I can’t lie to you.
I was so bored watching the USA v. Panama match that I actually dozed off in the 42nd minute. As much as I love my country and US soccer, a USA v. Panama friendly was never going to be a sexy match after spending the day watching knockout soccer featuring Liverpool v. Manchester City and The Classico between Barcelona and Real Madrid. Even so the USA-Panama game was just boring. With that said, here are some quick thoughts.
What a difference pressure makes. Unlike Venezuela, Panama pressured the young yanks high up the field and all of a sudden the US looked like a different team. Guys that looked assured of themselves on Saturday looked uncomfortable with the ball and were giving it away too easily. Zach Loyd for instance was stellar as a sub on Saturday, but constantly conceded possession last night.
Without Benny Feilhaber, the US looked pedestrian and unimaginative in midfield. Something is fishy with Feilhaber not playing this second game, I just can’t put my finger on it.
This game was always going to be a struggle for the US because the guys were simply exhausted. After almost a month of up to three practices a day and a match on Saturday, anybody on the roster would start to get heavy legs.
The fact that the US played poorly but still managed to grind out a result (with 10 men for a large chunk of the second half mind you) speaks volumes of the groups character. Although it has to be said, a stronger opponent would probably have buried them.
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