan opened the door for a Panama win – which Carrasquilla sealed with a well-placed strike in the shootout’s sixth round.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
PAN - Ivan Anderson (Adalberto Carrasquilla), 99th minute: With both sides tiring and the game getting stretched in extra time, Anderson struck the first goal of the game. He timed his run perfectly to keep himself onside before beating Matt Turner to the ball and slotting into an open net for his first goal in a Panama jersey. USA 0, PAN 1
USA - Jesus Ferreira (Jordan Morris), 105th minute: It was a long, hopeful ball from deep in midfield, but Jordan Morris spun it into gold by rising highest and heading down into the path of Ferreira. The striker bagged his seventh goal of the Gold Cup and 15th of his USMNT career with a curling volley into the far corner of the net. USA 1, PAN 1
- The USMNT played extra time sessions and went to shootouts in back-to-back matches for the first time in team history. Jesús Ferreira, James Sands and Matt Turner were the three players who played the full 120 minutes in both games.
- Jesús Ferreira’s 105th minute goal was his tournament-leading seventh of the 2023 Gold Cup, matching the mark set by Clint Dempsey (2015) for most goals by a U.S. player at a single edition of the confederation championship.
- The goal was the 15th of Ferreira’s international career, tying him with Cobi Jones for 14th on the USMNT’s all-time scoring list. Ferreira also registered his 12th goal in official competition, tying him with Michael Bradley for 10th among USMNT players in competitive matches.
- Jordan Morris registered his ninth career assist on Ferreira’s goal and first since the 4-1 win against Canada on Nov. 15, 2019 in Orlando.
- Matt Turner made his 10th Gold Cup appearance, tying him with Tony Meola for third among U.S. goalkeepers in the continental championship. Turner also made his eighth appearance in a knockout round match, moving him past Meola for sole possession of third among USMNT goalkeepers.
- Turner’s stop on Cristian Martinez in the shootout was his fifth penalty kick save for the USMNT. He has two during regular time and three in shootouts.
- James Sands became the sixth player to appear in 11 consecutive Gold Cup matches for the USMNT. A substitute in his tournament debut against Haiti on July 11, 2021, the midfielder has started each of his last 10 Gold Cup appearances.
- With an average age of 24 years, 202 days, tonight’s Starting XI was the seventh youngest the USMNT has utilized in a knockout round match. The team’s 10 youngest knockout round lineups have all been deployed since 2021.
- The lineup also averaged 16 caps and 11 appearances in official competition.
- Brandon Vazquez earned his first Gold Cup start in his hometown of San Diego.
- Cade Cowell (19 years, 271 days) became the fourth youngest player to start a Gold Cup Knockout Round match for the USMNT. He follows Juan Agudelo (18 years, 211 days; June 22, 2011 vs. Panama), Gianluca Busio (19 years, 58 days; July 25, 2021 vs. Jamaica) and George Bello (19 years, 191 days; Aug. 1, 2021 vs. Mexico).
- The leading cap-winner in the current player pool, substitute DeAndre Yedlin made his 81st career appearance, tying him with Desmond Armstrong, Thomas Dooley and Tab Ramos for 27th on the USMNT’s all-time caps list.
- The USMNT moves to 17-2-7 all-time against Panama. The team is 13-2-7 in official competition and 6-1-5 in Gold Cup play against Los Canaleros.
- The USMNT is 29-8-7 all-time in the Gold Cup knockout round and 11-3-2 in Gold Cup semifinal matches.
- The USMNT moves to 5-3 in shootouts in official competition.
- U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT –
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Panama
Date: July 12, 2023
Competition: 2023 Gold Cup – Semifinal
Venue: Snapdragon Stadium; San Diego, Calif.
Kickoff: 7:36 p.m. ET / 4:36 p.m. local
Weather: 78 degrees, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 OT1 OT2 F PK
USA 0 0 1 0 1 4
PAN 0 0 1 0 1 5
PAN - Ivan Anderson (Adalberto Carrasquilla) 99th minute
USA – Jesús Ferreira (Jordan Morris) 105
Penalty Kick Summary:
USA – Jesús Ferreira (saved), Djordje Mihailovic (goal), Jordan Morris (goal), Julian Gressel (goal), Matt Miazga (goal), Cristian Roldan (saved)
PAN – Fidel Escobar (goal), Ismael Diaz (goal), Cristian Martinez (saved), Edgar Barcenas (goal), Cecilio Waterman (goal), Adalberto Carrasquilla (goal)
USA: 1-Matt Turner (capt.); 5-Bryan Reynolds (2-DeAndre Yedlin, 63), 12-Miles Robinson, 3-Aaron Long (4-Matt Miazga, 73), 15-DeJuan Jones (21-John Tolkin, 104); 6-Gianluca Busio (22-Julian Gressel, 104), 8-James Sands, 14-Djordje Mihailovic; 9-Jesús Ferreira, 19-Brandon Vazquez (13-Jordan Morris, 74), 11-Cade Cowell (10-Cristian Roldan, 63)
Substitutes not used: 18-Sean Johnson, 23-Gabriel Slonina, 17-Alejandro Zendejas, 20-Jalen Neal, 24-Jackson Yueill
Head coach: B.J. Callaghan
PAN: 22-Orlando Mosquera; 4-Fidel Escobar, 3-Harold Cummings, 16-Andres Andrade; 10-Edgar Barcenas, 8-Adalberto Carrasquilla, 20-Anibal Godoy (capt.) (7-Jovani Welch, 102), 15-Eric Davis (25-Ivan Anderson, 90+1); 17-Jose Fajardo (6-Cristian Martinez, 79), 19-Alberto Quintero (18-Cecilio Waterman, 79), 11-Ismael Diaz
Substitutes not used: 1-Luis Mejia, 12-Cesar Samudio, 5-Roderick Miller, 9-Azarias Londoño, 13-Freddy Gondola, 14-Eduardo Anderson, 21-Cesar Yanis, 24-Omar Valencia
Head coach: Thomas Christiansen
Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 14 / 12
Shots on Goal: 3 / 5
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 2 / 3
Fouls: 12 / 12
Offside: 1 / 4
USA – Miles Robinson (caution) 86th minute
PAN – Anibal Godoy (caution) 101
Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Keytzel Corrales (NCA)
Assistant Referee 2: Raymundo Feliz (DOM)
4th Official: Juan Gabriel Calderon (HON)
VAR: Selvin Brown (CRC)