A second goal in as many U.S. games for striker Dom Dwyer opened up a 1-0 lead early in the second half but a pesky Panamanian team soon got a deserved equalizer to come away with a point from their 1-1 tie to open Group B play at the Gold Cup.
Only in short spurts did the Americans dictate tempo and they conceded a lot of possession and space after Dwyer first-timed a Kelyn Rowe pass along the turf just inside the far post. Keeper Brad Guzan rescued his team a few times with saves and the Americans also escaped punishment when Ismael Diaz shot over the bar from point-blank range.
No players on either team were cautioned but even with a clean disciplinary slate the U.S lineup will probably change considerably because of fatigue on a hot day and several tepid displays.
USA Player Ratings:
Player (Club) Caps/Goals
7 Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), 56/0.
Pulled off seven saves, including a pair of beauties, during a rather busy day. Did his best to marshal a defense that was opened up and pulled apart much too often.
5 Graham Zusi (Sporting KC), 50/5.
Sent balls into the channel and up the sideline for Bedoya and came in behind him a few times to loft balls from near the corner flag or midfield. Got a shoulder into Gabriel Torres but couldn’t block the shot that rebounded to Miguel Camargo for Panama goal.
4 Matt Besler (Sporting KC) 41/1.
Mistimed midfield challenge on a Panamanian counter opened space for a good shot that went wide. Caught in two minds often when confronted by Ismael Diaz and Edgar Barcenas. Broke up a few plays but didn’t pass efficiently enough. Lucky not to be penalized when ball hit his arm as he slid to stop Diaz.
4 Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX) 41/1.
Charged into Diaz as the Panamanian reached for a rebound he boomed over the crossbar. Stopped Torres a couple of times but also stepped up too slowly to contest shots and passes around the edge of the penalty area. Beaten a couple of times in the air, where he usually dominates, and misplayed a bouncing ball Panama nearly turned into a goal.
5 Jorge Villafana (Santos, MEX) 8/0.
Got forward to create chances for Rowe and Dwyer. Endured some rough moments when isolated against Diaz and Barcenas.
4 Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas) 10/1.
Very much exposed by central mids Anibal Godoy and Gabriel Gomez. A step slow to break up passes or get into the tackle, passing was inconsistent, hit only one good set piece. Scuffed a shot set up nicely by Dwyer.
5 Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire) 8/0.
Did a good job passing through the middle and hitting balls wide, but could not close down spaces and shut down serves when Panama pushed numbers into the middle third. Set up early chance that Rowe fired on frame.
4 Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union) 62/2.
A crossfield pass that looped over his desperate leap led to an excellent scoring chance. He labored up the wing to limited effect though one good flick and dribble might have been halted illegally but still it was a solid challenge he needed to withstand. Came off grimacing and a bit hobbled.
3 Joe Corona (Tijuana/MEX) 19/2.
Searched in vain for the time and space and lanes he needed to be effective, caught on the ball by questionable touches and decisions. Combined on a sequence that provided a shot for Rowe.
6 Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution), 2/0.
Fired two shots on frame the keeper fisted to safety, set up the U.S. goal by sombrero-ing two opponents to cut back an excellent pass for Dwyer to finish, failed to contain Barcenas near the byline in the lead-up to Panama’s goal. Cramped up and eventually departed.
6 Dom Dwyer (Sporting KC) 2/2.
Turned sharply on a ball to hit a first-half shot that was blocked, polished off Rowe’s excellent work by slotting a wonderful shot across the keeper and inside the far post. Wasn’t as mobile and energetic as in debut against Ghana yet showed sharpness and smarts in the attacking third.
TRIVIA. The scoreline was the same as in the teams' last three competitive meetings. They tied 1-1 twice during the 2015 Gold Cup -- Panama prevailed on penalty kicks, 3-2, in the third-place game -- and did so last March in the fourth Hexagonal match.
5 Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), 24/3.
Added some spark in his first few minutes and connected on one good pass before fading.
5 Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), 33/7.
Livened up the left flank and played a cross that set up a scoring chance.
NR Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), 17/2.
Returned a ball to Zusi that yielded a decent cross.
July 8 in Nashville, Tenn.
USA 1 Panama 1. Goals: Dwyer 50; Camargo 60.
USA – Guzan; Zusi, Gonzalez, Besler, Villafana, McCarty, Acosta; Bedoya (Morris, 85), Corona (Agudelo, 61), Rowe (Zardes, 69); Dwyer.
Panama – Calderon; Murillo, Vargas, Chen, Ovalle; Godoy, Gomez (Nunez, 79), Camargo (Cooper, 71) Barcenas; Torres, Diaz (Arroyo, 57).
Referee: Fernando Guerrero (Mexico).