Shorthanded U.S. Men’s National Team Falls 2-1 to Panama in Second Match at 2024 Copa América

Despite Hard-Fought Effort After 18th-Minute Red Card, 10-man U.S. Concedes Game-Winner in 83rd; USMNT Set to Take on Uruguay in Crucial Group C Finale on July 1 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. (9 p.m. ET; FS1, Univision, TUDN, Fútbol de Primera Radio)
USA Forward Folarin Balogun fights for the ball against two Panamanian players during the USA's Copa America match against Panama
USA Forward Folarin Balogun fights for the ball against two Panamanian players during the USA's Copa America match against Panama

ATLANTA (June 27, 2024) - Competing with 10 players for more than 70 minutes after an early red card, the U.S. Men’s National Team took the lead but ultimately fell 2-1 to Panama in its second group stage match at the 2024 Copa América. Now sitting on three points with a 1-1-0 record, the USA will continue its quest for a quarterfinal berth in the Group C finale against Uruguay on July 1 (9 p.m. ET; FS1, Univision, TUDN, Fútbol de Primera Radio).

A contentious contest full of incidents played before a crowd of 59,145 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium turned when U.S. winger Tim Weah was sent off in the 18th minute. The undeterred USMNT took the lead through striker Folarin Balogun just four minutes later, but subsequent goals from Panama’s César Blackman and José Fajardo—the latter with just seven minutes remaining in the second half—resulted in defeat.

Hoping to maintain the USA’s momentum as Group C play continued, head coach Gregg Berhalter started the same lineup that engineered Saturday’s 2-0 win over Bolivia. It marked the first time he deployed identical lineups in back-to-back matches since the 2021 Gold Cup, but that XI would spend less than 20 minutes together on Thursday as Weah’s expulsion punctuated a rough, tense and eventful first half.

The first plot twist came in just the fifth minute, when U.S. celebrations were cut short by a VAR review that nullified a goal by midfielder Weston McKennie. In the 12th, U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner was hurt in a violent collision with Panama’s César Blackman. Turner rose high and landed hard after being charged by Blackman, but after several minutes of on-field treatment on his left leg, he elected to continue.

Minutes later, Weah was issued a yellow card for an off-the-ball incident that was changed to red upon VAR review. His foul on Panamanian defender Roderick Miller reduced the USA to 10 players and forced Berhalter to pull captain Christian Pulisic back into left midfield, creating a 4-4-1 topped by Balogun.

Before both teams had time to fully adjust to the new circumstances, it was 1-1. The hosts struck first on a play that began when left back Antonee Robinson took advantage of a poor Panamanian clearance to race toward the penalty area and combine deftly with Balogun. The defense was frozen by the quick exchange of passes and Balogun had just enough time to lash a brilliant, first-time strike off the inside of the right post. It was the AS Monaco man’s fifth U.S. goal (in 14 appearances) and second of this Copa América.

Panama drew level four minutes later, however, as Blackman held off Robinson and guided a low shot that deflected off Weston McKennie and between U.S. center backs Tim Ream and Chris Richards just inside the left post.

Berhalter adjusted his tactics at halftime and shifted the team into a 5-3-1 with defender Cameron Carter-Vickers and midfielder Johnny Cardoso coming on in place of midfielders Tyler Adams and Gio Reyna. In addition, Turner (leg injury) made way for Ethan Horvath. Playing with three center backs between Robinson and right back Joe Scally, who manned the flanks, the U.S. absorbed Panamanian pressure and looked for opportunities via counterattack or set pieces. Horvath made a good save of a knuckling, long-range shot in the 51st and in the 63rd, a penalty kick foul whistled against Carter-Vickers was overturned by VAR. Balogun then missed the far post on a curling, right-footed bid in the 70th, just before being replaced by forward Ricardo Pepi.

While Panama had almost all of the ball, the U.S. created another chance in the 81st, as a daring counter led to a cross from McKennie that was just a fraction too high for a leaping Pepi as his goalbound header at the left post was saved. But Panama’s pressure proved too much, and Los Canaleros took the lead in the 83rd when substitute forward José Fajardo beat Horvath from close range.

