United States face Panama in group stage of Copa America

USA, United States

Credit: ClutchPoints

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USA, United States
Credit: US Soccer

Panama vs. USA

Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Atlanta, Georgia 

3:00 PM PT


USA takes on Panama on U.S. soil for first time since Gold Cup semi-final loss at Snapdragon Stadium last year

The United States are hosts of the luxurious tournament for the second time (2016) and are making their fifth appearance. They have never finished higher than fourth place and lost to Colombia both times in the 3rd place game. The Red, White, and Blue are aiming to make their first title appearance.

Panama has been the USA’s second-most common opponent since 2010, with tonight’s match marking the 19th meeting in the last 14 years.

Looking Back

This contest against Panama will be the second of three group-stage matches. In their opener, the Stars and Stripes defeated Bolivia 2-0 in a match that could have seen more goals for the U.S. A clean sheet is always something to be happy about, but in group stage matches, scoring goals matter.

Christian Pulisic scored right away against Bolivia, which was his 30th while representing his country. He is now tied for 5th all-time for USMNT with Brian McBride.

Folarin Balogun scored right before the first half ended as a new member of the squad. He scored four goals in 13 appearances for Monaco last season.

As of now, both Uruguay and the U.S. are atop Group C with three points and a (+2) goal difference. These two elite squads will meet in the finale on Monday night. USA is ranked 11th in the FIFA rankings, while Uruguay is 14th. That will be a match with high implications.

However, the Stars and Stripes have an opponent in front of them. Panama is ranked 43rd in the rankings. In their opener, they fell to Uruguay 3-1 and scored their only goal in the 90+4 minute. From start to finish, Uruguay dominated Panama. USA should feel confident heading into the match.

The United States are 17-2-7 all time against Panama.

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Getting To Know Panama

This squad only has 25 players on the roster instead of the maximum 26. That is due to a serious injury and a player declining to join. Captain and midfielder Anibal Godoy (team-high 140 international appearances) was forced to drop out due to a left thigh injury. To make matters worse, veteran defender Harold Cummings declined to join after not originally making the roster.

Someone to look out for is midfielder Adalberto Carrasquilla, who plays for MLS’s Houston Dynamo. You may remember Carrasquilla scoring the winning penalty in the shootout against Matt Turner in the 2023 Gold Cup semi-finals.

Defender Eric Davis leads the squad with 89 appearances. Captain and midfielder Yoel Bárcenas is next with 86. Defender Michael Murillo scored the only goal for Panama in the opener against Uruguay.

The Americans 

18 of the 26 players were on the World Cup roster. This is a group that is building chemistry and getting used to playing alongside one another. Eight of those players have at least 38 caps with the squad.

I would expect manager Gregg Berhalter to showcase a similar,r lineup in this one, if not the exact same lineup from the opener. We could see Ricardo Pepi or Yunu,s Musah earn a start but for the most part, the lineup should be similar. Weston McKennie is the only player with a yellow card, so he needs to be careful he doesn’t get issued another, or he will miss the following match against Uruguay.

USA enters the match as big favorites against Panama. Winning by multiple goals is on their mind, and anything less than that should be considered a failure.

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