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Global Jul 07, 2017

USMNT to face Panama on Saturday in CONCACAF Gold Cup opener

CHICAGO (Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Men’s National Team begins is quest for a sixth confederation championship when it opens up the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup against tournament nemesis Panama on Saturday, July 8 in Nashville, Tennessee. Coverage from Nissan Stadium begins at 3:30 p.m. CT on FOX, Univision and Univision Deportes Network.

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 55/0), Bill Hamid (D.C. United; 2/0),Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 5/0)

DEFENDERS (8): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City; 40/1), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX; 40/1), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas; 3/0), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 11/0), Matt Miazga (Chelsea/ENG; 2/0), Justin Morrow (Toronto FC/CAN; 1/0), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna, MEX; 7/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City; 49/5)

MIDFIELDERS (9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 9/1), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana/MEX; 6/2), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 61/2), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/MEX; 18/2), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire; 7/0), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union; 2/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 0/0), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution; 1/0), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy; 32/7)

FORWARDS (3): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution; 23/3), Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City; 1/1), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 16/2)

If there’s such a thing as a Gold Cup rivalry, the USA and Panama fall into the category. The two sides have met nine times in the tournament, and at least once in each of the last six competitions. The USA’s 5-1-3 edge in the tournament includes victories in the 2005 and 2013 Championship Final, but Panama has landed their blows as well. Los Canaleros handed the U.S. its only Group Stage defeat in the tournament, coming in a 2-1 win in 2011, and also bested the USA in the Third-Place Match during the 2015 edition. Across all competitions, the sides have played to three consecutive 1-1 draws, with the most recent result in a World Cup Qualifier in Panama City on March 28, 2017. Learn more about the USA’s long-running Gold Cup history vs. Panama.

USA-Panama CONCACAF Gold Cup Results
Date Result U.S. Goal Scorers Round
July 14, 1993 2-1 W Dooley, Wynalda Group Stage
July 24, 2005 0-0 D (3-1 PKs) Final
June 16, 2007 2-1 W Donovan, Bocanegra Quarterfinal
July 18, 2009 2-1 W Beckerman, Cooper Quarterfinal
June 11, 2011 1-2 L Goodson Group Stage
June 22, 2011 1-0 W Dempsey Semifinal
July 28, 2013 1-0 W Shea Final
July 13, 2015 1-1 D Dempsey Group Stage
July 25, 2015 1-1 D (2-3 PKs) Dempsey Third Place Match

The U.S. MNT gathered in Nashville for the start of training camp June 26 before playing a tune-up match against World Cup rival Ghana on July 1 in East Hartford, Conn. Both Dom Dwyer and Kellyn Acosta recorded their first international goals on either side of halftime before a 60th minute free kick from Asamoah Gyan closed the scoring in the USA’s 2-1 victory. Veteran midfielder Dax McCarty combined well with Acosta in the center of the park to earn Budweiser Man of the Match honors, while goalkeeper Brad Guzan saved his second penalty kick in a U.S. shirt just before halftime.

U.S. MNT players have long used the confederation championship as an extended audition for a place at the FIFA World Cup. Dating back to 1993, 18 players with 10 or less caps have made the jump from the most recent Gold Cup roster onto a FIFA World Cup roster (see table below). Most recently, current MNT center back Matt Besler utilized the USA’s run to the 2013 championship to make his way onto the 2014 roster in Brazil.

U.S. MNT Players From Gold Cup to World Cup
1993 Gold Cup/1994 World Cup Brad Friedel, Cle Kooiman, Roy Wegerle
1998 Gold Cup/1998 World Cup Frankie Hejduk, Juergen Sommer
2002 Gold Cup/2002 World Cup DaMarcus Beasley, Landon Donovan, Pablo Mastroeni
2005 Gold Cup/2006 World Cup Jimmy Conrad, Clint Dempsey, Marcus Hahnemann, Oguchi Onyewu
2009 Gold Cup/2010 World Cup Clarence Goodson, Stuart Holden
2013 Gold Cup/2014 World Cup Matt Besler, Mix Diskerud, Nick Rimando, Chris Wondolowski

Having made his U.S. MNT debut as a substitute in the 2-1 win against Ghana, midfielder Kenny Saief departed camp on July 5 due to a groin injury. The Belgian-based winger was replaced on the roster by Philadelphia Union midfielder Chris Pontius. The M.L.S. veteran made his international debut earlier this year against Serbia and has racked up six assists in 17 matches for the Union this season.

Held every two years, the Gold Cup is the regional championship for CONCACAF, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football. Along with lifting a trophy and earning supremacy in the confederation, the winner of the Gold Cup earns a place in the CONCACAF Cup, a one-game playoff that determines the region’s representative at the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup. Should the same team win both in 2017 and 2019, they will automatically earn a bid to the tournament.

