Preview of the USA vs. Panama international friendly

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The year 2015 got off to a bad start for the USA as they fell 3-2 on the road in Chile. Overall it was a mixed performance with good showings by Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, but poor showing from Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey. The USA has now lost three in a row, is winless in five straight, and won only once in the last nine games.

The biggest positive from the Chile game is the resurgence of Jozy Altidore who couldn’t buy a goal at Sunderland, but who has now scored in three of his last four appearances. Not only did he score, but he was also a big help in defense, as strange as that may sound, if only because he is a forward.

Looking to the next game, Panama will present a different challenge than Chile did. For one, this game is at home. Plus, not all of the players on Panama’s roster are in mid-season form. Three MLS players have been called in by manager Hernan Gomez: FC Dallas forward Blas Perez, Colorado Rapids forward Gabriel Torres, and LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.

For the USA the trend of late has been a fast start and a poor second half. While against Chile the USA did not give up a goal after the 80th minute (a rarity), they did struggle in the second half to hold onto a lead. In fact, since the World Cup the USA has not scored a single goal in the second half, while conceding nine.

The last time these two teams played was perhaps one of the greatest games in the history of the Hexagonal. Not only was the game itself highly entertaining with the USA scoring two goals in stoppage time, but it was made immortal by the fact that the USA saved Mexico’s chances of qualifying for the World Cup by winning the game. The call of the Mexican TV commentators saying, “We love you forever and ever” and “God Bless America” was a fascinating part of the drama.

Notes:

Marc Pelosi was called into the January Camp and left off the roster for the Chile game, but will be on the roster for this game.

The US and Panama have played six times since 2011. That is tied for most against any one opponent in that same period of time, with the USA also playing Mexico six times since 2011.

This is the 9th time the USA has played a January Camp game at Stub Hub Center. Their record in those nine games is 5-1-2.

With his goal against Chile, Altidore now has 26 for the USA, which is fifth all-time on the American scoring list, and second among active Americans.

On Monday, forward Bobby Wood was released to fly back to Germany to complete a loan move from 1860 Munich to FC Erzgebirge. No replacement was added.

The loss to Chile was Nick Rimando’s first loss in a USA jersey.

When, Where

2/8/15, Stub Hub Center, Carson, CA, 4pm ET

ESPN, UniMas

All-Time Series

USA leads 10-1-2

Last Meeting

3 USA Panama 2

10/15/13, Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City, Panama

Next Game Up

3/25/15 against Denmark,  NRGi Park, Arhus, Denmark

 

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One Response

  1. B February 6, 2015

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