In a stunning turn of events, the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) suffered a heartbreaking loss in the Gold Cup semifinals against Panama. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, leading to a dramatic penalty shootout that ultimately saw the USMNT eliminated from the tournament.
The United States will not be in the Gold Cup final for the first time since 2015, as they lost to Panama in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw.
Having already played extra time and a penalty shootout just three days ago, fatigue became a significant factor as the game progressed. Jesus Ferreira scored a dramatic goal in the 105th minute to equalize Ian Anderson’s earlier goal, but it wasn’t enough to secure victory. Interim head coach BJ Callaghan fielded a backup roster after the starters fulfilled their national team duty in the Nations League weeks prior, resulting in a sloppy performance. While they managed to escape with a sub-par showing against Canada in the quarterfinals, this time they couldn’t avoid defeat.
In the penalty shootout, Matt Turner made a save on Christian Martinez, but both Jesus Ferreira and Christian Roldan had their shots stopped by Orlando Mosquera, ultimately leading to Panama’s advancement. With the win, Panama reached the final for the first time since 2005 and now has the opportunity to win the CONCACAF tournament for the first time in history.
During the match, The Sporting News provided live updates, commentary, and highlights. The starting lineups were as follows:
USA (4-3-3, right to left): 1. Turner (GK) — 5. Reynolds (Yedlin, 63′), 12. M. Robinson, 3. Long (Miazga, 73′), 15. D. Jones (Tolkin, 104′) — 6. Busio (Gressel, 104′), 8. Sands, 14. Mihailovic — 9. Ferreira, 19. Vazquez (J. Morris, 73′), 11. Cowell (Roldan, 63′).
Panama (3-4-3, right to left): 22. Mosquera (GK) — 4. Escobar, 3. Cummings, 16. Andrade — 10. Barcenas, 8. Carrasquilla, 20. Godoy (Welch, 102′), 15. Davis (I. Anderson, 90+1′) — 17. Fajardo (C. Martinez, 80′), 19. Quintero (Waterman, 80′), 11. Diaz.
In the post-match analysis, it was concluded that the USMNT did not deserve to advance to the Gold Cup final. They failed to perform at a winning level, and the better team, Panama, rightfully progressed. The United States struggled in the attacking third, despite controlling stretches of the game in the second half. They had lower possession than Panama, were out-passed, and managed to put only three of their 14 shots on target.
While Matt Turner stood out, few players on the U.S. team made a convincing case for inclusion in the first-choice lineup. James Sands, however, performed exceptionally well as the No. 6, showcasing his abilities in possession and tackling. Sands positioned himself as a backup option behind Tyler Adams in midfield. Jesus Ferreira also had an impressive tournament, displaying his versatility and scoring ability.
Tired legs played a significant role in the United States’ performance. Having played back-to-back extra-time matches in the Gold Cup, fatigue affected their execution and overall play.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw after extra time, leading to a second consecutive penalty shootout. Panama emerged victorious, with Christian Roldan missing the decisive penalty for the U.S. Adalberto Carrasquilla scored the winning penalty for Panama.
Throughout the match, there were several dramatic moments, including Ferreira’s equalizing goal in extra time. However, defensive lapses and shambolic defending ultimately contributed to the U.S. team’s downfall.
Both teams fought tirelessly during the intense encounter, pushing the game into extra time and ultimately relying on penalties to determine the winner. Jesus Ferreira provided a glimmer of hope for the USMNT with a remarkable goal in the 105th minute, canceling out Ian Anderson’s earlier goal for Panama. However, the tired legs of the USMNT, who had already played through extra time and penalties in the previous round against Canada, proved to be a significant factor.
The penalty shootout was filled with tension and disappointment for the USMNT. While goalkeeper Matt Turner made a crucial save on Christian Martinez’s penalty, Jesus Ferreira and Christian Roldan both saw their efforts saved by Panama’s Orlando Mosquera. As a result, Panama emerged victorious, securing their place in the Gold Cup final for the first time since 2005.
The USMNT, under the guidance of interim head coach BJ Callaghan, faced significant challenges in this match. With key players from the starting lineup unavailable due to their involvement in the Nations League, the team had to rely on a backup roster. Despite a sub-par performance, they managed to scrape through the quarterfinals against Canada with the help of Matt Turner’s heroics. However, their luck ran out in the semifinals.
The defeat highlighted several areas of improvement for the USMNT. They struggled to dominate possession, a departure from their previous matches in the tournament. Their execution in the attacking third fell short of expectations, with Panama outperforming them in various aspects of the game. James Sands stood out as one of the top performers for the USMNT throughout the Gold Cup, showcasing exceptional skills as a defensive midfielder. Jesus Ferreira also impressed, displaying his versatility and contributing with goals throughout the competition.
Fatigue played a significant role in the USMNT’s performance, having to endure consecutive matches with extra time. It was a rare occurrence in the history of the Gold Cup and proved to be a challenging hurdle for the team to overcome. Despite their disappointment, the USMNT must acknowledge that Panama deservedly advanced to the final with a superior display.
Ultimately, the USA vs Panama match provided a thrilling spectacle with its twists and turns. Although the USMNT fell short of their goal to reach the Gold Cup final, they can take valuable lessons from this experience as they continue their journey in international football.