POWERED BY

U.S. Men's National Team

USMNT vs. Panama: Your Live Commentary

Photo by Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports

Following Friday’s 6-0 destruction of Honduras, the U.S. Men’s National Team turns its focus towards Panama as World Cup qualifying continues.

The U.S. travels to Panama for Tuesday night’s clash, which could see Bruce Arena and co. jump all the way to third in the Hexagonal standings. Currently trailing Panama by one point, the U.S. would be happy to leapfrog Tuesday’s opposition with a win, but they’ll have to overcome some big changes to do so.

Arena was forced to make several changes on Tuesday night, with the biggest coming in defense. Geoff Cameron misses out due to injury, opening the door for Panama nemesis Graham Zusi to enter the XI. Tim Ream steps in for John Brooks, who departed camp following Friday’s win due to a sinus infection. Elsewhere, the previously-suspended Jermaine Jones joins the lineup in place of Sebastian Lletget.

The SBI staff will be offering updates and analysis in the comments section below, so feel free to follow along, and as always, please feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions below.

Enjoy the action.

79 comments
  • Ryan Tolmich

    Hey all and welcome to tonight’s SBI Live Chat. Should be a fun one tonight in Panama. Looking forward to seeing how the USMNT defense handles tonight. What are your initial thoughts on the lineup and what are you looking for tonight?

    Feel free to fire your comments and questions my way in the pregame and throughout tonight’s match.

    Like

    • UclaBruinGreat

      Talk about a make-shift back line. You can argue that we have backups starting at all 4 positions (Villafana can’t already be the #1 left-back can he?). In Zusi’s case he is probably 6th in the right-back depth chart.

      Like

      • Ryan Tolmich

        With regards to Villafana, probably not, but he’s certainly in the discussion. If Arena is truly committed to pushing Johnson into the midfield, it has to be Villafana given what we’ve seen. Starting Villafana over Beasley is a hugeeeee statement that Arena thinks he’s ready.

        Like

  • lprevolution

    As much as I like BEIN’s FSC throwback coverage. I’m sick and can’t go to a bar to watch. No channels in Seattle to watch for me. Best streaming?

    Like

    • UclaBruinGreat

      Seattle has Telemundo. It’s a free over the air channel. Just mute the TV if you don’t speak Spanish.

      Like

    • Ryan Tolmich

      Believe Telemundo is also an option as is Go90 if you don’t mind watching on your phone.

      Like

    • Ryan Tolmich

      Out with a quad issue. Big loss for the USMNT. However, it does get Zusi onto the field at right back for entertainment value. Looking forward to hearing the reaction to his first touch.

      Like

    • Ryan Tolmich

      I’ll go with a 2-1 win for the USMNT. Don’t trust the USMNT backline to keep things completely quiet, but this attacking group is very, very good. Should be confident enough to get two, even given the conditions.

      Like

    • Ryan Tolmich

      6′ Tejada gets loose in the box, but is ruled offside. First real look of the match for Panama.

      Like

      • Ryan Tolmich

        13′ Torres fires just wide for Panama. Field conditions are pretty terrible. Neither team able to really do much. Ball is bouncing all over the place as per CONCACAF tradition.

        Like

      • Ryan Tolmich

        21′ Pretty ugly so far aside from a few moments of Pulisic brilliance. Neither team really able to create much.

        Like

      • Ryan Tolmich

        28′ Panama getting in a rhythm now. Zusi does well to close the door on the right before Ream makes a spectacular clearance a minute or so later. Nervy moments for a makeshift backline.

        Like

      • Ryan Tolmich

        33′ SAVE HOWARD! First clear-cut chance of the game is parried away. Panama definitely the more aggressive team thus far.

        Like

  • Jayboy

    Hi Ryan, with all the injuries I’ve lost track. Who is even available on the bench at this point. And who is your guess for first sub? I feel like Dempsey might not have another 90… so maybe him?

    Like

    • Ryan Tolmich

      If Dempsey can’t go 90, could see someone like Kljestan coming in to play behind Altidore. Arriola is an option as is Wondo. Short on strikers if the U.S. is desperate to stay with two up top, but there are options that could keep the team attacking.

      Like

  • beachbum

    JJ needs too strat showing fr the ball. he’s just standing there in the slot with the ball in our back line trying to play out…wtf?

    Like

  • beachbum

    missing Lletget already, who tirelessly shows for the ball in the middle and plays with courage

    Like

  • beachbum

    you see? even Clint’s had enough, dropped all the way back to show for the ball, then looked at JJ

    Like

    • beachbum

      he is having a real stinker so far. plenty time left to change that but time to play ball

      Like

  • Flagermunsen

    Panama scared of Pulisic. Welcome to CONCACAF. Your going to get hacked for the next 16 years.

    Like

    • Ryan Tolmich

      Hack-a-Pulisic in full effect and, like you said, will be for the next few cycles. Will need to keep his cool today.

      Like

      • beachbum

        well, there’s a huge hole in the middle of the field when we play out of the back, that is, we have no players in there to pass to, so those longer balls and working the sideline are all that’s really there. is that by design or not, I don’t know.
        more fouls called on the USA than Panama, 8-7

        Like

      • beachbum

        oops…sorry, didn’t mean to post that in this thread, my bad

        Like

  • Lost in Space

    Our defense is scary slow so far….
    Bradley’s delivery on free kicks has been horrid as well.

    Like

    • Ryan Tolmich

      Backline isn’t exactly made of burners. Zusi/Gonzalez never really known for their speed while Villafana and Ream aren’t exactly pacey either. Done well so far, all things considered, but definitely need to be aware of counters.

      Like

      • UclaBruinGreat

        Telemundo announcers praising Gonzalez and talking about how improved he is. Apparently they like him alot more than many SBI readers.

        They have also poked fun at Klinsmann a couple of times, which I enjoyed.

        Like

      • Ryan Tolmich

        Think Gonzalez has been solid throughout. If I’m Arena, I have no problem with Gonzalez as my third CB. Cameron and Brooks are far and away top two, but would feel plenty confident with Gonzalez in there as well.

        Like

  • beachbum

    JJ has now flattened out and Arena playing flat 2 with JJ and MB instead of diamond

    Like

  • Ryan Tolmich

    GOAL DEMPSEY! Unreal work from Pulisic, shielding his defender while holding possession in the box. Slides a pass to Dempsey for a simple tap-in. Dempsey gets the goal, but credit to Pulisic. WOW.

    Like

  • beachbum

    I’m not kidding…the goal is the first time JJ showed for the ball out of the back in the game

    please please please do that more often!

    Like

  • Ryan Tolmich

    GOAL PANAMA! The defense does inevitably crack and Panama is right back in it through Gabriel Gomez. Moments before halftime, Panama bounce on a long throw in as Gomez rockets a shot from close range. 1-1.

    Like

  • Ryan Tolmich

    HALFTIME: A pretty fair scoreline thus far as Panama ties it up just before the half. Plenty left to play for in the final 45.

    What’s your take on the first half? Feel free to send some comments/questions my way throughout the break.

    Like

    • beachbum

      well, there’s a huge hole in the middle of the field when we play out of the back, that is, we have no players in there to pass to, so those longer balls and working the sideline are all that’s really there. is that by design or not, I don’t know.
      more fouls called on the USA than Panama, 8-7. the JJ/MB pairing once again just showing it doesn’t really work, there’s no playmaker in the middle to connect forward consistently

      Like

      • Ryan Tolmich

        Definitely could see someone like Bedoya thrown in there. He was quietly very good on Friday night. Think Jones should get a few more minutes, but someone like Bedoya/Kljestan should be an option soon.

        Like

      • Guero

        Ryan, if Bedoya or Kljestan (it just doesn’t seem right to type that many consonants in a row) comes in, who are they replacing in the midfield? Jones?

        Like

      • Bac

        Yup.. it looks like Bruce wants both Jozy and Clint to keep their shape and stay up.. either that or they’re both gassed in that heat. I can’t tell if Jones is supposed to stay flat with MB… figure Bruce will get that worked out at halftime

        Like

  • Guero

    The ref rally needs to show a couple of yellows to get hold of the fouling, it’s a hack-fest. But I guess in CONCACAF, a normal foul is uncalled, and a yellow is just a foul.

    Like

    • Ryan Tolmich

      Nothing too egregious yet, but if Panama keeps hacking Pulisic, could see a few come very, very soon.

      Like

    • Ryan Tolmich

      To be fair, he’s had next to no service. Aside from some hoofed long balls, hasn’t really been anything going his way. No real connection between defense and attack.

      Like

      • john

        well…jozy’s also not pressured a soul or made a single run… he also gave up on a ball to the corner for no apparent reason. his pedometer readings must be hilarious… walked… 0.1 miles… speed… 0.5 mph… heart rate… 220 bpm

        Like

  • Ryan Tolmich

    Second half is underway. What are you looking for? What’s your first sub?

    Like

    • Ryan Tolmich

      51′ Unreal cross from Villafana but Baloy makes an even better block on Pulisic’s volley. Heck of a play from the Panama defender.

      Like

      • Ryan Tolmich

        58′ Ream was the goat on the first half goal, but he just saved one with a HUGE block. Big play from the Fulham defender.

        Like

  • Luke

    Nagbe and Ream need to be subbed off. Most of Panama’s chances are one or a combination of those two. Nagbe looks tired, cause he is not tracking back.

    Like

  • Flagermunsen

    IMHO the problem is that Jones, Dempsey and Altidore are not making a contribution. Not sure Nagbe was a our biggest issue. At least we know Bedoya works hard.

    Like

  • Ryan Tolmich

    Acosta enters the match for the USMNT, replacing Jones. About 16 minutes left.

    Like

  • Lost in Space

    The Zusi at RB experiment has been a huge failure IMO. There is no reason to try it again.

    Like

  • Luke

    Bradley needs to not take a free kick or a corner again. What’s the use of having a taller team when you can’t get it to them.

    Like

  • swy19

    I will ask again, until something changes…how much longer until people start calling for Bradley’s spot to be up for grabs?

    Like

    • Flagermunsen

      I agree. He should go to the NFL as a Free Safety. He certainly refuses to mark anyone and just tracks the ball– just like the U-9s I coached many years ago.

      Like

      • swy19

        Sure, but it’s the passing and consistent giveaways, not to mention some of the worst set piece deliveries I’ve seen in a US shirt. He hasn’t been very good for 3 years, but nobody seems to notice.

        Spent so much time getting the ball deep, running a few yards, and giving it to villafana or zusi under pressure. What is the point of that position if they aren’t able to provide passes up the field?

        Like

    • recovered amishman

      people are too busy blaming Jones for Bradley’s poor play to notice he messes up plenty on his own. MB wasted every corner and free kick he took tonight. For some reason he also gets “leadership” extra credit although the kid showed more leadership out there the last two games than his veteran teammates. Pulisic’s assist tonight was the combination of skill, toughness and cool headedness you would expect from a veteran attacker like Altidore who seemed to think the game plan for him was to pick daisies the entire game.

      Like

      • beachbum

        BS. JJ earned his terrible reviews last night all on his own. He’s a horrible pairing with MB, horrible, and is a lousy midfielder when played in an advanced role, just like MB is

        Like

  • Gary Page

    As might be expected, a pretty ugly game throughout. And have you ever seen a team that pushes as much as Panama did tonight? In the first half on one Panama attack, the attacker pushed Zusi in the back with both hands and knocked him flat on his face and no foul called even though that gave him a clear path toward the goal. So many real blatant fouls not even called. And remember the hand to the face that got the red for JJ in the Centenario? The one here by the Panamanian was much worse. I think the ref came into the game with the mindset that no matter what happened he wasn’t going to give out a card. I saw most of the T&T vs. Mexico game and there were a couple of times when Mexican players weren’t even close to the ball and cut down their opponent with a leg swipe and no yellows there. The way the refs let them play in CONCACAF, it’s not the beautiful game, it’s more like kickboxing. As for this game, the draw seemed a fair result.

    Like

  • Brian from Kansas

    Can someone remind me what the magic number for qualification is? I keep thinking 17, but I don’t know if that’s right.

    Like

Add your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More from SBI Soccer