Gold Cup Soccer Picks: USA -165 to Keep its Winning Ways Against Panama

David Lawrence

Monday, July 13, 2015 6:24 PM GMT

Monday, Jul. 13, 2015 6:24 PM GMT

The US Men’s National Team has had a rather easy time of things so far in the Gold Cup as they’ve already clinched Group A. The question is whether or not they’ll push for the win tonight.

Head-To-Head
This won’t be the first time these two teams have met this year as they previously had a friendly on February 8th. Back on that day at Stubhub Center in Carson, California, the US Men’s National Team took care of business with a 2-0 win. Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey had the tallies. Really, this has been a bit of a one-sided series as the United States is 12-1-2 all-time against Panama, including 5-1-1 in the Gold Cup. In the Jurgen Klinsmann era, they’ve never lost to Panama as they’ve posted a perfect 5-0-0 record.

 

What We Need To Know About Panama
Panama is 62nd in the FIFA World Cup Rankings and has never qualified for the World Cup, which shows just how much of a mismatch this could be. However, they have had good results in the Gold Cup, including finishing as runners-up in 2005 and 2013. Much of this roster is the same as the one that made it to the Gold Cup final in 2013 as 13 of the players have carried over. For this match, they’ll be without Luis Henriquez and Adolfo Machado, who are both suspended after earning yellow cards in back-to-back games.

The key to this game for Panama will be the performance of goaltender Jamie Penedo, who is one of three players on the roster that play in the MLS. He’s an excellent keeper for the Los Angeles Galaxy and was given the Golden Glove in the 2013 World Cup. Gabriel Torres actually tied a couple of other players for the Golden Boot too.

While this team does appear to be trending upwards, they are just 10-9-9 all-time in Gold Cup games. Through two games so far, they’ve been a bit disappointing as they’ve tied Honduras and Haiti, and have yet to win a game.

                                                                            

Outlook
This is an interesting setup as these two teams faced a similar situation in October 2013. The USA was already in World Cup position and Panama needed a win to survive. However, the U.S. fought to the end and ended up sending them home. The same goes here: does the U.S. fight to keep momentum and rhythm, or do they pull back and be more conservative since they’ve already clinched? Panama likely goes home with a loss here.

But through the 13 editions of the Gold Cup to date, the American men’s national team has lost just once in the group stage. Even though that came to Panama back on June 11th, they have still dominated this series. Since that loss, these two teams have faced off six times and the U.S. has won each of those meetings. I’m expecting more of the same here, so let's back the U.S. with our soccer picks!

Gold Cup Soccer Pick: USA -165 at The Greek

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