The US escaped a Gold Cup Quarterfinal date with Mexico when the whiny crybabies toppled Panama 1-0 last night in Houston. Instead, the Yanks will tangle with the isthmus' finest in Foxboro (Sat, 4pm ET, FSC), who have looked dangerous during the tournament. The canaleros beat group winner Honduras 3-2 in the Group C opener and drew against an improved Cuban squad before last night's narrow defeat. Panama will be without M Ronaldo Escobar and D Roman Torres (1 assist), who were red-carded vs. Mexico.
The US has had a relatively easy time with Panama of late, despite the last-gasp away draw during the last World Cup qualifying cycle. Here are the most recent results between the clubs:
9/8/04, WCQ @ Panama City: PAN 1-1 US, goal by C. Jones
10/13/04, WCQ @ RFK: US 6-0 PAN, goals by Johnson (3), Donovan (2), OG
6/8/05, WCQ @ Panama City: PAN 0-3 US, goals by Bocanegra, Donovan, McBride
7/24/05, Gold Cup Final @ Giants Stadium: US 0 (3) -0 (1) PAN
10/12/05, WCQ @ Foxboro, US 2-0 PAN, goals by Martino (!), Twellman
US Record over last five matches vs, Panama: 3-0-2
Goals over last five matches: US 12-1 PAN
Panama gave the US a hell of a game in the last Gold Cup Final, but the Yanks fielded a B+ team that day. The lineup was; Keller - Hejduk, Conrad, Onyewu, Vanney - Armas, O’Brien, Donovan, Dempsey (Davis) - Wolff (Quaranta), Beasley (Olsen).
With the right squad from Bob Bradley; (Howard - Simek, Bocanegra, Demerit, Hejduk - Mastro, Donovan, Dempsey, Ralston - Ching, Twellman,) the US should walk, not breeze past Panama into the Semis. The Yanks will benefit from the former Quakes (LD, Ching) and Revs (Ralston, TT, Deuce) on the field together.
Enjoy. Here's a musical interlude as you wait for the game. This was rock and roll in 1984. Yikes.