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USA vs. Panama, third-place Gold Cup match preview

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This is the game the US wasn’t supposed to be playing in. But after falling to Jamaica 2-1 on Wednesday night (and costing themselves an automatic berth to the 2017 Confederations Cup), it’s the game the US is stuck playing in.  There is now an immense amount of pressure on Jurgen Klinsmann to start delivering on the promises he made when he was hired four years ago because there are now very serious rumblings on whether he should keep his job or not.  The process of cooling off the hot seat begins in the third place game against Panama.

It’s safe to say that the semifinal against Jamaica was the worst result for the US under Klinsmann.  Nobody looked good.  All 14 players who played looked like they were way out their depth.  Too many times the US player with the ball would get the edge of the box and stop.  Too many times the US would give the ball right to Jamaica.  Even in losses there are usually a few bright spots.  There were no bright spots against Jamaica.  Clint Dempsey was invisible.  Aron Johannsson was wasteful.  Michael Bradley scored but was again pedestrian.  Brad Guzan had horrible positioning on both goals (it is somewhat bizarre that the day Tim Howard announces he’s ready to return to the national team, Brad Guzan has the worst game of his national team career).  The substitutes fared no better.  Alan Gordon saw action in a US jersey for the first time since 2012, but had little impact on the game.  The same holds true for Mix Diskerud and DeAndre Yedlin.  It’s a fair bet to expect wholesale changes for the third place game against Panama.

Panama feels that they should be in the final.  They feel that they were given the screwjob by CONCACAF and American referee Mark Geiger.  It’s ludicrous to suggest that.  Both of Geiger’s penalties were correctly given (though every soccer journalist in America has been beating their readers and followers over the head with the narrative that all the CONCACAF referees are inept) as was the send-off issued to Luis Tejada in the 25th minute.  And even after going a man down, Panama still took the lead with 30 mins to play and couldn’t hang on.  The actions of their players and coaching staff after the game (the entire bench stormed Geiger and only timely intervention by Georgia Dome security personnel prevented serious harm coming to Geiger and his crew) are despicable and unacceptable.  It’s safe to say that this third place game against the US features two teams who really don’t want to be there.  It’s not all bad news for Panama though.  Because the US, Mexico, and Jamaica are all already qualified for the 2016 Copa America Centenario (should it be held) Panama has now qualified as well.

Notes:

• Wednesday’s loss to Jamaica snapped a 26-game unbeaten streak at home, dating back to May 2013.

• Prior to Jurgen Klinsmann taking over, the US had never lost to Jamaica.  They’ve now lost to them twice in 5 games.

• This was the first loss in a competitive match at home since the 2011 Gold Cup Final.

• This Gold Cup is the first edition since 2003 to have a third place game.

• Luis Tejada will be suspended for Panama after being sent off against Mexico.

• This is already the third time these two teams will play this year.  They also played three times back in 2013. 

When, Where

7/25/15
PPL Park
Chester, Pennsylvania
4pm ET
FOX Sports 2, UniMas

 

All-Time Series

USA leads 11-1-3

 

Last Meeting

7/13/15
Sporting Park
Kansas City, Kansas
USA 1-1 Panama

 

Next Game Up

9/4/15
USA vs. Peru
RFK Stadium
Washington DC

 

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. San Fransiscan

    July 25, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    With United and Barcelona playing and shown on FOX. I doubt there would be a large number of viewers for this game.

    Had 3 tickets for the United game today. However, I had to give it away :(.

  2. Flyvanescence

    July 25, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Ill be there with a large crowd of friends.

  3. Ivan

    July 25, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    US gets to qualify automatically by playing make-believe teams…in the meantime, you have Netherlands, France, Sweden, Bulgaria and Belarus…to quote Malcolm in the Middle’s opening credits- Life is unfair.

    England also drawn in a joke of a group.

    Send US and Mexico to Conmebol for some real games and a reality check!

    • Lawrence Dockery

      July 25, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      USA’s next two friendlies are against Peru and Brazil.

      • Ivan

        July 25, 2015 at 2:49 pm

        Ahem, friendlies…the US beat Holland and Germany in meaningless friendlies recently before the epic fail of the Gold Cup…go to La Pas, Santiago de Chile, or Lima for high-stakes/do-or-die qualifiers…different animal altogether.

        • Lawrence Dockery

          July 26, 2015 at 12:10 am

          You said CONMEBOL, I gave you info that our next two games are against CONMEBOL opposition. Plus, since the World Cup we’ve already played Ecuador, Cololbia and at Chile. Also, there may or may not be the 2016 Copa America Centenario here in the US next year.

  4. Mr. Mud

    July 25, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Let me guess. USMNT wins and everyone talks about how good Klinsmann is, even through Panama will be without their Keeper and starting forward.

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