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USA vs. Panama: Match Night Commentary

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The U.S. men's national team looks to secure its place in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals tonight with a win against Panama at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

The Americans opened their tournament with a 2-0 win vs. Canada, but face a Panama side with a stronger attack and familiarity with the United States, having lost to the USA in each of the past three Gold Cups.

Here is my Fox Soccer preview on tonight's match, as well as a look at match-ups to watch tonight.

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

Enjoy the action (Tonight's commentary is after the jump):



  1. I saw and have seen in the past two weaknesses in our play that are causing us to lose games like this.

    First, they keep sending our outside backs, two very experience defenders deep into the opposing end of the field. They do this continually. Unfortunately, that left us with two relatively inexperienced ( internationally speaking) defenders to face the onslaught from Panama. Of course our outside backs ran back to their positions but the opposition ran there just as fast. The result was confusion and hesitancy on the part of the back line. I think the Panamanians had analyzed Bradley’s style and had arranged to exploit it and they were fast enough to do that.

    The second is our passing is not up to international standards. There is just two much hesitancy and inaccuracy in moving the ball around. In the last twenty minutes it was much better but too late. Of course there are exceptions to that, for example Dempsey and Donovan, who are superb.

  2. Actually, you have the side of the field wrong (play came from Panama’s right, our left). That man was Boca’s. On the replays you can see him, 5 yards further upfield, chasing the unmarked guy. ‘Los lost him, and we paid for it.

    I don’t fault Ream much on that goal, a few inches different and he’s made a brilliant play and is getting mobs of credit for saving a goal.

  3. Hey USMNT…

    I still believe in you.

    For the remainder of this tournament just go and play like I know you can!

    P.S. That means “much better” than what we saw last night!

  4. Dempsey is always dangerous and scores.

    Why doesn’t he play up top?

    If we need another midfielder, why doesn’t BB ever pick Brad Davis for his team?

    He has a gifted left foot and is always a threat on set pieces.

  5. 1. BB was outcoached.

    2. Our forwards didn’t score (and very rarely do).

    3. We started slowly (as we so often do).


    Does anyone want to fill in No. 4?

  6. Sasha a “spark” you said?lol The only reason he was a bit active was because all the lines went forward for the U.S. Meaning his dribbling was easier because Panama pulled back and the U.S moved their lines forward making panama defend way back offering free space. I’m surprise he didn’t score 3 goals and set himself a trail with Celtic…. Sasha in a higher speed match completly sucks and causes me to want to uppercut my furry cat! This was a Panamanian team with 5th division players. Shoot, some of their players have a second job at Pollo Campero.

  7. I can’t believe people are going after Mike like that. Yeah he didn’t have a great game but Jones was worse. Yeah he made some good challenges but I have no idea if he even completed a pass tonight. Ream got killed out there. I would move Boca back to CB and get someone who knows what they are doing in there.

    Everyone is giving Kljestan crap but he was a breath of fresh air, Bedoya and Kljestan almost pulled off a draw for us. They were game changing when they came on.

  8. I agree with the assessments that BB isn’t the guy to take the team forward, but I am not sure Jurgen Klinsmann is the guy either. He seems to want complete control over many layers of the US system…but I’m not completely sure.

    Can someone explain why negotiations with him initially broke down?

  9. The person to “blame” for the goal is Goodson, as he didn’t screen strongly enough to allow Howard to cover the rebound or clear the ball away. And, in football, marking isn’t man-to-man. This isn’t basketball. While “your man” could be the person you run with, unit defending involved interchange and communication. Just because the player was a right sided player doesn’t mean it was the RB’s “man.” He was marked at that time by Goodson. lol

    rewatch the game lol bedoya had quite a few touches, hustle plays lol

    the fact that you’re chatting up about altidore tracking back to get the ball and defend shows you have a limited grasp of the forward position and its role in a 4-4-2. Bypassing the midfield with extreme back tracking is a mistake many young players make, breaking the formation and the whole point of a 4-4-2, which is to build up from the defenders, to the CMs, to the wide players, to balls into the two forwards. but yeah, nice one. To quote Ian Darke, “And Rooney is now tracking way back to receive the ball. You can tell he’s been frustrated today.” Additionally, while forwards should be expected to positionally defend at half-field, the idea that teams should defend tracking back as 11 men is juvenile.

    If you’re going to pick apart my thoughts on the match, at least try to make sense. I’ll call Hey-Dude for you to play the next match instead of Steve. Unbelievable.

    I love some USMNT fans

  10. Cherundolo was to blame for the first goal his man was the one that was unmarked.

    Bedoya didnt touch the ball for his first 10 minutes on the field.

    Altidore was the only striker tracking back to defend and get the ball. He created the best scoring opportunity.

  11. Garbage! Panama? We have a 80% bade European playing team, and yet we can’t beat a team that is mostly based in Communicationes?!!ha … I said our game against Canada was garbage, and this game proved me right. Rogers,Sasha a d Wondolusy?? Seriously bob?

    It’s funny how bad we need a player to who is technically gifted, someone who is capable of giving us some scoring chances, sadly we don’t have him…. Oh wait. There is a guy by the name of Adu who can probably help us out a bit,…. Naw! Wondo & Sasha are our Saviours!! Where’s “el pistolero Rogers?” He’s also nasty.

    Fire Bradley, he is the one responsible for coming out to play a defensive game against the all mighty Panamanian team. Ream & el Buen hijo are just scary to watch.

    I’m so pissed!

  12. Amen. Please bring in the german and his attacking style. With cd9 at least we could counter attack and do set pieces. BB’s picks now only gives us hope of set pieces. Team selection really is awful this time and even worse is having to watch mms guys break in like this in a major tourney

  13. it wasnt Bobs decision to play Spain 3 days before the tournament started. blame Sunil for that. also blame Sunil for allowing Bob Bradley to continue his clueless “coaching” job. blame Sunil. Blame Bob. in that order.

  14. But you are right,Citronomics. BB is a good coach but he has taken the team as far as he can. You need someone who can identify the best lineup possible and not be afraid of rock the boat in order to deliver a team we can be proud of.


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