The winner of Group D will be decided on Wednesday night when the United States and Panama meet in the final game of the Group Stage. Both teams come into their final match of this stage undefeated with relatively comfortable wins over group counterparts Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. However, the USMNT hold the tiebreaker due to their superior goal differential against the common opponents. That means the USMNT just need a draw to win the group, putting the pressure on Panama.
United States vs. Panama
- Date and Time: June 26, 2019, 9 p.m. ET
- Location: Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, Missouri
- US Television Coverage: FS1
- Betting Line: United States -1, O/U 2.5
A lot of Panama’s best players retired immediately after the country’s first-ever trip to the World Cup. That left Los Canaleros with some gaps to fill over the last year, but many observers believed this was still at team to be reckoned with at the Gold Cup. They do have two wins at the Gold Cup thus far, but they haven’t looked as sharp as they have in the recent past.
Panama couldn’t break through Trinidad and Tobago’s back line in the first half during their Gold Cup debut. They were able to adjust and find two goals in the second half, but it wasn’t easy. Their second match wasn’t a walk in the park either. Guyana had some quality chances and ended up converting two penalty kicks. Panama netted four goals to grab a 4-2 win and a spot in the knockout rounds, but this team hasn’t looked great.
Meanwhile, the USMNT has looked great. The Americans came into the Gold Cup as a bit of a wildcard after losses to Jamaica and Venezuela in early June, but they have been the most dominant side at this competition.
The Stars and Stripes needed some time to break through Guyana in their opener. They were flustered on the attack for the first part of the first half, but they looked much better in the second to secure a 4-0 win. It was more of the same story against Trinidad and Tobago as the Americans were unable to score until the 41st minute, and then they poured it on in the second half to win 6-0.
United States Player to Watch
Gyasi Zardes leads the USMNT with three goals through two games. His first goal against Guyana was a fluke as it took a deflection and caromed off his head and into the net, but he was spot on with his brace against Trinidad and Tobago. He is the most experienced forward on the USMNT roster, and his style of play works well in this new system.
Panama Player to Watch
Roman Torres is the centerpiece of Panama’s back line, and he will need to have a solid game against the Americans on Wednesday. He is the most capped player on the team with 112 appearances, and his experience against American players will be handy. Torres has been a member of the Seattle Sounders since 2015, and he has played against many of the members of the USMNT.
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United States vs. Panama Free Picks
These sides met in a friendly back in January that the Americans won 3-0. However, both teams were missing key players that will play a major role in this match. The USMNT didn’t have its best midfielders, while Panama lacked Torres and some other defenders.
That being said, I like the over the most in this match. I think the Americans will have their chances and Panama will score once too.
United States vs. Panama Prediction: United States 3, Panama 1
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