News / USA

US Soccer Team Aims for Revenge Against Panama

United States' Juan Agudelo (L) eludes Panama's Felipe Baloy (R) during the first half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer match on June 11, 2011, in Tampa, Fla
United States' Juan Agudelo (L) eludes Panama's Felipe Baloy (R) during the first half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer match on June 11, 2011, in Tampa, Fla

The U.S. men's soccer team is set for a rematch against Panama Wednesday evening at the Gold Cup regional tournament being hosted by the United States. At stake this time is a berth in the semifinals.  

Panama stunned the United States, 2-1, in first round group play at the CONCACAF Gold Cup on June 11. It was the first time the U.S. had ever lost to Panama in 10 matches, and it ended a 26-game unbeaten streak for the U.S. men in first round Gold Cup play.

Three days later, after the Americans beat tiny Guadeloupe by only 1-0, and Coach Bob Bradley allowed two of his star players to leave three days of training to attend their sisters' weddings, the team found itself on the receiving end of a lot of criticism.

Much of that subsided after a 2-0 win over Jamaica Sunday in Washington that sent the U.S. into the semifinals, which will be played in Houston.

There the Americans will get a chance for revenge against Panama, which advanced with a penalty kick shootout win over El Salvador.

Despite a rough first round, Bradley believes his team is now on track.

"You know, I say it all the time. You come into these tournaments and you have to grow as you move through it, the combination of the games and the training all become important," said Bradley. "And you can see the team getting sharper. We've had different guys come through so far. Everybody's needed in this kind of tournament."

That was certainly apparent in the 2-0 quarterfinal win against Jamaica when striker Jozy Altidore had to leave the game in the 12th minute with a leg muscle injury, and 19-year-old Juan Agudelo came on to replace him. The Colombian-born Agudelo had a good showing, including an impressive assist on the second U.S. goal that came in the 80th minute by midfielder Clint Dempsey.

Dempsey started and played the entire match in Washington, though he rejoined the team less than 20 hours before kickoff after attending his sister's wedding in Texas.

"You know, I was just glad I was able to get back and I just wasn't going to let that be a factor, let it more motivate me to come out and not be an excuse the fact that I was traveling. And saying that, the real story is the team," said Dempsey. We're getting better every game, and that's what you want in a tournament. You don't want to start off peaking. You want to, you know, build up and I think we're doing that."

The U.S. soccer team has reached four of the past five Gold Cup finals and can make it five of six with a win over Panama. The other semifinal, also Wednesday in Houston, features defending champion Mexico against Honduras. The semifinal winners meet for the title Saturday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

This biennial Gold Cup has more than just regional football bragging rights at stake this year. The winner earns a berth in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil that serves as a tune-up event one year before the next World Cup.

You May Like

Video In US, Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy

Holiday marks date Columbus discovered Americas, but some are offended by legacy because he enslaved many natives he encountered More

Video Through Sports, Austria Tries to Give Migrants Traction

With 85,000 people expected to claim asylum in Austria this year, its government has made integration through joint physical activities a key objective More

Video Kickboxing Champion Shares Sport With Young Migrants

Pouring into Europe by hundreds of thousands, some migrants, especially youngsters, are finding sports a way to integrate into new host countries More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs