Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Canaleros are the real deal
by Paul Kennedy, July 27th, 2013 5:19PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  gold cup, men's national team

MOST COMMENTED

[USA-PANAMA]Beat Mexico once, and call it a fluke. Beat Mexico twice, and you're the real deal. Panama's success at the 2013 Gold Cup, which includes an historic pair of 2-1 wins over Mexico, should come as no surprise. The Canaleros also reached the knockout stage of the previous four Gold Cups (losing to the USA each time) and they were the only Hexagonal team that entered close to its first team at this year's Gold Cup.

Panama became the first Concacaf team to beat Mexico twice in the same year in the same competition with its wins over El Tri.

In Wednesday's game against Mexico at Cowboys Stadium, eight of the 11 starters played against the USA when they met June 11 in World Cup qualifying in Seattle, and FC Dallas striker Blas Perez would have started against the USA but he had taken sick during Panama's previous game against Mexico and did not travel to Seattle.

The other two starters against Mexico -- Seattle Sounders target Roberto Chen and former Philadelphia Union midfielder Gabriel Gomez -- were both on the bench against the USA.

The two key players whom the Canaleros did not bring to the Gold Cup are defender Felipe Baloy, their captain, and forward Luis Tejada, who are both in Mexico for the start of the new league season.

Panama poses challenges for the USA on several fronts:

-- The coaching staff headed by former Panamanian greats Julio Cesar Dely Valdes and Jorge Dely Valdes is arguably the best in the region at getting the most out of its players.

Except for the Costa Rica, the USA has broken down opposing defenses almost at will, creating dozens of chances. It won't be so easy against the Canaleros, who are tough to break down defensively.

Panama won't likely repeat the mistake it made in Seattle when it gave the USA too much respect, allowing the U.S. midfield plenty of time on the ball. In goal, it has veteran Jaime Penedo, a holdover from the 2005 team that lost to the USA in a shootout in the final.

The final could be a test of the USA's patience, something it did not need to worry about in its two previous knockout matches when it opened up quick 2-0 leads against both El Salvador and Honduras.

-- The biggest area of improvement at this year's Gold Cup has been Panama's ability to create chances for itself. It already has scored 11 goals in five games, four more goals than the previous high in its four prior runs into the knockout phase.

On the outside, Alberto Quintero caused Mexico fits in both games. Gabriel Torres is tied with Landon Donovan and Chris Wondolowski for most goals at the Gold Cup with five, while Perez had two goals in the quarterfinal win over Cuba and the first goal against Mexico in the semifinals.

-- The Canaleros are playing with confidence, again a tribute to the Dely Valdes brothers. No other team besides the USA has shown the positive body language throughout the Gold Cup like Panama has.


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
WCQ: What's at stake Friday in Concacaf    
After four games, one team -- Mexico -- has clinched a berth in the Hexagonal, the ...
Video Pick: A celebration too far    
Medi Dresevic of Swedish third tier club Norrby IF was ejected for how he celebrated his ...
MLS Countdown: NYCFC and D.C. kick off Conflict Week    
A total of 59 MLS players were called up by their national teams for World Cup ...
Devastated Hope Solo calls it quits for 2016 season    
Less than a week after being suspended from the U.S. national team for six months and ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"My message since I took over this role, since five years ago, to all of them ...
This week in men's college soccer    
The WAC reintroduced men's soccer in 2013 and quickly has become one of the hottest men's ...
U.S. Abroad: Top U.S. youth star signs with Schalke 04    
FC Dallas, regarded as having MLS's best youth development program, lost out on Weston McKennie, the ...
What They're Saying: Hope Solo    
"Seventeen f****** years, and it's over!" -- Hope Solo, with her reaction to her husband, former ...
Video Pick: Sportsmanship from Barca boys    
After Barcelona U-13s' 1-0 win over Omiya at the World Challenge Cup in Tokyo left the ...
MLS Injury Report: Zardes out for regular season    
The LA Galaxy confirmed that U.S. national team forward Gyasi Zardes will miss the remainder of ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives