Which player scored the most impressive goal over the weekend?
Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen)
Haji Wright (SonderjyskE)
Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
Tyler Boyd (Besiktas)
Julian Green (Greuther Furth)
Nicholas Gioacchini (Caen)
BRIAN SCIARETTA - Thursday, June 23, 2011
The United States national team won their revenge with a hard fought 1-0 victory over Panama to advance to the 2011 Gold Cup finals Saturday night where they will take on arch-rival Mexico.

US head coach Bob Bradley began the game with a similar lineup to the one that started against Jamaica on Sunday in the quarterfinals. The only change was that Juan Agudelo started at the lone forward position in place of the injured Jozy Altidore.

In defense, captain Carlos Bocanegra and Clarence Goodson started in the middle with Steve Cherundolo on the right and Eric Lichaj on the left. Since that lineup made its debut against Guadeloupe, they have yet to concede a goal.

In the five man midfield, Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley started together centrally with Clint Dempsey playing on the left, Alejandro Bedoya on the right, and Sacha Kljestan in an attacking position

For the second straight game Landon Donovan, the USMNT all-time leading scorer did not start for the Stars and Stripes.

After last week's shocking loss to Panama in group play, the US entered the game with a more focused approach.

Panama was athletic and played tough defense but the United States had the best chance of the first half in the 25th minute when he took a cross from Cherundolo and headed down off the ground and then off the post.

In the second half, the game would open up with more offense for both teams.

Donovan entered the game at the start of the second half for Kljestan and Freddy Adu came on for Juan Agudelo in the 67th minute.

Panama had their best chance of the game in the 70th minute when Armando Cooper took a pass on the left side of the box and was able to cut and fire at shot that Howard was able to deflect over the bar.

The US finally broke the deadlock in the 76th minute Adu collected a pass in his own half and then sent a beautiful long pass down the left side that gave Donovan a chance to run onto it with space. Donovan moved into the box and hit a low driving cross that found Dempsey at the back post who was able to slide it home with his left foot to give the US a 1-0 lead.

For Dempsey it was his 22nd goal for the USMNT and his third of this Gold Cup.

For the last 13 minutes, the US played strong defense with Panama's best chances coming on shots from distance and long balls into the box.

The United States has now advanced to its fourth straight Gold Cup finals where they will face Mexico for the third straight final.

Mexico is the defending champion after winning in 2009 with a 5-0 defeat over a US team consisting of mostly reserves.

In 2007, the US defeated Mexico 2-1 in the finals in Chicago when Benny Feilhaber scored one of the most amazing goals in the history of US Soccer with a volley from 25 yards.

Like the 2007 tournament, the winner of Saturday night's final will win an invitation to play in the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil.
Saturday June 25, 2011 10:06 pm
Saturday June 25, 2011 10:07 am
Thanks for the props. Freddy as we all know was a victim of his own success,but his story is no way near over yet. Character is built through adversity. I gotta give coach b props for his job well done this tourney, win or lose today, he thought outside the box. I wasn't sure he had it in him. Yes it is painfully obvious I'm a big Freddy fan,but only cause how much the team needs a player like him. With or without him today,a win would be gynourmous for US soccer. Go Team USA!
Friday June 24, 2011 6:12 pm
and there he is...@ muchadu he SHOULD be grateful for the chance at the USMNT and even Freddy said that he was. You can't act like a pre-madona until you've earned it (not at 14). Diskerud isn't on the team so i don't know if he could have made that pass, but is a much more established professional than Freddy.

As a nats fan I've always said that i hope he lives up to the hype and that he was still young enough too. lets hope he turns out to be as good as you think he already is. i'm rooting for him.
Friday June 24, 2011 2:22 pm
Here is what I think is a good analogy and a simple way to describe our 2 newest important players. Dont get all bent, Im not saying they are as good as these players, just using them to illustrate a point. J. Jones passes like Dan Marino. They are crisp, sharp passes with accuracy most of the time, but you have to have the skill to receive them properly. Freddy passes the ball like Joe Montana, not the hardest cannon shot, but with pinpoint accuracy. Also they are both like Magic Johnson, in that they immediately make other people on the their team better, with the way they play the game. Hope you enjoyed my football to futbol analogy.We need both these guys in the game at the same time with Donovan to be a lethal passing team. This will give enough opportunities for Agudelo and Dempsey to put balls in the back of the net a few times.
When Jozy and Davies come back that will give us four strong scoring forwards. We need to just make Demps a full time striker.
Friday June 24, 2011 1:05 pm
@ cbb1217 You mentioned Freddy should be grateful to be on the USMT squad. Well ya got it backwards. The USMT should be grateful Freddy is on the squad being treated like a leper for acting the way most teenagers, in the situations he was in previously. At 17 how would you have handled this same experience ?! Oh right perfectly huh. If when you used bad attitude and laziness to describe him did you think maybe you ought to use "creative" and "team player" to describe him . Oh and your were right about Diskerud. Im sure he would have curled a 40 yard sweet pass to LD for the game winning play too. You may be right that he is not the answer, but maybe he is one of them.

@duriseti I did actually post but it was probably so long they could not accept it. Oh yeah Im not Fred, but would be honored if you would nominate me for President of the Freddy Adu fan club!! LOL ;0)

The USA put a man on the moon, beat the Russians in hockey and saved the world in WWII, so we cant win the Gold Cup and shock the world in the one of the next few World Cups. Hell yes we can!! There is nothing imaginable that the good ol US of A cant do. Watch out world soccer powers we are coming for you and theres nothing you can do to stop us!
Friday June 24, 2011 12:49 pm
Hey all you fellow USMT fans,
I did post,but it must have been lost. So here we go:
I hate to tell you I told you so, but I really must.

@ Paulo D You mentioned Freddys big mouth and listening to the coachs. Well he didnt talk the talk he walked the walk. And if the coaching staff told him to go in and create the game winning play he did just that. As far as him looking into the mirror. He did and saw a playmaker.

@Dave You mentioned Freddy had not played for a reason. The reason is the USMT didnt recognize his talent and potential. You told me if he succeeded I could call you names and you would bet against him doing well. I guess you couldnt be more wrong, but if your a USMT fan We should be cheering Freddys success and the teams success together. Just dont bet against him anymore.

@Billy Bob Where ya at now!! Put that game winning set up pass on your YouTube highlights now. When you find the more knowledgable
fans you were talking about let me know what they think of Freddy
Adu now. Oh and for the record Fred didnt FLOP on the big stage.
Friday June 24, 2011 11:58 am

Size isn't that important, skill is. His problem is more that he doesn't do any one skill at the elite level. He's the same size almost exactly as Messi. If he learns to control the ball and the game like Messi then he's gonna be fine. He's also an inch or so shorter than Donovan, so really not much there either.

I mean of course you'd hope to have every player be built like Christiano Ronaldo, but that just doesn't work out.

Freddy really reminds me of a kid I played high school football with, he was a tail back, he was so used to playing in weight class that when he hit high school and everyone played together he grew scared of the hits and wouldn't run the ball up the middle cause the DL outweighed him by 100 pounds. Freddy seems like the kid who was always more physically gifted than his opponents so he never learned the nuances of the game. He's learning them now, but unfortunately he should have been learning them when he was 10-16. Really the biggest error was playing him in MLS. It's like the baseball team that rushes their prospect and the prospect just never quite learns the game.
Friday June 24, 2011 11:09 am
I've always been a big Freddy fan. Only a handful of players in the history of US soccer have had his quality. I don't understand why people never talk about what I think is his biggest problem - his size. He never really grew. This wasn't a problem at the youth levels, but when he's with the big boys it really shows. He's knocked off the ball very easily. Few small guys can be great players. Landon Donovan is an exception. And, no, I don't consider Messi and Maradona small - those guys have big butts, big legs. Adu is skinny, almost like Beas.
B Potter
Friday June 24, 2011 7:26 am
1-0, 1-0. This is against a team that can not try and qualify for the WC and one that will go out early. The Jamaica win was the best of the Gold Cup, but the rest of the games have ben boring and slow. The US needs to pick up the pace and so an eagerness in the final third. No more 20 yard turn and fire attempts. We are best when the ball is getting played from the wings. Kudos to our outside backs for their play in this tournament.

Adu looked like the player he was hyped to be for many years. The ball he played to set up the goal was very impressive. He is not afraid to take on defenders. I hope to see him against Mexico.

J Jones had his best match so far. I still do not believe he is a better option than Edu, but he played well.
Friday June 24, 2011 2:48 am
El Tri will not dominate if Coach B puts his best team out on the field. Play a 4- 4-2 with Bradley and Jones in the middle, Donavan and Adu the wings and demps and agudelo forward. When we score first or lead into the second half, pull Freddy and Agudelo for Edu and either Spector or Bedoya for stronger defensive unit. Same defensive back four as last game they did well but gave up too many opps late in the game for Panama. keep Ream, JB, Kljestan, Rogers,Wondo on the bench.
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