Preview: USMNT Faces Panama For Spot In 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup Final

After Dramatic Shootout Victory Against Canada, USA Seeks Record 13th Gold Cup Final Appearance; Kickoff from Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, Calif. Set for 7:30 p.m. ET (FS1, Univision, TUDN)

CHICAGO (July 11, 2023) – After a thrilling shootout win against Canada, the U.S. Men’s National Team will take on Panama in the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup Semifinals on Wednesday, July 12. The USA aims to reach a record 13th Gold Cup Final when it faces Los Canaleros, the team’s most frequent opponent at this tournament.

Coverage of USA-Panama from Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, Calif. begins at 7 p.m. ET on FS1, Univision and TUDN, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. ET.  Live Spanish-language audio for the match will be available on Fútbol de Primera radio platforms.

The U.S. won its first penalty-kick shootout in the tournament since 2005 to reach the semifinals, boosted by two saves from goalkeeper Matt Turner after tying the game late in extra time. Panama rolled Qatar 4-0 after topping its group with an undefeated record to reach the semifinals for the fifth time.  

Fans will be able to follow the match via Facebook, Twitter @USMNT, Instagram @USMNT and the official U.S. Soccer App.


GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Sean Johnson (Toronto FC/CAN; 13/0), 23-Gaga Slonina (Chelsea/ENG; 1/0), 1-Matt Turner (Arsenal/ENG; 31/0)

DEFENDERS (8): 15-DeJuan Jones (New England Revolution; 5/0), 3-Aaron Long (LAFC; 34/3), 4-Matt Miazga (FC Cincinnati; 27/1), 20-Jalen Neal (LA Galaxy; 6/0), 5-Bryan Reynolds (Roma/ITA; 6/1), 12-Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 24/3), 21-John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls; 2/0), 2-DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami; 80/0)

MIDFIELDERS (6): 6-Gianluca Busio (Venezia/ITA; 12/1), 14-Djordje Mihailovic (AZ Alkmaar/NED; 10/3), 16-Aidan Morris (Columbus Crew; 4/0), 10-Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 36/0), 8-James Sands (New York City FC; 12/0), 24-Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 16/0)

FORWARDS (6): 11-Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes; 7/1), 9-Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; 22/14), 22-Julian Gressel (Vancouver Whitecaps/CAN; 5/0), 13-Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders; 54/11), 19-Brandon Vazquez (FC Cincinnati; 7/4), 17-Alex Zendejas (Club América/MEX; 7/1)


Date Opponent Venue Time (ET) / Result TV Info
Saturday, June 24 Jamaica Soldier Field; Chicago, Ill. 1-1 D --             
Wednesday, June 28 St. Kitts and Nevis CityPark; St. Louis, Mo. 6-0 W              --
Sunday, July 2 Trinidad and Tobago Bank of America Stadium; Charlotte, N.C. 6-0 W --
Sunday, July 9 Canada TQL Stadium; Cincinnati, Ohio 2-2 D (3-2 PK) --
Wednesday, July 12 Panama Snapdragon Stadium; San Diego, Calif. 7:30 p.m. ET FS1, Univision, TUDN


Following a dramatic 2-2 draw in extra time, the USMNT utilized two penalty kick saves from Matt Turner to defeat Canada 3-2 in a shootout to advance to the semifinals. After a deadlock for nearly all of regulation, the USA broke through in the 88th minute when left back DeJuan Jones teed up a header for second-half substitute Brandon Vazquez, playing in front of his raucous FC Cincinnati hometown fans. The lead was short-lived, as Canada was awarded a penalty for a U.S. hand ball four minutes into second-half stoppage time and captain Steven Vitoria hammered it home to send things to extra time.

Forward Jacob Shaffelburg scored on a hard-hit shot early in the second period of extra time, but the U.S. found an answer in the 114th. Midfielder Gianluca Busio fired a strike from close range, and after a save by Canada goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair the ball bounced off defender Scott Kennedy and into the back of the net. In the ensuing shootout, Turner saved the first two Canadian penalty kicks, forward Cade Cowell, Busio and forward Jesús Ferreira nailed their PKs and Canada hit the crossbar with its final attempt to send the U.S. to the semis. 


Sunday night marked the seventh time that the USMNT has gone to a penalty shootout in official competition, advancing on five occasions. It was the first shootout win since the 2005 Gold Cup Final, a 3-1 penalty kick victory against Panama following a scoreless 120 minutes of play. Turner became the first U.S. goalkeeper to make multiples saves in a shootout since Kasey Keller in the 2002 Gold Cup Semifinal vs. Canada. In his professional career for club and country, Turner has saved a remarkable 11 of 25 penalty kicks (not including shootouts).

USMNT Shootout Record in Official Competition
Date Opponent Score Competition
July 7, 1991 Honduras 0-0 D (4-3 W) Gold Cup Final
July 17, 1995 Mexico 0-0 D (4-1 W) Copa America Quarterfinal
Feb. 19, 2000 Colombia 2-2 D (1-2 L) Gold Cup Quarterfinal
Jan. 30, 2002 Canada 0-0 D (4-2 W) Gold Cup Semifinal
July 24, 2005 Panama 0-0 D (3-1 W) Gold Cup Final
July 25, 2015 Panama 1-1 D (2-3 L) Gold Cup Third Place Match
July 9, 2023 Canada 2-2 D (3-2 W) Gold Cup Quarterfinal


Forward Brandon Vazquez once again played hero late for the USMNT, netting the go-ahead goal in the 88th minute in front of his home club fans. With the goal, Vazquez became the first USMNT player to find the back of the net three times as a substitute in in Gold Cup play. The FC Cincinnati forward also scored in the 88th minute of the USA’s Gold Cup opener vs. Jamaica in Chicago, earning the USMNT a 1-1 draw to kick off the tournament. He then tallied the final goal in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time in the USA’s 6-0 rout of Trinidad and Tobago on July 2 in Charlotte. Vazquez’s goal at TQL Stadium on Sunday made him the first U.S. player to score in his home club stadium since Clint Dempsey tallied in the Copa America Centenario Quarterfinals in 2016 at Lumen Field in Seattle.


Panama rolled guest nation Qatar 4-0 in the quarterfinals to reach its fifth Gold Cup semifinal after topping Group C with an undefeated 2-0-1 record. Los Canaleros opened the tournament with a 2-1 win against Costa Rica on goals from forward José Fajarado and midfielder Yoel Bárcenas and a 2-1 victory vs. Martinique with tallies from Fajarado and defender Michael Murillo, conceding in second-half stoppage time both matches. In its Group C finale, Panama played El Salvador to a back-and-forth 2-2 draw, with defender Fidel Escobar equalizing after an early Salvadoran lead and forward Ismael Díaz giving the side the advantage again before conceding another goal in second-half stoppage time to settle for a draw.

In the quarters, Bárcenas opened the scoring in the 19th minute against Qatar before the floodgates opened in the second half with a hat trick from Díaz. The Ecuador-based forward’s three goals came in the span of just nine minutes to send Panama flying into the final four.


Panama is the USMNT’s most frequent opponent at the Concacaf Gold Cup, as Wednesday marks the nations’ 12th meeting at the tournament. The U.S. holds a 6-1-4 record all-time vs. Panama at the Gold Cup and is 17-2-6 across all competitions.

Seven of the previous clashes have come with high stakes in the knockout stage. The USA’s last penalty-kick shootout victory came in the 2005 Gold Cup Final against Panama, a 3-1 triumph following 120 scoreless minutes of play. The U.S. also topped Panama in the 2013 Gold Cup Final, a 1-0 victory on a goal from Brek Shea. 

USA-Panama Gold Cup Series
Date Score USMNT Goal Scorers Round
July 14, 1993 2-1 W Wynalda, Dooley Group Stage
July 24, 2005 0-0 D - Final
June 16, 2007 2-1 W Donovan, Bocanegra Quarterfinal
July 18, 2009 2-1 W (AET) Beckerman, Cooper Quarterfinal
June 11, 2011 1-2 L Goodson Group Stage
June 22, 2011 1-0 W Dempsey Semifinal
July 28, 2013 1-0 W Shea Final
July 13, 2015 1-1 D (1-3 PK) Bradley Group Stage
July 25, 2015 1-1 D (3-1 PK) Dempsey 3rd Place
July 8, 2017 1-1 D Dwyer Group Stage
June 26, 2019 1-0 W Altidore Group Stage


The USMNT has played more matches in California than any other state, but Wednesday will be the USA’s first visit to Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, the home of San Diego Wave FC in the National Women’s Soccer League and San Diego State Aztecs football. The U.S. is 1-5-3 overall in America’s Finest City, most recently playing Serbia to a 0-0 draw in 2017 at the conclusion of the team’s January training camp. The USA is 55-30-32 all-time in the Golden State. 

The USMNT squad features several connections to Southern California. Forward Brandon Vazquez hails from nearby Chula Vista. Defender Jalen Neal is from Lakewood and is a homegrown player for LA Galaxy, defender Aaron Long comes from Oak Hills and currently plays for LAFC, while midfielder Cristian Roldan grew up in Pico Rivera. Midfielder Jackson Yueill played two years of college soccer at UCLA.


  • Brandon Vazquez’s 88th minute goal vs. Canada was the fourth of his international career and third of the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup. Vazquez is the first USMNT player to score three goals as a substitute in Gold Cup play.
  • DeJuan Jones collected his second career assist on Vazquez’s goal. The left back registered his first assist in the group stage finale against Trinidad and Tobago last Sunday.
  • With an average age of 24 years, 187 days, Sunday night’s lineup was the sixth youngest the USMNT has put out in a knockout round match. All five of the lineups that were younger were utilized since June 2021.
  • James Sands became the 11th USMNT player to appear in 10 consecutive Gold Cup matches. A substitute in his Gold Cup debut against Haiti on July 11, 2021, Sands has started each of his last nine Gold Cup appearances.
  • At 19 years, 319 days, Jalen Neal became the youngest center back to appear for the USMNT in a knockout round match. He beats out Steve Pecher, who started in central defense for the USA in a World Cup qualifying playoff with Canada on Dec. 22, 1976 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
  • Following the group stage, Jackson Yueill was added to the USMNT roster to replace the injured Alan Soñora who was diagnosed with a right hamstring strain.
  • Midfielder Aidan Morris was also given permission to depart camp due to personal reasons.
  • Seven players are 24 or younger: Brandon Vazquez (24); James Sands and Jesús Ferreira (22); Aidan Morris (21); John Tolkin (20); Cade Cowell and Jalen Neal (19)
  • Goalkeeper Sean Johnson is one of just nine players to make five or more Gold Cup rosters alongside DaMarcus Beasley, Landon Donovan, Frankie Hejduk, Kasey Keller (six rosters each), Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Cobi Jones and Eric Wynalda (five rosters each).
  • After earning tournament Best XI honors in 2021, goalkeeper Matt Turner and defender Miles Robinson are among seven returnees from that year’s championship side. They are joined by Gianluca Busio, Sean Johnson, Cristian Roldan, James Sands and Jackson Yueill.
  • Turner claimed the Golden Glove as best goalkeeper at the 2021 Gold Cup, earning five clean sheets and conceding only one goal in six matches. Robinson contributed mightily to those five clean sheets, while also adding two goals including the extra time winner in the 1-0 victory against Mexico in the final. 
  • Nine players made their USMNT debut earlier this year: Julian Gressel, DeJuan Jones, Aidan Morris, Jalen Neal, Gaga Slonina, Alan Soñora, John Tolkin, Brandon Vazquez and Alex Zendejas.


  • Wednesday marks the USA’s 26th meeting all-time vs. Panama and the 22nd in official competition. Panama is the USMNT’s most frequent opponent at the Concacaf Gold Cup and ninth most frequent overall.
  • The U.S. is 17-2-6 vs. Panama overall, 13-2-6 in official competition and 6-1-4 at the Gold Cup.
  • The nations last met during qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a resounding 5-1 victory for the U.S. in Orlando on March 27, 2022. Christian Pulisic netted a hat trick and forward Jesús Ferreira also added a goal to bring the USA to the brink of World Cup qualification.
  • The U.S. faced Panama in its group stage finale at the 2019 Gold Cup, a 1-0 victory in Kansas City, Kan. Forward Jozy Altidore scored the lone goal in the 66th to clinch the top of the group for the United States.
  • Panama defender Omar Valencia is on the books at New York Red Bulls alongside U.S. left back John Tolkin.
  • The USA-Panama series dates back to July 14, 1993, a 2-1 victory in the Gold Cup group stage.
  • Eleven players on the Gold Cup roster have previous experience vs. Panama: DeAndre Yedlin (5 GP), Sean Johnson (4), Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan (3 each), Aaron Long, Matt Miazga, Djordje Mihailovic (2 each), Gianluca Busio, Jesús Ferreira, Miles Robinson, Matt Turner (1 each).
  • Djordje Mihailovic made his USMNT debut against Los Canaleros, tallying the opening goal of the 3-0 win on Jan. 27, 2019 in Glendale, Ariz.


GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Luis Meijía (Unión Española/CHI), 22-Orlando Mosquera (Monagas/VEN), 12-César Samudio (Marathón/HON)

DEFENDERS (8): 14-Eduardo Anderson (San Carlos/CRC), 16-Andrés Andrade (Arminia Bielefeld/GER), 25-Ivan Anderson (Monagas/VEN), 3-Harold Cummings (Monagas/VEN), 15-Eric Davis (DAC 1904/SVK), 4-Fidel Escobar (Saprissa/CRC), 5-Roderick Miller (Turan Tovuz/AZE), 24-Omar Valencia (New York Red Bulls/USA)

MIDFIELDERS (8): 10-Yoel Bárcenas (Mazatlán/MEX), 8-Adalberto Carrasquilla (Houston Dynamo FC/USA), 20-Aníbal Godoy (Nashville SC/USA), 13-Freddy Góndola (Alajuelense/CRC), 6-Cristian Martínez (Najran/KSA), 19-Alberto Quintero (Cienciano/PER), 7-Jovani Welch (Academico de Viseu/POR), 21-César Yanis (Potros del Este)

FORWARDS (4): 11-Ismael Díaz (Universidad Católica/ECU), 17-José Fajardo (Cusco/PER), 9-Azarías Londoño (Comunicaciones/GUA), 18-Cecillio Waterman (Cobresal/CHI)


  • Panama has appeared in 11 of 17 Concacaf Gold Cups all time. Its best finish came as runner-up at the 2005 and 2013 tournaments, while Los Canaleros also reached the semis in 2011 and 2015.
  • Los Canaleros finished fourth at the 2023 Concacaf Nations League Finals, falling to Canada 2-0 in the semifinal and 1-0 to Mexico in the third-place game.
  • At the 2021 Gold Cup, Panama did not advance from its group, finishing third behind Qatar and Honduras.
  • Los Canaleros made their FIFA World Cup debut at Russia 2018, finishing fourth in their group and 32nd overall.
  • During qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Panama finished fifth in the eight-team Octagonal, four points out of an interconfederation playoff spot.


  • Panama reached the 2023 Gold Cup as one of the top two finishers in Concacaf Nations League A, Group B, winning its group over Costa Rica and Martinique.
  • Los Canaleros opened Nations League play with 2-0 and 5-0 victories against Costa Rica and Martinique at home before drawing Martinique 0-0 on the road during the June 2022 window. Closing the group stage campaign in March 2023, Panama topped Costa Rica 1-0 on a late goal from forward José Fajarado


  • Panama’s squad draws from all over the world, featuring players from Costa Rica, the United States, Venezuela (three each), Chile, Peru (two each), Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Portugal, Saudi Arabia and Slovakia (one each).
  • Just one player competes domestically in Panama: midfielder César Yanis at Potros del Este. Three play with clubs in Major League Soccer.
  • Forward Alberto Quintero is the roster’s most-capped player with 132 international appearances.
  • Forward Cecilio Waterman’s eight goals lead the team, while forward Ismael Díaz is second in the Gold Cup Golden Boot race with four goals, trailing the USA’s Jesús Ferreira (six goals).


  • Head coach Thomas Christiansen took charge of Panama in July 2020. The Danish-born former Spanish international has led Los Canaleros to a 22-13-11 record.
  • He joined Panama following previous coaching stints in Belgium, Cyprus, and England with Leeds United. He won the Cypriot league with APOEL in 2017.
  • The forward enjoyed a long playing career across Europe, leading the Bundesliga in goals for the 2002-03 season with VfL Bochum.


  • If teams are tied at the end of regulation in the knockout stage, two 15-minute periods of extra time will be played. If the score is still tied, the game will go to penalty kicks.
  • Teams are permitted to use a maximum of five substitutes over the course of three moments. An additional substitution and moment will be allowed in extra time. Substitutions made during halftime, before the start of extra time and halftime of extra time do not count as one of the allotted moments.


After taking home one continental title earlier this month with a dominant performance at the Concacaf Nations League, the USMNT is aiming for a record-tying eighth Concacaf Gold Cup this June/July. Another championship would mark the first time ever that one nation has won four straight Concacaf titles.

The U.S. entered the tournament as Gold Cup champion following a strong performance in the 2021 competition. There, the U.S. rattled off six-straight wins and allowed just one goal en route to the title. The championship run was punctuated with a dramatic 1-0 win against Mexico in the tournament final, as defender Miles Robinson headed home the game-winning goal in added extra time. It marked two continental titles in two months for the USMNT with two almost entirely different rosters.

Held every two years, the Gold Cup has crowned a confederation champion biennially since 1991. Similar to the UEFA European Championship or the Copa America, lifting the trophy brings prestige and regional supremacy across North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The U.S. has won the tournament seven times (1991, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2013, 2017, 2021), just behind all-time leader Mexico (1993, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2009, 2011, 2015). Canada is the only other tournament champion, winning in 2000. 


The Gold Cup roster is anchored with players who have tournament action under their belts. A total of 12 have previous experience at this competition, with nine having won at least once and 11 having reached a final. Matt Turner and Miles Robinson earned a spot on the 2021 Tournament Best XI, leading a total of seven players to lift the ’21 championship trophy. Five players helped the USMNT lift the 2022-23 Concacaf Nations League trophy last month: Turner and Robinson plus goalkeepers Sean Johnson and Matt Turner, midfielder Alan Soñora and forward Alex Zendejas.

In addition, the squad features seven players from the 2022 FIFA World Cup team: Johnson and Turner plus defenders Aaron Long and DeAndre Yedlin, midfielder Cristian Roldan and forwards Jesús Ferreira and Jordan Morris.

Sean Johnson becomes the ninth USMNT player named to five or more Gold Cup rosters, joining DaMarcus Beasley (6), Landon Donovan (6), Frankie Hejduk (6), Kasey Keller (6), Clint Dempsey (5), Brad Guzan (5), Cobi Jones (5) and Eric Wynalda (5).


Complementing the veteran core is a number of young, hungry players looking to make their mark on the senior USMNT. Seven players are age-eligible for next summer’s 2024 Olympics, the U.S. men’s first appearance at the tournament since 2008: goalkeeper Gaga Slonina, defenders Jalen Neal, John Tolkin and Bryan Reynolds, midfielders Gianluca Busio and Aidan Morris plus forward Cade Cowell.

Eleven players brought six or less caps and will look to gain valuable international tournament experience during the USA’s quest for an eighth Gold Cup: Cowell, Morris, Neal, Reynolds, Slonina and Tolkin plus defender DeJuan Jones, midfielder Djordje Mihailovic and forwards Julian Gressel, Brandon Vazquez and Alex Zendejas.

Prior to the 2021 Gold Cup, goalkeeper Matt Turner and Miles Robinson had a combined four international caps. The pair played every minute for the U.S. at the tournament, allowing just one goal and earning Best XI honors, catapulting them to some of the first names on the team sheet for the USMNT. Now, these players have the opportunity to take a similar step forward.


As expected, this Gold Cup roster has a more U.S.-based influence than the Concacaf Nations League squad, with a total of 17 of 23 players coming from Major League Soccer. Players also join from clubs in England (2), Italy (2), Mexico (1) and Netherlands (1).

With two selections each, FC Cincinnati, San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders lead the list of 12 MLS teams represented on the roster, followed by Atlanta United, Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, Inter Miami, LAFC, LA Galaxy, New England Revolution, New York City FC and New York Red Bulls.