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USMNT top Group D with victory over Panama

U.S. Men’s National Team striker Jozy Altidore made the most of his first start of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup, scoring the game-winning goal on Wednesday night.

Altidore’s second-half bicycle kick was the difference at Children’s Mercy Park as Gregg Berhalter’s side downed Panama 1-0 to win Group D and set up a quarterfinal date with Curacao on June 30th.

Altidore had the best chance of the opening half, forcing Luis Calderon into his first save of the evening after 21 minutes. The striker hit a shot from point-blank range but Calderon pushed the effort wide.

Cristian Roldan picked out Reggie Cannon with a great pass down the right flank early in the second-half but the wingback was unable to gather the ball.

Christian Pulisic was brought on after the hour mark with the USMNT needing a goal. It wasn’t the 20-year-old playmaker who broke the deadlock though as Altidore finished Matt Miazga’s headed pass for his 42nd-career international goal.

Being able to fend off Panamanian defenders, Altidore’s effort found the back of the net to put the USMNT in front.

Tyler Boyd and Gyasi Zardes also came off the bench but were unable to add an insurance goal late. Altidore also had a good look from a free-kick, but sent his shot into the stands.

Omar Browne and Edgar Barcenas had looks to tie it up for Panama but were unable to test Sean Johnson, who wasn’t forced into a single save on the night. Fidel Escobar made Johnson dive to his left in the 90th-minute but the shot eventually whiskered wide of goal in the end.

It was the USMNT’s second-consecutive win over Panama this calendar year and its third straight overall. The team finished the group stage with three straight shutout wins and a +11 goal differential.

The USMNT will face Curacao in the final quarterfinal matchup on Sunday in Philadelphia, while Panama plays earlier that day against Jamaica.

Comments

  1. the TV angles continue to show only bits and pieces of the field, a third at a time, the near flank sometimes out of the picture, etc. It’s like they don’t understand what the actual game is so they don’t know how to cover it to show the viewers what’s happening. All the off ball stuff and weakside stuff. You know, soccer stuff

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  2. The USMNT changed THEIR ENTIRE STARTING LINEUP, from goalkeeper to the forwards….and still walked away with a win. It wasn’t pretty but a win is a win. I really can’t complain lol?.

    On to the next Game⚽!!!!

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  3. I am not trying to rip on Altidore or Zardez or anyone else that is busting their tails doing better than anyone here can do.
    .
    But the US needs a better option at the 9. Good options need to turn to great with the good sitting as a backup. Believe it or not, I blame MLS. The same league that developed so much of the talent in the other spots misses the forward and the 10 spot. Why? Cause they sign huge DP signings to those spots and the American youth can’t break through there.
    Dallas will have to save us.

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  4. So I’ve said that Ive thought Lovitz doesnt bring anything before. Have to admit, thought he had a good game last night. Pleasantly surprised.

    Anyone think GB shld give him a shot over Ream vs Curacao?

    See if Lovitz can prove himself 2 games in a row?

    Overall, i think the B team played well, had good spells, nice ball movement. Panama didnt look good at all so theres that factor too, as always.

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    • LB position will be determined by the formation. The reason Ream gets the starts is because the RB either moves to the center as an additional DM (like Adams) or the LB pushes up as a winger (like Lima)… the back line then transforms to a 3 man backline. Ream makes me nervous against any team that has speed, but not sure Lovitz could fill that role. Might be interesting to see if Aaron Long can play that role.

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    • Lovitz was awful could not make a successful cross to save his life. Also had a hard time getting past Panamanian players. He would get rocked against Mexico or Jamaica.

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  5. Was I the only one that thought that was one of the worst officiated games? No real game changing calls but just the overall flow, the guy called some really ticky tacky stuff when there was barely any contact, then his call on cannon for that “foul” when he had position was awful. Almost really screwed panama by letting altidore move that ball back for the free tick as well.

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    • This is the type of officiating that’s been going on in CONCACAF for 30+ decades! The ref, and his crew, in last nights match, were from Qatar, which I thought, “Good! Impartial officiating!”. I was WRONG. Panama could chop a players leg off, with a blade, and the ref won’t give a yellow. In my memory, I haven’t seen a fair, officiated match, ever vs Panama, and I’m ol skool!

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      • The ref was a guest ref from Qatar. There is an ongoing exchange program over the last few years between CONCACAF and Asia.

        So this guy wasn’t a part of our normal questionable crew.

      • See I actually didn’t think all the calls went one way, I just though panama played more physical and weren’t punished when they should have been. It was just more the lack of correct procedure being used (placing of the ball at free kicks, ticky tack foul calls on balls in the air)

    • The ref had apparently given out 7 yellow cards in his previous match and I’m guessing had been told to consider shrinking that number. There were some head scratchers and the no call when Mihailovic was brought down from behind was just plain bad.

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  6. I’m sure most of you aren’t watching SJ vs Houston late on a Wednesday night but Wondo just pulled a Wondo. Three yards out open net. 6 yards wide and 3 feet high. Yueill looking very good and Thompson with a nice cross on the 2nd goal.

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    • How could we be watching MLS when it isn’t televised? I will consider watching it on the weekend on UniMás, if it doesn’t conflict with the Copa América on Telemundo, but I’m not going to sign up for some streaming service that violates my digital privacy in order to feed me advertising.
      .
      I would also like to be able to support more young US players, from MLS or elsewhere, and I hope we can all encourage and support the USMNT, whoever they put on the field.
      .
      At the same time, after another frankly so-so game like this one against a Panama B team, it’s a little cringeworthy to watch guys on Fox like Cobi Jones and Mo Adu (both of whom I usually respect) struggling to defend the US men while at the same time sneering at teams like the England women that, let’s face it, are probably playing better soccer.
      .
      Maybe they’ve only been watching MLS.
      .
      Norway vs. England tomorrow should be a good game.
      .

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      • I just live with the 5.99 a month from ESPN+. Gets you almost all the MLS matches, USL Champ and 1st, lousy Serie A, Eredivisie, English Championship. This Summer it also has Copa America.

      • Yup. ESPN+ is practically stealing for a soccer fan. Very good value for loads of watchable live soccer content.

    • ESPN+ is a great deal for real soccer fans.
      .
      If you are a “I follow Real Madrid, so I am better than you” soccer fan, not going to work for you
      But US Open Cup, every game, MLS every game you don’t get elsewhere, Copa America, etc. So great.

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    • Word. ESPN + doesn’t have games I REALLY want to watch of course (like most USNMT games) but has a ton of great content. Way better and cheaper than Fox Soccer subscription.

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  7. 9 points, friendlies over. As expected, well done.
    Now the real tourney starts…..

    Curacao will be interesting. I watched them and they’ve played well. Prob will put up a game.

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    • have seen them play two games. GK has been outstanding, Bacuna and attackers look to create with the dribble and have remained bold throughout matches. Looks like they believe. Fun team to watch. The Jamaica game was blast

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      • Absolutely, that jamaica game was great.

        The best game i’ve seen so far was Haiti vs.CR.
        Talk about a team that had no fear and believed in themselves. That was fun too.

  8. My biggest concern after tonight in terms of depth is the 8/10 role of McKennie which turned into more of a 6/8 role against TNT. Roldan did nothing tonight that made me think he could fill in if Weston is suspended. Of course if he’s out there with the 10 other starters that certainly would make a difference. Chris Gloster please please please earn first team time at Hannover and earn a spot. At this point if Ream is unavailable I move Lima to LB and start Cannon.

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    • I would really like to see Omar now out gracefully following this tournament and retire from international soccer. Didn’t make any huge mistakes was just slow. Roldan, Lovitz, and Lewis did him no favors with five always in the first half but just flat out beaten several times.

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      • Agree with pretty much all of this JR, particularly about Gloster who I loved at the U-20. Speaking of which, I hope there are 5-6 guys (at least) from that group who are watching this tournament and firmly setting a target to be on the plane to Qatar in 2022. There are spots all over the field to be won (even if it is as an understudy/backup) if those guys can get the minutes and experience. We have a decent XI. We have a weak 23.

    • Another U-20 player I really like is the defender Richards who is in the Bayern system. I think in all the U-20 WC games games he maybe made one mistake. Practically flawless. A lot of the second string don’t seem ready for prime time tonight, Most of the game was a real snooze fest. The ball moved way too slowly. I had my doubts about Lewis and he showed today why he hasn’t been a consistent starter yet in MLS. Roldan may be good in Seattle, but not yet ready for international play against a decent team.

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      • Just mentioned Gloster because he’s a LB. I’m high on Richards and have been since last Summer when jumped right into Bayern’s American Tour and didn’t look out of place. He’s probably 8th or 9th in line at CB today, does he play for Bayern II or go on loan to a higher level squad will determine how quick he breaks into the US roster.

  9. Tough match to watch. But if the goal was to find out who is ready to help and who isn’t, it’s definitely mission accomplished. Clearly Jozy and Morris have roles to play, and perhaps Lewis and Cannon as well. Roldan was as thoroughly undangerous as ever. Everyone else thanks for coming.

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  10. If you would’ve told me, after the Venezuela match, US would win the group w/ 11 goals & no goals allowed… I would’ve said you are a liar! The match was frustrating to watch. A lot to complain about, but I saw a few positives- seldom used players got minutes, GB got the win, using his bench players, & Jozy scored the winner. I’ll take it any day of the week! On to match 4! #KeepHopeAlive

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    • Unfortunately, i think these results are more a sign of a decline in CONCACAF over the last few years. The US is worse; the golden years of Costa Rica are over; Mexico is up and down. We don’t have a mystery team like a Honduras or even a T&T who is competitive.

      I think CONCACAF was tremendously underrated as a federaion in the late 90’s and early 00’s – especially when compared to Asia and Africa, but it is on the decline as a federation now.

      I think perhaps the bottom teams are getting better, but the upper tier is getting worse.

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      • You’re probably right with your last statement. Early returns from the first days of the Nations League have me believing the Caribbean teams might start on the up-and-up (particularly if they continue to harvest guys from the diaspora playing in League 1/2 in England, or in the case of Curacao, the top two Dutch divisions), while the Central American teams have stagnated/went into decline. The Central American countries had a bit of a golden run of players up throught the last cycle, but there is a dearth currently. Panama got old, Honduras got old, and CRC is getting old (Ruiz is 33!). Where’s the younger talent there? Not seeing much.

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