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Panama vs. USMNT (SBI Live Commentary)


The U.S. Men’s National Team closes out the Hexagonal Round of World Cup qualifying tonight with a visit to Panama City to take on a Panama side that desperately needs a win to have any hope of reaching the World Cup (9:30pm, beIN Sport).

Jurgen Klinsmann will be trotting out a starting lineup with plenty of players getting a rare chance to start in qualifying, and the match will serve as another audition for players looking to earn their places on the 2014 USMNT World Cup team.

For Panama, the task is simple. Win and hope for Mexico to lose to Costa Rica and the Canaleros can reach the World Cup Qualifying playoff series vs. New Zealand.

SBI will be providing live commentary on tonight’s match so please feel free to follow the action here. 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. This. is. Awesome… on youtube already, mexican announcer play by play as the US scores with the screens overlaid, you’ve gotta listen to this…

    my spanish isn’t top notch, so I grabbed this translation from a commenter on the youtube page (via @jw1776) :

    “We’re in the playoff! So we can continue criticizing ourselves! So that we can say that the United States has overtaken us! The United States is more than us in soccer! The United States, today, had the luxury of playing with substitutes and keeping us alive!!! I hope Vucetich mans up and turns in his resignation! He’s failing as a technical director! He isn’t working as the coach of the national team!”

    • apparently my spanish is so bad, i didn’t even nab the whole quote translation…

      United States! Goal!!! Goal!! GOOALL!! GOALL!! Goal of the United States! We Love You! We Love you Forever and Ever!! Ohhhoa!! God Bless America!! The United States is putting us in the Playoff!! United States!! Not YOU!! NOT YOU GUYS IN GREEN, NO!! It’s Them!! Not You!!
      YOU didn’t give your life! YOU do nothing for the green shirt! You don’t push the team!
      You aren’t putting us in the World Cup! You aren’t keeping us alive! It’s the United States! Not You! It’s not you and your pride! It’s not you and your infamy! It’s not you and your petardos

      then after we scored again…

      We’re in the playoff! So we can continue criticizing ourselves! So that we can say that the United States has overtaken us! The United States is more than us in soccer! The United States, today, had the luxury of playing with substitutes and keeping us alive!!! I hope Vucetich puts on his pants and turns in his resignation! He’s failing as a technical director! He isn’t working as the coach of the national team!

  2. I didn’t know for sure how I would feel as the game developed. I felt sad when Zusi scored, and mean when Aaron did. But after a while those feelings were overrode by gladness. It’s good to win. It feels strange to have helped Mexico, like some sort of Greek tragedy. We can’t live without their drama. It still feels a bit bitter. Happy bitter.

  3. Big ups to the U.S. Any competitor at any level worth his salt never ever wants to lose. You step on the field, you play to win. Period.

    On the other hand… that is an absolutely heart breaking turn of events for fans of Panama. I really do feel for them. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it. They get a win by CR, are up in the closing minutes… were literally spoon fed a miraculous trip to WC and immediately projectile vomited the gift. Wow.

    A complete lack of composure or awareness of the situation. How do you not put 10 men in the box and defend, or at least try to maintain your shape and kick the ball around/keep some possession? I could not believe how many they had pressing forward, how spread out they were and then not tracking back on D leaving acres of space. Honestly… it’s mind boggling.

    What is as well is that Mexico, in spite of doing everything they could to choke, somehow. someway still has a chance.

  4. That was absolutely ruthless, and if you look past the initial disappointment of not witnessing Mexico fail to make the World Cup (which still might happen BTW), was really pretty awesome. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything more cold-blooded in all my life.

  5. All those who were talking for the last two years about the gap between Mexico and USA were clearly right. An eleven point gap, as it has turned out.

  6. Mexico should wipe the floor with nz. nz tied trinidad…..if they can’t beat trinidad, they won’t beat mexico. but mexico has to play…..

