The U.S. Men’s National Team used Dom Dwyer’s first-time effort in the 50th minute to earn a 1-1 draw with Panama in front of a Tennesse-state record crowd of 47,622 in its opening match of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup in Nashville.
The USA moves on to its second Group B encounter where it will face Martinique on Wednesday, July 12 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. (9 p.m. ET on FS1, UniMas and UDN).
The U.S. team was coming off a 2-1 friendly win over Ghana a week ago, and expectations were high to earn three points with a win to open the Gold Cup. After all, the Americans had never before failed to win a Gold Cup opening game.
Despite hot and humid mid-day conditions in the Music City, the U.S. collected numerous first-half chances from Kelyn Rowe, Kellyn Acosta and Dwyer, but went into halftime locked 0-0 with Los Canaleros.
It took little time for the score board to move after the break, when a lovely piece of skill from Rowe allowed the winger enough space to send a centering pass for Dwyer, who first-timed his effort off the right post for his second goal in as many matches five minutes after the restart.
The goal lit a fire under the Panama attack and the U.S. lead would stand for just 10 minutes before Gabriel Torres‘ first-time effort was kept out with a reaction stop by Brad Guzan, only to see Miguel Camargo scrape home the rebound in the 60th minute.
Against Ghana the U.S., which is playing with a young and inexperienced roster, was solid defensively, and Dax McCarty and Acosta combined to dominate the midfield. Against Panama, which was also missing several veteran players, the defense was stretched, and both McCarty and Acosta disappeared for stretches of the game.
U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan made several point blank saves, preventing goals that would broken the game wide open. U.S. Coach Bruce Arena has said he will use the Gold Cup to evaluate players for 2018 World Cup roster slots. Guzan is a lock to make the team, and it is likely only Dwyer and Rowe helped their cause. And several defensive errors cast doubt on Rowe, despite his effective offensive play.
In nine games since returning as MNT coach, Arena has yet to lose (4-0-5).
The U.S. had shot at a late penalty kick in the 80th minute when Alejandro Bedoya did well to beat Luis Ovalle down the right and break into the box in full stride before the U.S. captain was shoved down by the Panama defender, but the appeals were to no avail.
Fellow Group B opponents Martinique and Nicaragua kicked off the second match of the double header shortly after the USA-Panama clash.
Next on the Schedule: The U.S. MNT faces off with Martinique in its second match of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Wednesday, July 12 in Tampa, Fla. Kickoff from Raymond James Stadium is set for 9 p.m. ET and the match can be seen live on FS1, UniMas and UDN.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Dom Dwyer (Kelyn Rowe), 50th minute: After a number of first-half chances, the U.S. found the breakthrough just after halftime. It began when Jorge Villafaña’s throw in played Kelyn Rowe into the left corner. There, the New England Revolution winger put on a nifty display of ball work to gain space from two Panama defenders before centering for Dwyer, who reached back to send a one-touch effort through the legs of Roberto Chen, off the far right post and in. The goal made Dwyer the ninth player in U.S. MNT history to score in each of his first two caps. USA 1, PAN 0
PAN – Miguel Camargo, 60th minute: Galvanized by the U.S. goal, Panama went all out in attack and pulled level on the hour mark. Edgar Joel Barcenas beat Rowe down the right and centered for Gabriel Torres whose powerful first-time hit was kept out with a reaction stop from Guzan. Camargo was there to pounce on the rebound and tucked the ball through the reactive U.S. back line and inside the lower left post. USA 1, PAN 1 FINAL
- The U.S. its unbeaten streak under Bruce Arena to nine matches, going 4-0-5 since he returned to lead the National Team.
- With the result, the U.S. moves to 11-1-6 all-time against Panama and has gone 5-1-4 against Los Canaleros in CONCACAF Gold Cup play.
- With his 50th minute strike, Dom Dwyer became just the ninth player in U.S. MNT history to score in each of his first two appearances. Dwyer also tallied in the 19th minute of the USA’s 2-1 win against Ghana on July 1.
- Bruce Arena made two changes to the team that started last Saturday’s 2-1 friendly win vs. Ghana, inserting defender Omar Gonzalez for Matt Hedges and midfielder Alejandro Bedoya for Paul Arriola.
- Making his 62nd international appearance, Bedoya captained the U.S. MNT for the first time.
- Jorge Villafaña, Kelyn Rowe, Dax McCarty, Dom Dwyer, Kellyn Acosta and Jordan Morris all made their first Gold Cup appearances.
- Having made his international debut way back in 2009, Saturday’s start marked the first match in official competition for McCarty.
- Goalkeeper Brad Guzan appeared in his seventh-consecutive Gold Cup match, recording seven saves.
– U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Panama
Date: July 8, 2017
Competition: 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup; Group B
Venue: Nissan Stadium; Nashville, Tenn.
Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 87 degrees; partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
PAN 0 1 1
USA – Dom Dwyer (Kelyn Rowe) 50th minute
PAN – Miguel Camargo 60
USA: 1-Brad Guzan; 19-Graham Zusi, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 5-Matt Besler, 2-Jorge Villafaña; 13-Dax McCarty, 23-Kellyn Acosta; 11-Alejandro Bedoya (capt.) (8-Jordan Morris, 85), 10-Joe Corona (18-Juan Agudelo, 62), 6-Kelyn Rowe (9-Gyasi Zardes, 69); 14-Dom Dwyer
Substitutes not used: 12-Bill Hamid, 22-Sean Johnson, 4-Matt Miazga, 7-Chris Pontius , 15-Eric Lichaj, 16-Justin Morrow, 17-Cristian Roldan, 20-Paul Arriola, 21-Matt Hedges
Head coach: Bruce Arena
PAN : 12-Jose Calderon; 2-Michael Amir Murillo, 4-Jan Carlos Vargas, 23-Roberto Chen, 17-Luis Ovalle; 8-Edgar Yoel Barcenas, 6-Gabriel Gomez (capt.) (19-Josiel Nuñez, 70), 20-Anibal Godoy, 18-Miguel Camargo (11-Armando Cooper, 71); 9-Gabriel Torres, 10-Ismael Diaz
Substitutes not used : 1- Alex Rodriguez , 16- Orlando Mosquera, 3- Angel Patrick, 5- Fidel Escobar, 7- Ricardo Clarke, 13- Roderick Miller, 14- Valentin Pimentel , 15- Eric Davis, 16-Orlando Mosquera, 21- Leslie Heraldez, 22- Abdiel Arroyo
Head coach: Hernan Dario Gomez
Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 10 / 13
Shots on Goal: 8 / 8
Saves: 7 / 7
Corner Kicks: 5 / 2
Fouls: 3 / 14
Offside: 1 / 1
Referee: Fernando Guerrero (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcos Quintero (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Miguel Hernandez (MEX)
Fourth Official: Roberto Garcia (MEX)
Budweiser Man of the Match: Brad Guzan