U.S. MNT seeks fifth CONCACAF Gold Cup crown when it faces Panama on Sunday in Chicago

U.S. MNT seeks fifth CONCACAF Gold Cup crown when it faces Panama on Sunday in Chicago
Friday, July 26, 2013 - 2:29pm

Following the 3-1 win against Honduras in the semifinal, the U.S. moved one step away from capturing its fifth Gold Cup championship. Standing in the way is Panama, the team the USA faced in the 2005 Gold Cup final and needed penalties to defeat. Kickoff at Soldier Field in Chicago is set for 3 p.m. CT (4 p.m. ET), and the match will be broadcast live on FOX and Univision. (Watch at Official U.S. Soccer Bars) Fans can follow the match live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and via Twitter @ussoccer.

This is the fifth-consecutive Gold Cup in which the teams will meet in the knockout round. The U.S. is unbeaten in those contests, including two quarterfinal victories (2007, 2009) and a shutout win in the 2011 semifinal.

Panama reached the championship final by defeating Mexico for the second time in the tournament, and by the same 2-1 scoreline. Gabriel Torres has netted five goals for the Marea Roja and is tied for the scoring lead in the tournament with Landon Donovan and Chris Wondolowski.

• With the victory, the USA increased its record winning streak to 10 games, three more than its previous high of seven straight wins accomplished in 2007. The USA also improved to 11-2-2 in 2013.
• The USA previously won the tournament in 1991, 2002, 2005 and 2007. With four runner-up finishes, the U.S. has now reached the championship game in nine of the 12 editions of the Gold Cup and will play in its fifth straight final
• Landon Donovan has five goals and seven assists in the tournament. His 18 career goals are tops in CONCACAF, along with his appearance in a record six Gold Cups.
• Along with its overall winning streak, the USA will have a chance to tie its U.S. home record winning streak of 10, which was set from June 15, 2008, through July 11, 2009.
• With the World Cup less than a year away, the mix of veterans and younger players are hoping the Gold Cup will prove to be a launching point for a spot in World Cup Qualifying and ultimately Brazil in 2014. (From Gold Cup to World Cup?

• The United States holds a 9-1-2 lifetime record against Panama, including an 8-1-1 record on U.S. soil.
• A total of 11 of the 12 meetings between the two teams have come in either the CONCACAF Gold Cup or FIFA World Cup Qualifying. In those games, the U.S. holds a 8-1-2 record.
• Eight of the 13 games have been decided by a goal or less.
• A total of 15 players on the roster have experience against Panama. Donovan leads with eight appearances, while Beasley has seven.
• Four players have scored against the Marea Roja: Donovan (4), Johnson (3), Beckerman and Goodson. Beckerman's goal - his first career for the MNT - was the game-winner in the 2009 Gold Cup quarterfinal.
• In the 6-0 victory against Panama in World Cup Qualifying on Oct. 13, 2004, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., Eddie Johnson became the first U.S. player in history to record a hat trick as a substitute.
• This is the second meeting between the teams in six weeks. On June 11 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, goals from Jozy Altidore and Eddie Johnson paced the U.S. to a 2-0 win in front of 40,847 fans. The goal for Johnson was his 11th in 16 career World Cup Qualifying games, and puts him one behind all-time leaders Clint Dempsey and Donovan.
• On that day, Stuart Holden came on as a late sub, making his first FIFA World Cup Qualifying appearance since the match against Costa Rica on Oct. 14, 2009.
• The teams met in a friendly for the first time, a 1-0 win on Jan. 25, 2012, in Panama City. U.S. goalkeeper and Budweiser Man of the Match Nick Rimando earned his sixth career cap that day. Sean Johnson collected his first cap for the Senior Team when he replaced Rimando at halftime.
• The teams met in the final of the 2005 Gold Cup, a 0-0 draw that was decided in penalties. Kasey Keller, currently on assignment as the U.S. goalkeeper coach, stood in goal. His counterpart was Jaime Penedo, who is still the starting 'keeper for Panama.
• In qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the teams met four times, playing home and away in both the Semifinal and Final Rounds of qualifying. The U.S. won three times with one tie.
• In their last encounter in the Gold Cup, Clint Dempsey scored the lone goal in the USA's 1-0 victory in the semifinal round of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, marking the fourth straight time that the U.S. has eliminated Panama from the Gold Cup's knockout round.
• Earlier in that tournament, Panama collected its only victory against the United States, a 2-1 win on June 11 in Tampa, Fla. The defeat remains the only U.S. loss ever in the group phase of the tournament dating back to 1991.
• Chris Wondolowski entered as a sub in that game. Panama's Blas Perez drew the penalty kick that proved decisive in that match.

• Landon Donovan is the only player on the USA's Gold Cup roster to have started in all five matches during this year's tournament, and he had played 432 straight minutes before being subbed out by Chris Wondolowski in the 72nd minute. He now has 33 career Gold Cup appearances, the most in Gold Cup history.
• Donovan has at least one assist in three straight games and with an assist in the championship game would match the U.S. record of four, set by Donovan on two previous occasions in 2004 and 2009.
• Brek Shea replaced the injured Joshua Gatt (knee) on the final 23-man roster.
• With his game-winner against Costa Rica, Brek Shea became the seventh player on this U.S. roster to score his first international goal in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Shea joins Corona as the second player to score his debut goal in the 2013 edition of the regional championship.
• Eight players on the roster have previous experience in the Gold Cup, and three are former champions: DaMarcus Beasley (2002, 2005, 2007), Landon Donovan (2002, 2005, 2007), and Michael Parkhurst (2007).

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