Placed in Group B, the U.S. opens the tournament against Panama on July 8 in Nashville, takes on Martinique on July 12 in Tampa and concludes the Group Stage with its first-ever meeting against Nicaragua on July 15 in Cleveland. The top two teams in each of the three groups automatically advance to the Quarterfinals and will be joined there by the two best third-place finishers. Learn more about the USA’s history with its three group opponents.

The United States has won five editions of the tournament, beginning with the inaugural 1991 Gold Cup when the team defeated Mexico 2-0 in the Semifinal before downing Honduras on penalty kicks in the Championship. Current U.S. MNT head coach Bruce Arena is one of two managers to win the tournament twice, lead the side to its second and third titles in 2002 and 2005 respectively and the team followed those up with wins in 2007 and 2013. In 13 editions of the tournament, the U.S. has played in the Final nine times and has advanced to the Semifinal on 12 occasions.

The group-phase roster boasts a dozen players with experience in World Cup Qualifying and 11 who have played in a Gold Cup, including six with a Gold Cup medal in their trophy case and 2015 Golden Glove winner Brad Guzan.

The regular European-based contingent for the MNT is in the midst of a much-needed break between now and the World Cup next summer. Having completed their club seasons in May, the group went straight into camp for the World Cup Qualifiers in June. After a 14-day camp preparing for the rigors of altitude, the U.S. emerged with four points from two games including a huge draw away to Mexico. Now two weeks into holidays, they begin to return to preseason shortly with the hopes of earning regular playing time for the upcoming campaign.


  • The U.S. is in the midst of an eight-match unbeaten streak, going 4-0-4 while conceding just four goals since Bruce Arena returned as head coach.
  • Five players on the U.S. roster were part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup team: Alejandro Bedoya, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Brad Guzan and Graham Zusi.
  • A majority of the roster comes from Major League Soccer, with 17 players representing 11 clubs.
  • Six players come from clubs outside of M.L.S., with four from Mexico and two from England.
  • Twelve players from this group have been a part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying campaign.
  • Eleven players have previously been part of a Gold Cup roster, including Alejandro Bedoya, Omar Gonzalez, Joe Corona and Graham Zusi.
  • U.S. defender Graham Zusi has tallied two of his five international goals against Panama. The veteran from Sporting Kansas City recorded his first international goal in a 1-0 friendly win at Panama on July 25, 2012 and also tallied the late equalizer in the USA’s 3-2 World Cup Quailfying win on Oct. 15, 2013 in Panama City.
  • With 61 caps, Bedoya is the player with the most international experience, followed by goalkeeper Brad Guzan (55), and defenders Graham Zusi (49), Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez (40 each).
  • Bedoya also has the most CONCACAF Gold Cup experience, earning 11 appearances during three different confederation tournaments.
  • Guzan was one of two U.S. players to play every minute of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and was awarded the tournament’s Golden Glove as best goalkeeper.
  • Six players were on the U.S. MNT’s last Gold Cup-winning side in 2013: Bedoya, Besler, Joe Corona, Gonzalez, Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson.
  • Three players have previously scored in the Gold Cup: Corona (2), Gonzalez, and Gyasi Zardes.
  • Forward Dom Dwyer and midfielder Kelyn Rowe made their U.S. MNT debuts in Saturday’s 2-1 win vs. Ghana. Dwyer’s also opened the scoring with his first international goal in the 18th minute.
  • A long-time member of Sporting Kansas City, Dwyer received his U.S. citizenship in March, paving the way for his first invite to an MNT roster.
  • Club Tijuana midfielder Joe Corona started and played 71 minutes in the USA’s 2-1 win vs. Ghana, his first appearance since the 2015 Gold Cup Third-Place Match vs. Panama on July 25, 2015.
  • Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Cristian Roldan is the only player on the Gold Cup roster looking for his U.S. debut.
  • With the average cap total for the squad at 16, this Gold Cup roster will provide international seasoning to several players. It’s the second lowest average, sitting ahead of the 2009 roster which averaged nine caps and reached the championship final.
  • A total of 12 players will look for their first Gold Cup appearances: Kellyn Acosta, Paul Arriola, Dwyer, Hamid, Matt Hedges, Matt Miazga, Justin Morrow, Dax McCarty, Jordan Morris, Roldan, Rowe, Saief and Jorge Villafaña.
  • Coming off a campaign in which he won Nottingham Forest’s Player of the Season award, Eric Lichaj returns to the MNT fold for the first time since a 3-1 friendly win against Puerto Rico on May 22, 2016.
  • Having helped Vitesse win the Dutch Cup back in April, center back Matt Miazga is also part of his first senior camp since last May’s friendly against Puerto Rico.
  • With just one cap, left back Justin Morrow returns to his first MNT camp since March 2013.
  • Youth is the movement. Nine players on the roster weren’t even born when the U.S. won the inaugural CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1991: Agudelo, Acosta, Arriola, Miazga, Morris, Roldan, Rowe, Saief and Zardes.
  • Nine players are also alumni of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy: Acosta, Agudelo, Arriola, Corona, Hamid, Miazga, Morris, Rowe and Zardes.


  • Beginning with the inaugural title in 1991, the U.S. has lifted the Gold Cup on five occasions. Current MNT head coach Bruce Arena guided the side to the 2002 and 2005 championships, while the team also went on to win in 2007 and 2015.
  • Arena is one of only two managers to win the Gold Cup twice. Bora Milutinovic led the U.S. to the 1991 title before managing Mexico to championship in 1996.
  • The USA has more wins in the CONCACAF Gold Cup than any other nation, going 51-8-8 all-time.
  • The U.S. has gone an impressive 30-1-3 during the Group Stage.
  • With a 14-1-3 all-time record in the Gold Cup, Arena is also the winningest head coach all-time in the competition.
  • The U.S. manager holds an 8-0-1 mark in the Group Stage and is 12-0-3 vs. CONCACAF opposition.
  • The MNT has advanced to the Final on nine occasions: 1991, 1993, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
  • The USA has made it to the Semifinals in 12 out of 13 tournaments, missing out only in 2000.


  • The U.S. MNT is 11-1-5 all-time against Panama and has gone 5-1-3 against Los Canaleros in CONCACAF Gold Cup play.
  • Though the U.S. has dominated the series, 12 of the 17 matches have been decided by a goal or less.
  • The U.S. has met Panama nine times in the Gold Cup – more than any other opponent. The teams have also faced off at least once in each of the last six tournaments.
  • The sides played to two 1-1 draws during the 2015 competition. Michael Bradley tallied in the Group Stage game on July 13, 2015 in Kansas City, while Clint Dempsey scored the equalizer in the Third-Place Match on July 25.
  • The U.S. had defeated Panama twice in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final. U.S. head coach Bruce Arena was manager when the MNT downed Los Canaleros 3-1 on penalty kicks in 2005 and the U.S. used a game-winner from Brek Shea to earn a 1-0 victory in the 2013 Final.
  • The U.S. is an impressive 30-1-3 all-time in the Gold Cup Group Stage, but the one blemish came in a 2-1 defeat to Panama during the 2011 tournament.
  • The two sides last played to a 1-1 draw during the Final Round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying on March 28, 2017 in Panama City.
  • The U.S. is 2-2-0 in four visits to Nissan Stadium in Nashville. The MNT used a Jozy Altidore hat trick to earn a 3-0 World Cup Qualifying win against Trinidad & Tobago on April 1, 2009 and last played to a 4-0 victory against Guatemala on July 3, 2015.


GOALKEEPERS (3): Jose Calderon (CD Marathon/HON); Orlando Mosquera (Tauro FC); Alex Rodriguez (San Francisco FC)

DEFENDERS (8): Roberto Chen (Deportivo Arabe Unido); Eric Davis (FC DAC 1904 DunajskA Streda/SVK); Fidel Escobar (Unattached); Roderick Miller (Atlético Nacional/COL); Michael Amir Murillo (New York Red Bulls/USA); Luis Ovalle (Unattached); Angel Patrick (Deportivo Arabe Unido); Jan Carlos Vargas (Tauro FC)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Edgar Yoel Barcenas (Cafetaleros de Tapachula/MEX); Miguel Camargo (New York City FC/USA); Armando Cooper (Toronto FC/CAN); Anibal Godoy (San Jose Earthquakes/USA); Gabriel Gomez (Atlético Bucaramanga/COL); Leslie Heraldez (Deportivo Arabe Unido); Josiel Nuñez (CD Plaza Amador); Valentin Pimentel (CD Plaza Amador)

FORWARDS (4): Abdiel Arroyo (Danubio FC/URU); Ricardo Clarke (Unattached); Ismael Diaz (FC Porto/POR); Gabriel Torres (FC Lausanne-Sport/SUI)


  • Since 2014, Panama has been managed by former Colombia, Ecuador and Guatemala head coach Hernán Darío Gómez. The Colombian guided Los Canaleros to a Third-Place finish at the 2015 Gold Cup and also led the side at Copa America Centenario last summer.
  • Four players ply their trade in Major League Soccer: defender Michael Amir Murillo (New York Red Bulls and midfielders Miguel Camargo (New York City FC), Armando Cooper (Toronto FC) and Anibal Godoy (San Jose Earthquakes).
  • Gabriel Gomez has tallied two important goals for Panama against the United States. The veteran midfielder scored what stood as the game-winner in Panama’s 2-1 win against the U.S. during the 2011 Gold Cup Group Stage and also tallied the equalizer in the most recent meeting, a 1-1 draw in World Cup Qualifying on March 28 in Panama City.
  • Forward Gabriel Torres has also found the back of the net against the USA, scoring Los Canaleros’ opening goal in its infamous 3-2 World Cup Qualifying defeat on Oct. 15, 2013 in Panama City.
  • Five players on the Panama roster were part of the 2013 squad that fell 1-0 to the USA in the Gold Cup Final: Roberto Chen, Anibal Godoy, Gomez, Torres, Alex Rodriguez, Roderick Miller.

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