Poor finishing plagued the US and kept the game within reach for Panama. Most days we would’ve been leading 2-0 at the half with Twellman and Donovan goals, but both found ways to squander golden opportunities. The goal is to win and advance, however, and that is what we did. Good games for Donovan and M Bradley, Donovan playing wide but with freedom to roam and Bradley pairing hard man Mastroeni in the middle. Beasley also continued his resurgence with a solid effort. Timmy Howard came up with a huge save in the 2nd half. Panama is a very talented and physical team, but equally undisciplined and disorganized. With a good manager and commitment from the players, it could prove to be a formidable opponent in World Cup qualifying.
For the group matches Donna and I hosted watch parties and served the cuisine of our opponent. For example, we served Tres Leches and fried plantains for the Guatemala match. Next up is Canada on Thursday in the semifinals. The opponents may not be getting more difficult for the team, but our task certainly is. How hard is it to fry up some Canadian bacon?
Canada has some fast, creative players in Deportivo La Coruna’s DeGuzman and Houston’s DeRosario. Their defense is slow though so Donovan, Beasley and Johnson should be able to expose them. It should be an interesting semifinal.