Orange Slices: USA vs. Panama, Again

Orange Slices is our game day, catch-all post that we update during the day before the match. Don’t accept substitutes, imitators or copycats! Ask for fresh, wholesome Orange Slices by name.

Orange Slices! US vs. Panama

Hello and welcome to game day!

The United States Men’s National finds itself one game away from a possible Gold Cup final showdown against Mexico.

Standing in their way? Group stage foil Panama, who adhered to a disciplined game plan in their 4-4-2 deployment last time and sent the United States to their first ever Gold Cup group stage loss.

What a difference a week makes. The US are coming off a strong showing against the Reggae Boyz of Jamaica while Panama needed penalty kicks to reach the sequel here today.

Reset Button: TSG’s Official USA vs. Panama Preview


Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. CT.

English TV Broadcast: Fox Soccer (Kyle Martino with analysis) —  Spanish TV Broadcast: Univision, Web: or

Live Commentary: Right here at TSG!


Supporting Material:

• Unrelated: Simon Kuper looks at a statistical revolution underway in football. (TSG says it’s always in the numbers also.)

• Anthony Mannino of USA10Kit highlights the keys to the States five man midfield.

•  John Levy, The Yanks Are Coming is thinks the Yanks will roll big in the rematch.

•  Podcast: The Girls In The Cheap Seats, hailing from the Lone Star State, talk US Men’s National Team from a woman’s perspective as they follow around the team during Gold Cup 2011.


American Outlaws members gather here.

Weather forecast:

T-Storms bearing down on H-town. Alas, the US will be facing off with Panama in the Reliant Stadium….dome.

Surf forecast:

There’s no surfing in Houston….you bet there is!

In fact Galveston, Texas–and tanker surfing!–was profiled in probably the best surfing documentary of the 2000’s, Step Into Liquid. We couldn’t find a clip of that, but there is no shortage of southeast Texas–read: Galveston Bay–surfing on YouTube (below) and …. even directions on how you can surf one of those tankers.


When In Houston:

Shoutout to some Houston locals and TSG community members:

Chris Figat: Chris has been coming to TSG since it’s inception. He’s a hell of a graphic designer. He authored TSG’s holiday card andsome USMNT wallpaper before last year’s World Cup. Thanks Chris.

Kevin, Forever Orange: Kevin is youngster who’s been coming to TSG as well since we opened the doors–I believe one of his first comments was pleading for some face time for Bobby Boswell on the USMNT (Sorry Kev, not going to happen :>).

He’s always the first to nominate TSG for best US Soccer Blog at US Soccer. Thanks Kevin. And Kevin, I changed it from “Orange Wedges” to “Orange Slices” because the word “wedges” just annoys me for some reason.


Dempsey, playing at heights never achieved before by a US outfielder...

Nachodelicious!: US forward extraordinaire Clint Dempsey hails from tiny Nacogdoches, TX, a mere two-and-a-half hours north from Houston. Dempsey is likely to have quite an entourage at Reliant tomorrow. Couldn’t find anything official on Clint and Nacogdoches, but I did find that the urban dictionary actually labels a “Clint Dempsey Day.”

Timmy Terrific: Tim Howard is moving up the goalkeeper record charts, and with 35 wins he is third all-time and two behind Tony Meola. With 23 shutouts he is in fourth place, one behind Brad Friedel.

Why Start Now?:  The U.S. has never been eliminated at the semifinal stage of the Gold Cup by a CONCACAF opponent…

….However: The U.S. has made three appearances in Houston and has a 0-1-2 record, losing to Ecuador on June 10, 1988, in the first ever appearance there.

The two U.S. ties in Houston came against Mexico in friendly matches in 2003 (0-0 on May 8, 2003, and 2-2 on Feb. 6, 2008). Jozy Altidore and Oguchi Onyewu scored the goals in the 2008 appearance.

Blas Perez who?: Group stage terror and Panama striker Blas Perez is out this game after receiving a red card against El Salvador. However, his partner-in-crime-Luis Tejada’s three goals in the 2011 Gold Cup have made him Panama’s all-time leading scorer in the tournament with eight career goals. Perez is next with seven career Gold Cup goals, including one in the 2011 opener.

And this is of course….Panama!

35 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dth on 2011/06/22 at 12:23 AM

    Somewhat nervous for this…hoping we can take Panama out early so I can leave the game early and skip off to Caltrain with a clean conscience.


  2. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/06/22 at 12:25 AM

    I don’t see this a blowout like others are forecasting as well DTH. Where are you in SF?


    • Posted by dth on 2011/06/22 at 12:30 AM

      In Belmont–going up to SF for a Giants game. Can’t say no to $6 bleacher seats.

      I think Agudelo is going to be a very interesting key here. He played a pretty disciplined game in terms of his runs and positioning, but at heart I still think he thinks he’s a false nine type. Does he get the freedom to do that (assuming he starts)? He might find space against Panama’s 4-4-2.


      • Posted by sfshwebb on 2011/06/22 at 9:34 AM

        Stay away from the beers, for 9 bucks you can get an irish coffee right above the bleachers and the bartender is typically heavy on the whiskey! and it warms you up


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/06/22 at 8:24 AM

      I sense a very nervous game until the USA score. This sounds obvious, but the longer it stays goalless, I see the US taking shots from stupid positions (Ronaldo), and making the wrong decisions. I feel if the US can get a goal within the first 25 mins and stay defensively organised, you’ll win comfortably because let’s face it, you do have the better players and team. Just got to eliminate the really silly mistakes and turnovers. And making sure Bradley and Jones are not the wrong side of the ball simultaneously, especially if the fullbacks are advanced.

      Can see a comfortable 2 or 3 nil victory.


      • Posted by Alex on 2011/06/22 at 11:58 AM

        Woah, its not Ronaldo shots, its Dempsey trying sh*t!


        • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/06/22 at 1:33 PM

          But one of these times the sh*t is going to work and we will have the highlight that will appear in every youtube USMNT video going forward. Can’t tell me that scorpion kick wouldn’t be in every clip video had it gone in.


          • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/06/22 at 3:53 PM

            That was called improvisation – he didn’t set out to do that. I am talking about shooting from 35m out… and I not just talking about Dempsey.


  3. Posted by Colin on 2011/06/22 at 4:35 AM

    I saw none of the first match against panama because I was at a wedding that was just too much fun to leave (also, it was on a military base and we werent allowed to leave without authorization after dark)…so I am just pretending like it never happened.


  4. Posted by dikranovich on 2011/06/22 at 4:55 AM

    sometimes when teams have been getting a lot of chances, but only converting a few, that is when the game comes along where the flood gates open. thats just what this panama game feels like. panama coming in on short rest, after a long game, which saw them lose a big player. it all adds up to doom for panama. adu surprise, biff bam boom. holy makeral.


  5. Posted by Kevin on 2011/06/22 at 5:28 AM

    Gonna have to miss the game and can’t even record it here in Mexico.

    On my boswell comment I’d like to take the chance to defend myself because it was in like 2008 which was one of his best years and it was in a post with a poll asking which centerback should get a try. It was the first TSG piece I ever read and by the time I found it Boswell had been added to the poll due to popularity.

    Anyway hoping for the same starting line up but not sure I want Agudelo starting. I thought he had a decent game and at times showed he’s not comfortable with the ball. He tried the same little cutback move again and again. What disturbed me is that he did all the fundamentals of a lonestriker but not the basics of being a soccer player.


  6. Posted by John Henry on 2011/06/22 at 6:52 AM

    Thanks for the FT Kuper link. Very interesting article.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/06/22 at 8:35 AM

      Saw that last week. Cannot wait til the book is released. Too many “empty” stats floating around. Will be great to see the meaniingful stuff isolated from the crap. Still, I say, tread with caution. Stats can’t measure everything…


  7. Posted by EFG on 2011/06/22 at 7:41 AM

    Off topic: Latest rumor du jour out of Rome in their search for an American is Jermaine Jones who would be available for free. Don’t know what to make of this since a) I don’t think he fits in exactly as the big marketing player in America that Di Benedetto wants but he would be available for free. b) I don’t see how he fits into the new Barca-style that Roma will play (unless he’s a poor man’s Busquets.


  8. Thanks for the shoutout. I’ll be on the ground in Reliant (with some killer seats) and will report back as I’m able.

    One minor quibble, Reliant is actually a retractable roof stadium and not a dome 🙂 The roof will certainly be closed, however.


  9. Feeling real good about tonight even though I cant watch it I expect to come home to a 3-1 win and a trip to the finals


  10. Posted by Crow on 2011/06/22 at 9:24 AM

    I’m going to miss this game. 😦 I hope Deuce has a monster game for his Texas posse. I’ll be flying from PA to LA during the game. I wonder if Southwest will be televising the game? LOL And then driving straight up to San Jose to visit a friend (if I can stay awake), before returning to LA for the Final. They better win because if I found out they lost when I land, that is going to be a brutal drive!!!


  11. Anybody know if there will be a re-broadcast of the game later in the evening? I too am otherwise committed during game time.


  12. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/06/22 at 11:16 AM

    the U-17s are on Galavision live right now against Uzbekistan. Knockout stages here we come


    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/06/22 at 11:19 AM

      man my sense of time is all off. 4 est


    • Posted by dth on 2011/06/22 at 12:58 PM

      Second that recommendation–if they play anything like the first game, a nice, stylish game of US soccer will be played. Some nice players on the team, so fun to watch (though obviously will be probably four years at least before we see any substantial dividends.)


      • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/06/22 at 1:55 PM

        Unfortunately, they’re not playing anything like the first game.


        • Posted by dth on 2011/06/22 at 2:01 PM

          Nope. These things happen at this age. Hopefully they imitate the senior USMNT and do the furious comeback thang.


          • Posted by dth on 2011/06/22 at 2:21 PM

            Looks like we’re (almost) reenacting the Slovenia game. We tie it up, should get a penalty, then have a very iffy penalty called against us. ridiculous, coulibaly-level refereeing here.


            • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/06/22 at 2:53 PM

              Yeah, some ridiculous calls against the US in the second half, although Uzbekistan had a goal called back on what looked to be an incorrect offside call in the first. I won’t begrudge them the win; they we’re clearly the better and more dangerous side on the day. And their goalie has a sweet mullet.

            • Posted by dth on 2011/06/22 at 2:57 PM

              Were they clearly that much better? I thought it was very sloppy on both sides, as the Uzbeks seemed to have little idea what to do with the ball at their feet than launch terrible long-range shots. I think a fair result would’ve been a draw.

  13. Posted by Paula on 2011/06/22 at 12:13 PM

    No Jozy for the rest of the tourney …


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/06/22 at 12:44 PM

      Good thing we brought 4 forwards to the tournament and didn’t fill any roster spots with guys that are just there for evaluation.

      Too bad for Jozy as he was starting to show that he can handle Concacaf competition.


  14. Posted by Steve in PDX on 2011/06/22 at 2:44 PM

    Just watched the Van Halen “Panama” video, which was always one of my faves as a youngster growing up in the 80’s. My gut feeling tells me that Clint Dempsey has seen the video as well, therefore here’s my prediction for today’s match: Deuce wins it on a last-minute “David Lee Roth inspired scissor kick” (ex. 0:25 mark of the video), then celebrates by sliding on his knees while doing an “Eddie Van Halen-style tapping the fretboard” move (ex: 2:20). Just a guess.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: