By Odens Jr. Pierre
US Reigns Supreme In this Year’s Gold Cup
USA won the 2013 Gold Cup against Panama Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field in front of 57,920 fans.
Second half substitute Brek Shea propelled the US to their Gold 5th Cup trophy midway through the second. Shea received a ball within a foot to the goal and tapped it in for the lone goal of the night. Shea, who came into the game 42nd earlier, scored his second international goal which proved to be the difference another time.
Prior the goal, The US had a clear chance for a penalty kick in the 52nd minute when Donovan’s cross from the right side touched the arm of Carlos Rodriguez of Panama, but the referee, Joel Aguilar did not call it for the US.
The win extended the USA’s record winning streak to 11 games, and defeated Panama allowed them to win the their first trophy under the Klinsmann era. Ironically, Klinssman was suspended at the end of the US victory in the semi final against Honduras in which the referee asked Klinsmann to leave the technical area.
In the previous Gold Cup edition, they were defeated in the Final 4-2 in the 2011 Gold Cup to Mexico. Consequently, USA was in need for a large momentum boost in order to oust Mexico as the primary leader in the CONCACAF region. Following the lost, one of the few options of success for the US National team was to bring in a new head coach who could take them to the finish line. Having these precedents meant an end to Bob Bradley’s time with the team. To his credit, he guided the team to a Confederation Cup final appearance by beating European champions Spain 2-0 in the semi-finals.
Klinsmann was called upon to take control of the team, although he did have a slow start losing a few games and received large amounts of criticism from US fans and people around him. The criticism was overwhelming, but Klinsmann managed to incorporate a more European style of football to his team, he wanted to completely change the system from playing long balls to quick passing build ups. This was inevitable, coming from Germany.
The US performed extremely well under Klinsmann in the 2013 Gold Cup, they won the tournament and scored goals with ease. They posted the best offense of the tournament by scoring a 20 goals in 6 matches. Their defense allowed a mere 4 goals throughout the Tournament.
The addition of Chris Wondolowski helped by adding a “goal scoring machine”, the San Jose Earthquake striker is having a great season by scoring goals and assisting others. Landon Donovan, the US legend has been helping out greatly through goals and assists as well. His long absence from the National team has been questioned, many do not know why he left for so long but he is back and playing some of the best football of his international career.
After completing the group stage with style, they defeated El Salvador 5-1 in the quarterfinals. Donovan helped out with three assist and scored one goal. Eddie Johnson and Corona added the other goals for the US.
In the Semi-final, they defeated Honduras 3-1 at the Cowboys Stadium before facing and beating Panama 1-0 in the final.
USA: 1-Nick Rimando; 15-Michael Parkhurst, 21-Clarence Goodson, 25-Matt Besler, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (capt.); 14-Kyle Beckerman, 11-Stuart Holden (8-Mix Diskerud, 23); 20-Alejandro Bedoya (24-Omar Gonzalez, 89), 10-Landon Donovan, 6-Joe Corona (23-Brek Shea, 68); 26-Eddie Johnson
Subs Not Used: 2-Edgar Castillo, 4-Michael Orozco Fiscal, 12-Sean Johnson,13-Tony Beltran, 16-Jose Torres, 17-Will Bruin, 19-Chris Wondolowski, 22-Bill Hamid, 27-Alan Gordon
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
PAN: 1-Jaime Penedo; 2-Leonel Parris, 4-Carlos Rodriguez, 5-Roman Torres (capt.), 6-Gabriel Gomez (16-Rolando Blackburn, 74), 7-Blas Perez, 8-Marcos Sanchez, 9-Gabriel Torres (18-Jairo Jimenez, 65), 19-Alberto Quintero, 20-Anibal Godoy, 23-Roberto Chen
Subs Not Used: 3-Harold Cummings, 10-Eybir Bonagas, 11-Cecilio Waterman, 12-Luis Mejia, 13-Jean Carlos Cedeno, 14-Juan Perez, 15-Alex Rodriguez, 17-Roderick Miller, 21-Richard Dixon
Head Coach: Julio Valdez
Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 11 / 5
Shots on Goal: 2 / 1
Saves: 1 / 2
Corner Kicks: 4 / 3
Fouls: 19 / 16
Offside: 0 / 1
USA – Alejandro Bedoya (caution) 63rd minute
USA – Eddie Johnson (caution) 90
USA – Brek Shea (caution) 90+4
PAN – Jairo Jimenez (caution) 90+4
Referee: Joel Aguilar (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Francisco Zumba (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Morgan (JAM)
Fourth Official: Enrico Wijngaarde (SUR)