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USA vs. Panama: Match Night Commentary

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The U.S. men's national team has a chance for revenge and a chance for a place in the 2011 Gold Cup Final tonight when it takes on Panama in the first of two semifinal matches at Reliant Stadium in Houston (7pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

The United States is riding high off an impressive 2-0 win against Jamaica in the quarters, and faces a fatigued but confident Panama side that needed penalty kicks to edge El Salvador in its quarterfinal match.

SBI will be providing live commentary on tonight's match so please free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Commentary is after the jump):


  1. Add in Ream in the middle. And Lichaj not getting an initial shot.

    This is an excellent post. These r the questions that need to be asked and asked. Bradley is legendary for this.

  2. What I was also happy to see were a few runs in the 18 that should have rewarded. Dempsey and Landon each had him open but took a wild shot instead.
    Speaking of Runs.. Bedoya for the first 60 made the best ones

  3. A couple of notes from the stands….

    This was my second Gold Cup match, the first being the final in 98 vs. Mexico in LA Colosseum. We sat in the section next to the America Outlaws, so we got plenty of the smoke bombs :). Although the crowd was overwhelmingly pro-Mexico, it was less lopsided than it was in LA in 98 (back then more than 90/10, this time I would guess 75/15, with the rest being Honduran fans (no Panamanians to speak of)).

    Yes, not all the Mexican fans were there at kickoff. I’m sure the 6pm start time didn’t help (we made it to our seats just at the national anthem). Neither did the incredibly slow food service (I waited all of halftime and 20 minutes of 2nd half for my food before giving up and demanding a refund).

    Those Mexican fans who were at the kickoff (and I would say the seats were half full by kickoff time) were, 90% of them, supporting the US in their game. In fact, I saw plenty of people with Mexican jerseys wearing US flag capes, or US flag face paint, or people wearing combined US/Mexico jerseys, etc. However, towards the end of the game the mood started to change, as many of the Mexican fans who had arrived late seemed less supportive of the US. It does make a certain sense, I suppose.

    When the game was over the volume started to increase immensely, to a truly deafening level by kickoff. Mexico came out really hard for the first 20 minutes, but Honduras weathered the storm and started showing increasing signs of confidence as the half wore on, and they began to make some forays into the Mexican half. Portillo in particular seemed like he was a handful for the Mexican defense.

    Some observers noted that it seemed US fans left instead of watching the Mexico game, and speculated about hostility. I certainly can’t describe anyone else’s motives but I chose to leave at halftime because of the timing. I had my 10 year old son and his teammates with me, and I could either leave at 10 and be home by almost 11, or wait till the game was over, leave at 11:30 with 60-70 thousand other people, and maybe be home by 1am. On a weeknight. The game was exciting enough to make me stay, but it would have been cruel to the kids. As we left our seats I saw a fair number of US fans either leaving, or getting up to buy food, etc. Also, brisk trade was being made outside the entrances to the lower levels, where US fans were selling their better tickets to Mexico fans coming down from the nosebleed heights.

    All in all, it was a great time and a fantastic atmosphere. The kids were all hoping that Reliant would get more games next Gold Cup. Me too.

  4. Mexico should have scored 10 minutes ago. Now they have to finish the overtimes. Honduras is just warnout. Honduras should have been awarded a penalty and won. Oh well, the U.S. is going to kick mexico’s as*

  5. HAHA that’s true I remember when the US had the Nazi salute during the anthem. I wonder why the US dropped, must of felt guilty for some reason…

  6. Oh yeah, I was just talking about the quality of his commentary, which actually seemed slightly better than it is in English. His Spanish skills are totally fine, with a slight Argentine accent, and of course the purely American pronunciation of American names. I thought he was decent, not great, in English, but he does seem better suited to this setting.


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