    • Do yourself a favor and check out NZ’s performance at the last World Cup. You might leran that NZ is pretty good at “tying” anybody, even the defending WC winner. I agree that Mexico should get past them, but your analysis ignores the fact that NZ is a tough nut to crack. In fact, they were the ONLY team at the last WC to not lose a game, and that includes champions Spain.

      • Yup, Mexico aren’t exactly riding a wave of confidence. If NZ can get through the first 20 minutes 0-0, it is very doable. Pack the box. Defend. Look to score on set pieces. Mexico’s defense is pretty delicate and even more so in the air.

  7. That was ridiculous. That is all. I mean really what else is there to say. The JV team went down there and pulled out a meaningless (for us) result that caused a whole bunch of other crazy stuff. Wow!

  8. Mexico is going no where. They have had three coaches and they still suck. Yeah we need those bums in the WC like we need a whole in the head. You should have saved that shot for the WC Bacon. Well, the U.S. totally dominated Concacaf with 22 points. Well where I live they are giving out free tacos at Taco Bell. I’m going to get one. Go New Zealand!!!!!!!!!! What did we learn. We learned that Orozco and Castillo suck. Feed them to the wolves.

  9. This is now fully Klinsi’s cold blooded well oiled throat ripping take no prisoners blitzkrieg of a team.

    “Man is the cruelest animal.”
    – Frederick Nietche

    • “It would be better if there were nothing. Since there is more pain than pleasure on earth, every satisfaction is only transitory, creating new desires and new distresses, and the agony of the devoured animal is always far greater than the pleasure of the devourer”
      – Schopenhauer

    • “Listen to the cry of a woman in labor at the hour of giving birth — look at the dying man’s struggle at his last extremity, and then tell me whether something that begins and ends thus could be intended for enjoyment.”
      – Kierkegard

  10. Does this mean this victory might push us into the top Eight of the world……….I don’t think so but i guess i could always dream it..

  11. I’m as loyal a U.S. fan as there is, but I depart company from many other U.S. fans with their hatred toward Mexico. When we play them I want us to beat them badly. I hope they beat NZ and get it together for the WC. Everyone in CONCACAF, including the U.S., benefits with a good showing by Mexico. Or did anyone really believe that Panama was better positioned to play well in the WC?

    • I’m with you on that. I actually pull for Mexico when their on the global stage. But I’ve seen enough of this Mexico team to think they really don’t deserve to be alive. I feel bad for Panama.

    • God bless you. This is what I have been preaching and I’ve started to feel alone. Whole lot of people on SBI making scarcely believable claims that “you are what the table says you are”. I never believed any of it. Anybody who really watches knows Mexico will give a better account of CONCACAF than Panama. And now that the table tells the same story, I hope they can find a way to take the mask off and get on board with reality,

      • A very valid point. But ultimately I would stand behind the argument that Mexico will represent our region better. If you disagree, you have more faith than me in Panama, which I respect. This is a team that plays very few teams outside of CONCACAF (none competitively) and I wouldn’t fancy their chances at all. But I would also agree that the region will never grow if new participants are deprived of the opportunity.

      • You are correct that given 9 months, Mexico is far more likely to be a better team than Panama. These things are cyclical. They WILL get better. I also I don’t know that Panama Can get better.

    • Perezt,

      Mexico has consistently underachieved during this 10 game hex. There is no logical reason to assume they will suddenly turn on the switch and beat New Zealand.

      Playing winning soccer is contagious and so is playing crappy soccer.

      Mexico are arrogant and selfish and their expanded head syndrome is not going away any time soon.

      New Zealand are not as talented but they have guts and teamwork and they will not take it for granted that advancement to the World Cup is owed to them by the gods, like Mexico does.

      All the USMNT might have done is delay the inevitable.

  12. I feel terrible for those Panamanian fans, but what was Panama thinking after the second goal? They should have put 11 guys behind the ball and crushed everything down the field, but, if anything, they went forward with even more abandon.

  13. I hope all of you who were expressing joy at the US losing are experiencing some portion of the disappointment Panama feels. So shameful to root against your team. Hating your rivals more than you love your team is weak beyond belief.

    • Wrong Tool, just wrong. In a BC game, when already at the top of the hex, there’s nothing wrong in hating a squad and federation that has showed nothing but disdain (Osama, Osama) for us.

      • An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind… And in the world of the blind, the one eyed man is king… (that’s like someone’s terrible bigsoccer signature)

        Seriously though, haters gonna hate. So keep spreading that bad juju Mr Gore Sr. lets see how that works out for you

      • Ha well said and don’t worry too much about “Al Gore Sr”:. This is a regular SBI poster who is very appropriately ashamed of himself. To his credit, the baffling Osama references suggest he may have been drunk I’m okay with that, especially if he stayed up to watch on the East Coast.

    • There was absolutely no reason to cheat for them today. First place check. Can’t be seeded. Check. Mexico out of the World Cup. Greatness

      • The result of these matches doesn’t mean Mexico isn’t weak. What it does mean is that they are 180 minutes away from completely embarrassing themselves, and CONCACAF, at the World Cup.

      • Mexico has already been to Brazil in a competive competion. Representing CONCACAF. It was a few months ago. They lost 2-0. By comparison, everybody’s darlings Spain lost 3-0. I would bet my house Panama would’ve done worse than both of them. Next argument, please.

    • I think it is more of hoping to see another team get to go to the big dance. Hate is such an overused word. The joy at the stadium for those players that will never get a shot at the World Cup.

    • +1. Well said.

      I understand “hating” you rival (really a form of respect) within the spirit of competition but to hate them so much that you’d root against your own team is beyond belief for me.

    • A WC without Mexico would be good for American soccer. It would give the USA bragging rights over their rival, give our system an advantage in recruiting the many American-Mexican dual nationals, and (arguably) weaken the WC field, which is good for the US and every other team competing in Brazil.

    • Whole lot of people responding. Whole lot of people with handles I’ve never seen. Not surprised nobody wants to put a name on it. You’re right to be ashamed. And your justifcations are unimpressive.

  14. I’m really proud of the way our players reacted after the game, and particularly AJ who was aware enough not to even celebrate his first goal for his country.

    • Yeah, if that was that traitor, Guisseppe Rossi, he would have reacted as if he won the World Cup…….

      ICEMAN (class), Rossi (idoit)

    • +1

      They were pure class – from the honesty to the spirit of the competition and the game to knowing what they just did to a competitor. Just pure class.

      • +2

        I agree, very proud of our boys not celebrating the winning goal. You play the game to win but the human being in you can feel the heartbreak in a situation like that.

  15. I didn’t really have a horse in this race, but it was devastating seeing the Panamanian players and fans after the goals. I’m not sure I have ever seen so many grown men cry. I wouldn’t wish that level of despair on anybody.

    I’m actually glad we won. It would have been dishonest to throw a game to keep another team out of the tournament, with the entire goal of a balanced Home-Away schedule for each team being so that each team would have played the exact same difficulty of schedule. It is true that Mexico backed their way into the playoff round, but it is also true that Panama lost to Mexico earlier this week and just allowed two goals at home in stoppage time.

    • Yeah, I mean if you can’t beat a US “B” team at home with everything on the line you probably don’t deserve to go.

      I have serious doubts about Mexico OR Panama getting by New Zealand.

    • If we believe Mexico is a better WC team than Panama or New Zealand, we should have lost. Your duty is to your own team. If it improves your chances of winning the tourney to lay down, you lay down. I don’t even understand how that is controversial.

      • Because we sent a B team, only had 1 regular starter out there at the end of the game, and Panama couldn’t win. You can’t tell players fighting to make the 23 for next year not to play hard. Your attitude is embarrassing.

      • Your reading comprehension is embarrassing.

        Everything you’ve said seems to support that Mexico may be a better team than Panama. If so, we should have coached to lose.

        The goal is to advance as far as possible at the World Cup, and the way to do that is to eliminate other teams. Tonight we eliminated Panama. There is reason to believe we eliminated the wrong team.

      • I should have said your simalcra of actual thought is embarrassing. You should always play to win the game you are playing. Sit players, change lineups – fine, but once the players are in their, they play for victory? One of the most shameful event in the World Cup is when Germany and Austria conspired for a tie, but I guess that is the type of person you are, vicious and vindictive, but attempting to cover it in a veneer of reason.

      • Where is this reason?? Seriously Show me this reason, somewhere! anywhere!? We were TWO stoppage time minutes from losing to Panama.

        That’s Panama who beat Mexico (this year, wink wink) to advance and make it to the Gold Cup final.

        Panama who beat Mexico 2-1 earlier in that tournament.

        Panama who gave us a real go of it in the final of said tournament.

        Then you have Mexico, who have scored only SEVEN goals in the hex and have been playing like garbage for over a year (they just won their first game of the hex at home a few days ago! whoop! sarcasm…) they LOSE on the last game day and live to fight another day…

        Sorry Chggie, we all fail to see the reason to believe you speak of..

        Not to mention your wild logic. The guy spouts off a bullet point list of managerial decisions that don’t exactly elicit “win-first” in the minds of observers… and you counter that the coaches should have done MORE to lose?? What daft universe have you spun out of? Your counter doesn’t even make sense…

        Plus, what you are advocating… a word about that: You do realize FIFA just banned a slew of players FOR LIFE for match fixing, do you not??

      • No dude.
        That’s cheating. Willingly giving one team an advantage that you didn’t give to previous teams is cheating any way you cut it. “Your duty is to your own team” produces dirtbags like Suarez and Marquez who will dive and play as dirty as they can get away with because they prioritize their own success over basic human decency.

        “Laying down,” or throwing games, or whatever words you want to use also carries heavy fines and lifetime bans.

      • Diving is cheating. Managing strategically is not.

        Our players had a duty to play to the best of their ability, but our coaches did not have a duty to send any A teamers.

      • then why did you state “we should have lost. Your duty is to your own team. If it improves your chances of winning the tourney to lay down, you lay down.”?
        That sounds to me like trying to fix a game, but I place honor over spite so what do I know?

      • “Your duty is to your own team” produces dirtbags like Suarez and Marquez who will dive and play as dirty as they can get away with because they prioritize their own success over basic human decency.”

        Don’t trivialize basic human decency.

      • chg is a coward. I would bet money he is a regular SBI poster who is appropriately ashamed of himself and unwilling to use his name. But for what it’s worth, I challenge “chg” to show me a solitary example of a team that won a champitonship – in any sport – who clearly and voluntarily lied down for a match in order to win the tournament. Go ahead. Find one. Any sport.

      • Just playing devil’s advocate but I would venture a guess the answer is either the Detroit Pistons or New York Yankees.

  16. I was watching the Mexico game and let me just say that their “effort” to tie the game when they thought they needed a goal was pathetic. Really a gutless effort with everything on the line. They need to clean house or something because that team is playing TERRIBLY.

    • I think it’s kind of a cultural thing

      *if you are sensitive please do not read below*

      with the way that Marquez handled 2-0 anytime he was in a game and the fact that the fans and coaches never turned on him en mass, it tells me that the culture kind of accepts rolling over and quitting when faced with adversity. That’s not to say everyone does, but enough people do that Marquez was never ostracized after putting them completely out of the game twice with stupid red cards.

      • it’s not just his temper, because there are hotheads everywhere. It’s that his teammates, coaches, and fans don’t hold him accountable for any of it. I don’t see how anyone could watch what Marquez did to Cobi Jones and accept that, but the players, coaches, federation, and fans didn’t seem to mind.

      • Actually, I recall distinctly my Mexican colleagues in Mexico City STILL bringing that up and shaking their heads. People haven’t forgotten. Still, it wasn’t an issue at Barcelona. One bad penalty doesn’t make a career. Hisw time at RBNY was just the signs of an old guy starting to lose it. Hell, if he’d pulled a Ray Lewis and helped murder someone…THEN I’d understand your point.

      • Wow. What an apologist. I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt before… but what Good Jeremy said (as alarming as it may be to hear for some) has an element of truth to it. Obviously the variables at play here are a million fold, but had Marquez been that blatantly childish and brutal in a US kit there would undoubtedly be a VOCAL majority calling for him to step down. But as I have been watching the USMNT for over 20 years and I can’t recall any American player ever administering such egregious foul play while in a US Kit, I guess there is no precedent.

        Maybe John Harkes sleeping with Wynalda’s wife?? He was sent home for that. Alas, he wasnt in a US kit at the time of the transgression… or was he? Food for thought.

      • I was born in Mexico and moved here when I was 12, now I am a US Citizen and support the USMNT more out of respect than from my heart. What you said is exactly right. Unfortunately giving up is very easy to a lot of Mexicans; they are very sensitive and have mental collapses very often. I have played in many soccer teams and hate that when we are losing they stop trying.

      • I’ve seen it too, but it’s not a given, and it is a mentality that is changing. You can see it in Mexico’s youth teams and on occasions like the 2011 Gold Cup.

  17. I bet y’all if that was US at the mercy of the Mexicans, they would have purposely allowed Panama to beat them just to knock out the US…….but we are better than that and I’ll always let them know that they owe us BIG TIME

    • I’ll own up to it.

      I never felt that way about Klkjsdfdsestan but I had thought that Guzan had been better than Howard over the last year before tonight. He certainly didn’t do himself any favors.

      • Howard and Guzan both seem to make the same type of mistakes regarding timing, bad rebounds, etc.

        But at least they can always depend upon the 2 playing in front of them in the middle—Not! (thank you 1998!)
        How many games have the same back 4 played together the entire HEX? that shite has got to be worked out before the WC.
        Better to have started Cameron if Klinsmann ever has any interest in actually playing him at CB, because the only experience he gets at CB is with the USMNT.
        Without attacking backs this US team might as well be Bob Bradley’s.
        Johnson at LB and Some one / Any one that will attack from the RB spot are the keys to greater success.

    • You seriously think Sacha had a bad game? He did a fantastic job setting the tempo once we finally got possession of the ball and created some good chances. What game were you watching he was by far one of the better players on the field

      • Sacha was excellent in the timekeeper role. 58/64 passing, 95 touches and 8
        recoveries. Minus a couple of boneheaded turnovers, a great linking CM effort with strong defensive focus deserving of a backup role to MB90.

      • +100 sometimes I feel like the commenters here watch these games with damp towels wrapped around their eyes.

  18. “Best case scenario for USA fans now is for New Zealand to beat Mexico in playoff”…A lot of your readers are Hispanics and don’t hate Mexicans…just a little tip.

      • What about “USA fans” that have Mexican roots? Not everyone hates Mexico. Also, not everyone makes generalization on a bunch of classless assholes they meet that happen to be Mexican.

      • What about “USA fans” that have Mexican roots? Not everyone hates Mexico. Also, not everyone makes generalization on a bunch of classless a**h*oles they meet that happen to be Mexican.

      • You can be a US fan and be Mexican American. You also COULD be a Mexican American and an SBI reader and decide that too many folks at SBI hate their guts. As for my reading comprehension…thanks for the Ad Homenim attack. Pure class. Glad to see the US get another win and for Mexico to fight another day.

    • And a lot of Hispanic readers don’t pull for Mexico, and many others don’t project bigotry onto American fans with legitimate reasons to dislike the Mexican soccer team. Just a tip.

      • Uruguayan community in the U.S., always respect USNT and adopted USNT as second national. Ramos and Clavijo made Uruguay proud, USA 1994. A tiny piece Uruguay was in USNT in 1994.

        I am native Uruguayan that served in U.S. Navy and Marines, was part of Honor Guard, so I am nationalist about USA, and I am proud disable vet.

      • Thank you for your service Scott, and for supporting your adopted country. Cheers! Here’s to a long run for this US Squad AND for Uruguay (save they don’t end up in the same group 😉

      • Fine. As I wrote to someone below, You are 100% correct. However SBI doesn’t do himself a favor with his Mexican American readers with comments like that. Who I can safely say are liable to be more engaged in Soccer than just about anybody else, and a pretty large demographic for his site. There are more than a few people on the site who write things like “Nothing good has ever come out of Mexico” and I’ll reiterate, I’d PAY GOOD MONEY so see them say that to Carlos Bocanegra, or Herculez Gomez or Orozco to their face…preferably with their Mexican mothers their too.

      • I’d pay good money to see mexicans show some class..JAJAJAJA , pinche idiota,
        And if you are so connected to the country of Mexico, then go live there and don’t let the door hit you. Put your life where your words are, if you love Mexico so much go live there and help change the corruption that kills the country. Nah, you won’t do that. No more hyphenated -American bullshit. If you have allegiance to Mexico or any country before the US hit the goddamn road.

    • Course… it is entirely possible to not hate, even have love for the Mexican people, but not care for their country’s soccer team.

      I might add… believe it or not, many “Hispanics” are no fan of El Tri.

      • You sir are 100% correct. However there are more than a few people on the site who write things like “Nothing good has ever come out of Mexico” (one of my favorite quotes here) I would love to see those folks say that to Carlos Bocanegra, or Herculez Gomez or Orozco to their face.

    • Hating Mexicans as a nationality is not the same as hating Mexico the Soccer team…

      One is xenophobia and the other is rivalry.

      You wanna support both? Fine.
      But don’t be shocked when You will catch flack from the hardcore fans of both sides.

      • Can’t Disagree. But probably given that all too often “Hating Mexicans as a nationality” and as an ethnicity is highly correlated with “hating Mexico the Soccer team”, I sleep way better calling them like I see them. Besides, all I did initially was reminding SBI that keeping his professionalism is better for his business than not doing so.

    • Just because SBI readers may or may not be “Hispanic” (can’t stand that word) doesn’t mean they do or don’t dislike El Tri. I live in Los Angeles and I am sure I could walk out my front door and find scores of “Hispanics” who detest El Tri before I got to the end of my block! And those same “Hispanics” would gladly cheer the MNT if it came down to the two. I know this for a fact because I’ve had many neighbors over for US-Mex clashes and watched in awe the vigor with which my Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and Honduran neighbors have hated on El Tri.

      All that said, as someone above already noted, you should really brush up on your reading comprehension bro. “Best case scenario for USA fans

  19. For anyone who didn’t see Chicarito missing an open net in the first half of the Mexico game… look up the highlights. High comedy.

    How this Mexico team is still alive I have no idea.

    Full credit to our boys for playing hard to the end in a meaningless game for us.

  20. For one of the only times I can ever remember, I would’ve been OK with a loss. That would help alleviate the pain of Mexicans living here who cheer fanatically against thei team representing their chosen place to live. But let’s face it. That was just poor game management by Panama at the end? What were they thinking? Were they thinking? They don’t deserve to go to Brazil.

    • Icarus syndrome. Panama tried to fly too high by scoring an insurance goal instead of slowing down the game and retaining posession, got their wings burned, and plummeted.

  21. Panama are faking crybabies. I’m glad we won. We need a strong regional rival and I don’t know if Costa Rica or Honduras can provide that. Think about which team has the best chance to reach the knockout stages. Beating Mexico in the World Cup knockout rounds is a million times sweeter than seeing them fail to qualify.

  22. Hey, maybe now we won’t have batteries and bags of urine thrown at our players, lazers pointed in their eyes, fans chanting OSAMA, and loud boos during our national anthem next time we visit Azteca.

    Just kidding.

  23. Mexico alive by a miracle bicycle kick and their hated rivals bailing them out.

    They deserve nothing for their truly pathetic hex but they live on.

  24. What a crazy night……
    The Mexicans has the US to thank for getting them in the Playoffs…….yeah, IT IS BECAUSE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA THAT THEIR AZZ IS PLAYING NEW ZEALAND


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