Despite an 88th-minute red card to Panama’s Adalberto Carrasquilla for a hard foul on Pulisic that restored numerical parity, the desperate U.S. couldn’t find the equalizer. Richards headed Pulisic’s stoppage-time free kick over the crossbar on the USA’s last chance. In the end, Panama’s sustained possession (73.6% to 26.4%) and timely physicality (19 fouls to four) shaped the match over 90-plus minutes.

It marked just the third time Panama has beaten the USA, which still holds a 17-3-7 advantage in the all-time series. Los Canaleros have improved under Danish coach Thomas Christiansen, rising from 81st in the FIFA World Ranking to 43rd since he took over in summer 2020. The two teams split their World Cup qualifying series in 2021-22 and Panama won last year’s Concacaf Gold Cup Semifinal on penalty kicks. Panama, now trailing the USA in Group C on goal difference, wore the U.S. down on Thursday with physicality and persistence.

The USMNT’s Copa América fate now will be determined on July 1 as Group C concludes. The U.S. (1-1-0) will entertain 15-time champion Uruguay in Kansas City, Mo., while Panama and Bolivia meet simultaneously in Orlando, Fla. The USA has advanced beyond the group stage in two of its previous four Copa América appearances. It exited early in 1993 and 2007 and went on to reach the semis in 1995 and 2016.


USA — Folarin Balogun (Antonee Robinson), 22nd minute: With the USA down to 10 players, Robinson raced onto a Panamanian clearance and exchanged a couple of quick touches with Balogun on the left side of the penalty area. With Panama’s defense frozen, Balogun didn’t hesitate, lashing a first-time,18-yard blast off the inside of the right post and in. USA 1, PAN 0

PAN — César Blackman, 26th minute: Blackman received a pass near the penalty arc, won a brief duel with U.S. left back Antonee Robinson and had just enough time to hit a left-footed shot that deflected off Weston McKennie and split center backs Tim Ream and Chris Richards, beating a lunging Matt Turner just inside the left post. It was Blackman’s first international goal. USA 1, PAN 1

PAN — José Fajardo (Abdiel Ayarza), 83rd minute: A period of Panamanian possession and a flurry of balls played into the penalty area paid off when Ayarza hit a low, hard cross from the right. Fajardo got position on U.S. center back Cameron Carter-Vickers and hammered a shot over U.S. goalkeeper Ethan Horvath from close range. USA 1, PAN 2 FINAL


  • Folarin Balogun scored the fifth goal of his international career in the 16th minute on a feed from Antonee Robinson. The goal was Balogun’s second in consecutive matches, marking his first time scoring in back-to-back matches for the USMNT.
  • Balogun is the second USMNT player to score in consecutive Copa América appearances after Clint Dempsey (three straight in 2016).
  • Robinson’s assist was the seventh of his career for the USMNT.
  • Tim Weah’s 18th minute ejection was the first of his international career, and the USMNT’s first since Sergiño Dest was shown red in Concacaf Nations League play at Trinidad and Tobago on Nov. 20, 2023.
  • Goalkeeper Ethan Horvath entered the match as a second-half substitution after Matt Turner suffered a first-half leg injury. It was Horvath’s 10th appearance for the USMNT, and first since a 4-0 friendly win against Oman on Sept. 12, 2023.
  • Cameron Carter-Vickers made his first Copa América appearance after entering for Gio Reyna in the 46th minute. It was Carter-Vickers’ 18th cap for the USMNT.
  • Josh Sargent’s entrance in the 84th minute for Tim Ream marked the St. Louis native’s first appearance for the USMNT since its 1-0 win against Iran in the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Nov. 29, 2022.
  • Christian Pulisic became the seventh player to captain the USMNT 25 times. The USA is 17W-4L-4D when Pulisic wears the armband.
  • Midfielder Tyler Adams started back-to-back matches for the U.S. for the first time since the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
  • Nearly 14 years after making his international debut, veteran defender Tim Ream earned his 50th start in his 60th cap for the USMNT.
  • The USMNT is now 17W-3L-7D all-time against Panama and 13W-3L-7D against La Marea Roja in official competition.
  • Gregg Berhalter is now 44W-16L-13D in 73 matches as USMNT head coach and 29W-8L-7D in 44 matches in official competition.
  • Berhalter started the same XI that faced Bolivia on Sunday night. It was the first time he has started the same lineup in back-to-back matches since the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup Quarterfinal and Semifinal against Jamaica and Qatar, respectively.
  • USMNT Starting XI Cap Numbers (including this match): Christian Pulisic (70), Tim Ream (60), Weston McKennie (55), Antonee Robinson (45), Matt Turner (43), Tyler Adams (41), Tim Weah (41), Gio Reyna (30), Chris Richards (20), Folarin Balogun (14), Joe Scally (13).
  • USMNT Starting XI Cap Numbers in Official Competition (including this match): Christian Pulisic (49), Matt Turner (33), Weston McKennie (32), Tim Ream (31), Antonee Robinson (29), Tyler Adams (23), Tim Weah (21), Gio Reyna (18), Chris Richards (11), Folarin Balogun (8), Joe Scally (7).
  • Today’s Starting XI had an average age of 25 years, 343 days.
  • The Starting XI’s average of 23 caps in official competition was the highest number under Gregg Berhalter. The lineup also averaged 38.3 caps overall.

