Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Canaleros are the real deal
by Paul Kennedy, July 27th, 2013 5:19PM

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
49ers and NBA Kings ante up on Sac MLS bid    
Sacramento Republic FC ownership continues to grow with the announcement that San Francisco 49ers owner and ...
U.S. women head to Europe without three stars    
Four months ahead of the 2015 Women's World Cup, the USA heads to Europe for friendlies ...
MLS Live and MLS Direct Kick will return    
Out-of-market packages MLS Live, MLS's subscription streaming service, and MLS Direct Kick, MLS's cable and satellite ...
What They're Saying: Paul Rogers    
"Did I want to pull out [of the U.S. team] this close to a World Cup? ...
MLS Trade Central: Agudelo returns to Revs    
The New England Revolution got a boost for its MLS title hopes when 22-year-old Juan Agudelo ...
Chelsea vs. Man City: Showdown At Stamford Bridge     
On Saturday, two of the most expensive teams money can buy will square off in a ...
What They're Saying: Bob Gansler    
"I'm doing fine. I recovered quite quickly, to their surprise. I was able to leave (the ...
Video Pick: Back-heel volley golazo from Chelsea youngster     
Kasey Palmer, an 18-year-old midfielder, scored this beautiful goal in U-21 action against West Ham.
Obituary: Milton Aimi    
Milton Aimi played a variety of roles in spurring the growth of soccer in Texas and ...
Again, the USA wilts in the second half    
The USA's performance in a 3-2 loss to Chile on Wednesday raises lots of questions and ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives