For the first time in years: the U.S. Men’s National Team is making its homeland very proud. After defeating Honduras in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinal, the U.S. is riding a 10-match winning streak and now only has one team standing in the way. While Honduras was no pushover, the Panama National Team is a scrappy club that the stars and stripes just haven’t seen up to this point.
In fact, Panama is ranked 50th in the world by FIFA, yet they knocked off Mexico in the Gold Cup Semis, who were ranked 20th and expected to steam roll the Panamanians. Instead, Panama scored early and never had to play from behind against a stout Mexico National Team. Now, Panama treks to Chicago, IL to face the USMNT in a Gold Cup Final that will everyone glued to the TV.
The last time these two countries locked horns in the Gold Cup Final the setting was East Rutherford, New Jersey at Giants stadium and the year was 2005! Without a goal scored in regulation time, the USMNT would pull out the victory with a few clutch penalty kicks.
If Panama hopes to change its fate this time around, the Panamanians need to find a way to stop the incredible duo of Landon Donovan and Chris Wondolowski. If not for these two goal scorers then the stars and stripes would hardly be in the position they are in.