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Young Americans face familiar foes
by Paul Kennedy, July 17th, 2009 7AM



[USA-PANAMA] The USA puts its unbeaten record against Panama on the line when it faces the Canaleros Saturday in the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup at Philadelphia's Financial Field (TV, live, 8 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel and TeleFutura).

The match marks the third consecutive Gold Cup that the teams meet in the knockout phase. The USA won the Gold Cup in 2005 when it beat Panama in a shootout after a scoreless tie and edged the Canaleros in the quarterfinals two years ago.

It also beat Panama, 2-1, in their first meeting, also at the Gold Cup, in 1993.

Forward Brian Ching is the only U.S. starter from the 2007 game who is in Philadelphia. Most of the key players on the national team were not called up for the Gold Cup following its  second-place finish at the Confederations Cup last month. Five other players have left the U.S. team since the start of the Gold Cup to rejoin their European clubs.

Bob Bradley's young team had its moments in group play at the Gold Cup. Stuart Holden and Robbie Rogers have been particularly effective in attacking roles.

Bradley will look from improved play from its backline, which had a sloppy evening in the 2-2 tie with Haiti on Saturday.

Two defenders -- Steve Cherundolo and Michael Parkhurst -- who played in the first two wins over Grenada and Honduras -- both shutouts -- have returned to Europe.

Of the 18 players still with the team, seven had not been capped before the start of the Gold Cup.

Panama lost its first game to Guadeloupe (2-1) but recovered to tie Mexico (1-1) and beat Nicaragua (4-0) to clinch one of two third-place berths in the quarterfinals.

The Canaleros feature 14 foreign-based players spread over eight countries.

U.S. Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Troy Perkins (Valerenga, Norway), 18-Luis Robles (FC Kaiserslautern, Germany)
DEFENDERS (5): Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), 3-Clarence Goodson (IK Start, Norway), 16-Jay Heaps (New England Revolution), 4-Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), 2-Heath Pearce (Out of Contract)
MIDFIELDERS (8): 22-Davy Arnaud (Kansas City Wizards), 5-Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), 13-Colin Clark (Colorado Rapids), 15-Sam Cronin (Toronto FC), 21-Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), 10-Stuart Holden (Houston Dynamo), 8-Logan Pause (Chicago Fire), 7-Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)
FORWARDS (3): 11-Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), 17-Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas), 20-Santino Quaranta (D.C. United)

Panama Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Jaime Penedo (Municipal, Guatemala), 12-Oscar McFarlane (Iquitos, Peru), 22-Jose Calderon (Chepo)
DEFENDERS (6): 2-Carlos Rivera (San Francisco), 3-Luis Moreno (Tauro), 5-Roman Torres (La Equidad, Colombia), 13-Joel Solanilla (San Miguelito), 14-Armando Gun (Chepo), 23-Felipe Baloy (Monterrey, Mexico)
MIDFIELDERS (9): 4-Jose Anthony (Sanarate, Guatemala), 6-Gabriel Gomez (Belenenses, Portugal), 8-Alberto Blanco (Maccabi Netanya, Israel), 10-Nelson Barahona (Atletico Huila, Colombia), 11-Victor Herrera (San Francisco), 15-Ricardo Phillips (San Francisco), 16-Manuel Torres (San Francisco), 20-Rolando Escobar (Caracas, Venezuela), 21-Amilcar Henriquez (Atletico Huila, Colombia)
FORWARDS (5): 7-Blas Perez (Pachuca, Mexico), 9-Jose Garces (Académica, Portugal), 17-Nicolas Munoz (Vista Hermosa, El Salvador), 18-Luis Tejada (Millonarios, Colombia), 19-Orlando Rodriguez (Arabe Unido)

July 18 in Philadelphia
Canada vs Honduras (Univision, 5 pm ET)
United States vs Panama (TeleFutura, 8 pm ET)
July 19 in Arlington, Texas
Mexico vs Haiti (Univision, 7 pm ET)
Guadeloupe vs Costa Rica (TeleFutura, 4 pm ET)

July 23 in Chicago
Philadelphia quarterfinal winners, TBA (TeleFutura, 7 pm ET)
Dallas quarterfinal winners, TBA (TeleFutura, 10 pm ET)

July 26 in East Rutherford, N.J.
Semifinal winners (Univision, 5 pm ET)


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