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USA vs. Panama, 2023 Gold Cup Semifinals: What to watch for

Time to step up the intensity.

United States v Trinidad and Tobago: Group A - 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup Photo by Shaun Clark/ISI Photos/Getty Images

The United States Men’s National Team have reached the semifinals of the 2023 Gold Cup, and they hope to book a spot in the final tomorrow when they take on Panama. The USMNT had to squeak out a victory against Canada on penalties in the quarterfinals, and they’ll now have to get past a Panama squad that has been one of the better teams in the entire tournament.

Panama arrived here by destroying Qatar in their quarterfinal, and they were unbeaten in the group stage with 7 points from their 3 matches. They’re trying to show that they should be looked at as one of the top tier teams in the region, and they’re playing like it right now. This sets up the most repeated matchup in Gold Cup history, with the two teams facing off in the Gold Cup for the 13th time.

Latest Form


D (2-2) - Canada - Concacaf Gold Cup Quarterfinal*

W (6-0) - Trinidad & Tobago - Concacaf Gold Cup Group A

W (6-0) - St. Kitts & Nevis - Concacaf Gold Cup Group A

D (1-1) - Jamaica - Concacaf Gold Cup Group A

W (2-0) - Canada - Concacaf Nations League Final

*Advanced on penalties


W (4-2) - Qatar - Concacaf Gold Cup Quarterfinal

D (2-2) - El Salvador - Concacaf Gold Cup Group C

W (2-1) - Martinique - Concacaf Gold Cup Group C

W (2-1) - Costa Rica - Concacaf Gold Cup Group C

L (0-1) - Mexico - Concacaf Nations League 3rd Place

What To Watch For

Eliminate sloppy play. The USMNT did not play sharp against Canada, and they will need to be fundamentally sound against Panama. Don’t give Panama any confidence via sloppy play.

Connect on crosses. If the USMNT is going to serve crosses into the box on set pieces and in the run of play, they have to connect on more of them. When they do, you get the beautiful goal Brandon Vazquez had the other night off a DeJuan Jones cross. Let’s have more of that.

Don’t give up the dribble. The midfielders and attackers who are pressing forward have quite often drawn a crowd of defenders only to lose the ball when they attempt to dribble through them. Try to find the open man instead and keep the ball moving into positions where guys can take shots.

Lineup Prediction

The rotations in the lineup continue, but USMNT interim coach BJ Callaghan opts to have more consistency in this lineup:

Predicted Lineup vs. Panama

Matt Turner remains in goal, and the back line has DeJuan Jones at left back and Bryan Reynolds again at right back. Matt Miazga returns to the lineup at centerback alongside Jalen Neal.

In the middle, Gianluca Busio and James Sands serve as the holding midfielders, with Cade Cowell, Djordje Mihailovic, and Julian Gressel are the attacking midfielders. Jesus Ferreira continues to start at the 9.


This one’s a 2-1 win for the USMNT.