-U.S. MEN’s National team match report-

Match: United States Men’s National Team vs. Panama
Date: June 27, 2024
Competition: 2024 Copa América – Group C
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium; Atlanta, Georgia.
Attendance: 59,145
Kickoff: 6:00 p.m. ET
Weather: 72 degrees (indoors)

Scoring Summary 1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
PAN 1 1 2
USA - Folarin Balogun (Antonee Robinson) 22nd minute
PAN - César Blackman 26
PAN - José Fajardo (Abdiel Ayarza) 83

USA: 1-Matt Turner (18-Ethan Horvath, 46); 22-Joe Scally, 3-Chris Richards, 13-Tim Ream (26-Josh Sargent, 84), 5-Antonee Robinson; 7-Gio Reyna (2-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 46), 4-Tyler Adams (15-Johnny Cardoso, 46), 8-Weston McKennie; 21-Tim Weah (18, ejection), 10-Christian Pulisic (Capt.), 20-Folarin Balogun (9-Ricardo Pepi, 72)
Substitutes: 25-Sean Johnson, 6-Yunus Musah, 11-Brenden Aaronson, 12-Miles Robinson, 14-Luca de la Torre, 16-Shaq Moore, 17-Malik Tillman, 19-Haji Wright, 23-Kristoffer Lund, 24-Mark McKenzie
Head coach: Gregg Berhalter

PAN: 22-Orlando Mosquera; 2-César Blackman (13-Freddy Góndola, 60), 25-Roderick Miller, 3-José Córdoba, 24-Edgardo Fariña, 15-Éric Davis; 23-Michael Murillo, 6-Christian Martínez (5-Abdiel Ayarza, 76), 8-Adalberto Carrasquilla, 10-Édgar Bárcenas; 9-Eduardo Guerrero (17-José Fajardo, 46)
Substitutes: 21-César Yanis, 16-Carlos Harvey, 1-Luis Mejía, 18-Omar Valencia, 19-Iván Anderson, 14-Jovani Welch, 4-Eduardo Anderson, 26-Kahiser Lenis, 12-César Samudio, 11-Ismael Díaz
Head coach: Thomas Christiansen

Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 6 / 13
Shots on Goal: 3 / 4
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 0 / 3
Fouls: 4 / 19
Offside: 2 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Tim Weah (Sent Off) 18th minute
USA – Antonee Robinson (Caution) 33
PAN – Eduardo Guerrero (Caution) 45
PAN - Adalberto Carrasquilla (Ejection) 88
USA – Chris Richards (Caution) 89
PAN - Edgardo Fariña (Caution) 92
PAN - Freddy Góndola (Caution) 93

Referee: Ivan Barton (SLV)
Assistant 1: David Moran (SLV)
Assistant 2: Henri Pupiro (NCA)
Fourth Official: Kevin Ortega (PER)
Fifth Official: Stephen Atoche (PER)
VAR: Tatiana Guzman (NCA)
AVAR: David Rodriguez (COL)