USA Vs. Panama: Why Gold Cup Soccer Draw Is Disappointing Start To Tournament

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We warned fans of the United States men’s soccer team about Panama.

The teams played to a 1-1 draw Saturday in Nashville, Tenn., in their opening game of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Dom Dwyer put the U.S. in front with a 50th-minute strike, but the visitors immediately upped their game, and Miguel Camargo scored the tying goal in the 63rd minute.

The result leaves the U.S. and Panama tied atop Group B with one point apiece. Martinique and Nicaragua will play later Saturday night, and the outcome of that game push USA and Panama down the standings.

What USA’s draw with Panama means?
The United States missed an opportunity to make a statement. Panama always was going to be USA’s toughest group-stage game, but the U.S. should be more disappointed with its performance than the result.

Dwyer finished one of USA’s few genuine scoring chances. The teams were even in possession and scoring opportunities, with USA claiming a territorial advantage against Panama’s deep-lying defense.

Both are expected to advance to the quarterfinals, but their order of finish remains to be seen. They’ll likely finish with seven points (two wins and a draw), with upcoming games against Martinique and Nicaragua offering a chance to separate themselves on goal difference. However Group B ultimately finishes, it shouldn’t be so close for USA.

What’s next?
Group B play will resume Wednesday when Panama meets Nicaragua, followed by USA vs. Martinique.

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Thumbnail photo via Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean/USA TODAY Sports Images

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