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
USA breaks hearts in Panama but brings joy to Mexico
by Mike Woitalla, October 16th, 2013 3:33AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

TAGS:  men's national team, world cup 2014


[HEXAGONAL: Matchday 10] A game that shouldn't have meant much for the USA, which had booked its World Cup ticket more than a month ago, turned into one of the most dramatic in Concacaf history. The 3-2 win at Panama came thanks to two stoppage-time goals and saved Mexico from elimination.

Panama, aiming to reach the World Cup for the first time, needed Costa Rica to beat Mexico. The Canaleros took the lead in the 18th minute as the Americans performed tamely in the first half.

All the goals that would be scored in Costa Rica came by the 64th minute as the Ticos headed to a 2-1 win.

When Michael Orozco scored off a Brad Davis free kick -- also in the 64th minute -- Mexico was in the coveted fourth-place spot that earns a playoff with New Zealand.

But in the 83rd minute, Luis Tejada poked home a rebound from keeper Brad Guzan and the crowd at the Rommel Fernandez Stadium erupted in wild celebration.

When the clock hit 90:00, Panama was still on track with its 2-1 lead. But there was stoppage time – warranted especially because Panama keeper Jaime Penedo took awhile to recover from a knock and the prolonged celebration by the Canaleros on the track when they thought their second goal was a World Cup ticket.

Two minutes into stoppage time, left back Edgar Castillo moved smoothly past a defender, sent the ball to Davis, who chipped the perfect cross from Graham Zusi to head home to make it 2-2 and bail out Mexico, which wasn’t getting near the Ticos’ goal in San Jose.

‘BACON’ GETS HIS FIRST GOAL. Iceland product Aron Johannsson got his first start for the USA against Jamaica on Friday and squandered several chances that day, but a minute after Zusi’s goal struck a beauty from 20 yards to give the USA the win.

Johannsson was born in Alabama and moved to Iceland, the home of his parents, at age 3. In his teens, he returned to the USA to attend the IMG Academy for a year. Shortly after going back to Iceland, Johannsson moved to the Danish league, where he picked up the nickname “Bacon” because of his resemblance to the actor Kevin Bacon.

The 22-year-old’s play last season in Denmark and this season at Dutch club AZ Alkmaar prompted a call from Jurgen Klinsmann and soon after he changed his allegiance from Iceland to the USA.

After his goal against Panama he barely celebrated and went over to console one of the Panamanians. He said after the game he felt sorry for the Panamanians -- as anyone would have who saw them as their World Cup dreams were crushed. But that brilliant strike -- on top of his scoring rate at AZ Alkmaar -- should ensure his spot on the World Cup roster and capped a big day for those associated with Icelandic soccer. Iceland, the team he forsook, is one step away from playing in the World Cup after clinching a berth in the European playoffs.

SMART SUBBING. In Friday’s 2-0 win over Jamaica, Castillo and Zusi came on as second-half subs and assisted and scored, respectively. Against Panama, second-half subs again came through: Davis (two assists), Terrance Boyd (assist), Johannsson (goal).

HEROES IN MEXICO. Four years ago, the USA played Costa Rica in their final Hexagonal games after the Americans had already qualified. A late goal from Jonathan Bornstein earned the USA a 2-2 tie that sent Honduras to the World Cup and prompted Honduran president Roberto Micheletti to offer Bornstein an all-expenses-paid trip to the resort area of Islas de la Bahia.

“We’ll bring this gringuito who scored on the header,” Micheletti said. “He doesn’t need a visa to come here to Honduras.”

A couple players on this U.S. team who did Mexico such a big favor can expect to receive a nice reception when they return to their clubs: Orozco plays for Puebla and Castillo for Tijuana Xolos. Both are Mexican-Americans. Castillo even played for Mexico’s U-23 team.

Davis, however, must return to Panama next Thursday when his Houston Dynamo faces Arabe Unido in the same stadium where he destroyed Panama’s World Cup dreams in the Concacaf Champions League.

KLINSMANN MATCHES ARENA'S HEX. The win in Panama City meant the USA matched its previous best Hexagonal record, which came in 2005 under Coach Bruce Arena when it also won the final round of qualifying with 22 points.

Oct. 15 in Panama City
Panama 2, USA 3. Goals: G.Torres 18, Tejada 83; Orozco 64, Zusi 90+2, Johannsson 90+3.
Panama – Penedo, Rodriguez (Jimenez, 72), R.Torres, Baloy, Henriquez, Gomez (Chen, 72), Henriquez, Sanchez (Tejada, 78), Quintero, Perez, G.Torres.
USA – Guzan, Evans (Davis, 56), Goodson, Orozco, Castillo, Bedoya, Beckerman, Kljestan, Diskerud (Johannsson, 62), Zusi, Altidore (Boyd, 76).
Yellow card: Panama -- Tejada 84.
Referee: Courtney Campbell (Jamaica)

Panama-USA Highlights:

  1. David Huff
    commented on: October 16, 2013 at 10:58 p.m.
    With the ghost of the "Desert Fox" hovering over a stadium named Rommel, "El Aleman" Klinsmann and his USA boys got the job done down deep in the heart of Latin America. Ein Volk, Ein Klinsmann, Ein USA!!
  1. Paul Stierle
    commented on: October 17, 2013 at 11:26 a.m.
    I know it is unamerican but I was rooting for Panama. What guts they had but we had the guts,mentality, and glory. Klinsman has deepened the gene pool. What a coach. His subs make the difference again. Wow! I believe but I am german too.

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



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Franz Beckenbauer    
"Carlos Alberto was like a brother to me, one of my best friends." -- Former German ...
MLS: Pending Barnetta exit adds incentive for Union    
Of the 12 playoff qualifiers, Philadelphia compiled the fewest points (42) and drew a daunting match ...
What They're Saying: Sacramento planning and design commissioner Cornelious Burke    
"This project in my opinion is a game changer." -- Sacramento planning and design commissioner Cornelious ...
USL Expansion: Tampa Bay and Ottawa leave NASL    
As the USL and MLS grow, the NASL shrinks. From its membership of 12 teams for ...
MLS Moves: Jahn's goals net him new contract in Columbus    
A rough season for Crew SC did yield some hope for the future, and as part ...
MLS Playoffs: Teams limp into Knockout Round    
Between them, the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake have made 11 MLS Cup appearances and ...
Video Pick: Carlos Alberto's wonder goal    
Carlos Alberto, who died at age 72 on Tuesday, scored one of the greatest World Cup ...
Video Pick: Sweet solo strike from Leipzig    
One of the reasons newly promoted RB Leipzig is only two points behind Bundesliga leader Bayern ...
U.S. Abroad: Big night for Americans in DFB Pokal    
Bobby Wood scored two goals for Hamburg, his first since the second week of the Bundesliga ...
Double DUII arrests add to Portland's nightmare week    
In the space of a week, the Portland Timbers, the 2015 MLS champions, failed to reach ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives