The US Men’s Nation Team (who’s name continually annoys me because it does not clearly share which sport they play, but that is neither here nor there) are out looking for revenge as they face Panama in the semi-finals of the Gold Cup tonight in Houston. Panama stunned the US with a 2-1 win in the group stage – their first ever loss at that level of the Gold Cup – on June 11th. In their previous match, the Yanks had twice the shots (8 to 4), twice the possession (66 to 33 percent), twice the completed passes (509 to 250), and attempted almost three times the crosses (28 to 11) – yet they still looked more passive and lackadaisical than their Central American counterparts. Coach Bob Bradley made a statement in the team’s next match against Guadeloupe when he chose to bring Landon Donovan on as a substitute, rather than in his normal starting role, but look for him to return to the opening 11 tonight. And Clint Dempsey looked energetic and inspired, stepping up his offensive aggressiveness in the wake of Jozy Altidore missing the match with injury, and showed the patience and scoring touch that make him a regular force at Craven Cottage.
A win will get either club one-step closer to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena for Saturday’s championship finale. And since Panama does not have any players on their current squad playing English football, let’s instead look at who will likely be starting for each club in tonight’s contest, the American’s that play in the English system, and a few quality previews from some of our Footy Friend Sites.
United States –
Goal Keepers: Tim Howard (Everton – EPL), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolves – EPL)
Defenders: Eric Lichaj (Leeds – C), Jonathan Spector (West Ham – EPL)
Midfielders: Michael Bradley (Aston Villa – EPL), Clint Dempsey (Fulham – EPL), Jermaine Jones (Blackburn – C)
More Match Previews:
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