Soccer Picks: USA vs. Panama Gold Cup Finals

Steven Suarez

Thursday, July 25, 2013 5:32 PM GMT

Thursday, Jul. 25, 2013 5:32 PM GMT

The Americans have finished as runners-up in two straight Gold Cups – will they finally break through and win it all this year?

Odds Overview

Only a few sportsbooks out there have released their soccer odds or Sunday's final.

USA is the clear favorite at -200, while a Panama victory would reward backers at about +500. Check back with SBRodds over the next few days to get a better idea of what the lines are going to look like for the final.

USA

After a great showing in the group stages, the Americans have kept their foot on the gas throughout the knockout rounds.

Jurgen Klinnsman's side first dispatched El Salvador 5-1 in the quarter-finals, with the arrival of Eddie Johnson as a sub in the second half paying immediate dividends. Landon Donovan was again instrumental in the victory, helping USA book a spot in the semi-finals versus Honduras.

The Americans got off to a great start against the Hondurans, scoring after just 11 minutes, with Eddie Johnson the one getting on the score-sheet. Landon Donovan was heavily involved in the goal as well.

Donovan didn't stop there though. He scored about 15 minutes later to put USA up 2-0 and then scored early in the second half to put the Americans up 3-1.

Some have been waiting for Donovan to get back to his best form and prove that he deserves to be a main fixture in the international team again. We'd say he's proven he belongs and then some. With five goals and seven assists in the competition, Donovan has been by the most influential player in the entire Gold Cup.

Panama

What a tournament it's been for the Panamanians. They went unbeaten in the group stages, highlighted by a 2-1 win over Mexico, and then smashed Cuba 6-1 in the quarter-finals.

In the semis, Panama overcame the Mexicans in a 2-1 victory once again. Blas Perez scored his third goal of the competition to put the Panamanians up early, and then Roman Torres was the one who got the winner in the second half.

Perez is one of the players the Americans really need to keep track of. The strong striker plies his trade for FC Dallas and has scored 15 goals in 32 appearances for the club over the past couple of seasons.

Then there's Gabriel Torres, a 24-year old who has taken the Gold Cup by storm. He's already scored five times in the tournament and his performances have surely garnered attention from some bigger clubs. Torres currently plays for Zamora in Venezuela.

Panama, however, didn't fare so well against USA in World Cup Qualifying last month, losing 2-0. Can they make life more difficult this time around?

[gameodds]45/241866/?r-1=43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Gold Cup Finals Pick

The USA fell short in the finals of this competition in 2009 and 2011, but they lost to Mexico both times. This year the Americans won't have to deal with Mexico after they were defeated in the semi-finals.

The Panamanians have some great talent on their team and won't be taken lightly by Klinnsman's men, but in the end we simply can't go against the USA here.

With each passing game it seems like the Americans are gaining more and more chemistry with one another. Plus, they'll have the best player on the field in Donovan, who has the most career Gold Cup goals (18) of anyone, and it seems more than likely he'll have a hand in at least one goal this weekend.

Let's back the USA to win their first Gold Cup since 2007 for our Soccer Picks.

Pick: USA 2 Panama 1 at Will Hill

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