We look ahead to this 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup semi-final tie at the Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, with our USA vs Panama preview and prediction.
USA vs Panama Stats: Quick Hits
- The Opta Supercomputer makes the United States the big favourites for this Gold Cup semi-final (59.2% chance of victory).
- The USMNT have won all five of their previous knockout ties against Panama (excluding third-place play-off games).
- Ismael Díaz’s hat-trick for Panama in the quarter-finals was the fastest scored in Gold Cup history (nine minutes, three seconds).
The United States and Panama will battle it out to reach the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup final in this first semi-final, where the winners of Mexico vs Jamaica will meet them on Sunday.
This is the United States’ tournament-record 16th Gold Cup semi-final appearance, only failing to reach the last four in 2000. They have advanced to the final in 12 of the previous 15 occasions, also a tournament record.
Panama have reached the final twice before but lost in both 2005 and 2013 to the United States. These were two of the USA’s previous seven Gold Cup titles – a tally that only Mexico (11) can boast more than.
After a shaky start in their opening game against Jamaica, where they drew 1-1 thanks to an 88th-minute Brandon Vázquez equaliser, the USA breezed through their group with heavy wins versus Saint Kitts and Nevis (6-0) and Trinidad and Tobago (6-0). Jesús Ferreira scored a hat-trick in both of those wins to become the first United States men’s player to score hat-tricks in consecutive matches.
The USMNT battled through to the semis following a penalty shootout win over Canada, after they’d drawn 2-2 in an entertaining tussle in Cincinnati. That match saw Matt Turner became the fourth USMNT goalkeeper to save multiple penalties in a penalty shootout, with saves from Canadian pair Steven Vitoria and Liam Fraser to set up the win for his nation.
Panama had no such drama in their quarter-final, easily progressing past Qatar following a 4-0 win in which Ismael Díaz scored a second half hat-trick in the space of just nine minutes and three seconds – the fastest hat-trick in the history of the Gold Cup.
They advanced through the group stages by winning Group C with seven points from nine available. They won their opening two games against Costa Rica (2-1) and Martinique (2-1) to qualify for the quarter-final before a 2-2 draw with El Salvador in the final game.
USA vs Panama Head-to-Head
This will be the 26th meeting between the United States and Panama, but only one of those took place before 2004 – a 2-1 Gold Cup group stage win for the USMNT in 1993. The 25 meetings since 2004 makes Panama the United States’ second-most common opponent in that time, behind only Mexico (28).
The United States have won four straight home matches against Panama, equalling their longest streak. The U.S. has outscored Panama 13-1 over those four games, scoring at least three goals in three of the four.
This game will be the sixth knockout match between these two nations (excluding third-place play-off games), with the United States coming out victorious in each of the previous five – all coming across consecutive Gold Cup tournaments between 2005 and 2013. In fact, Panama are one of two teams (alongside Honduras) that the USMNT have played in five or more knockout matches without ever being eliminated.
The last meeting between USA and Panama came in March 2022, with Gregg Berhalter’s side thrashing their opponents 5-1 in a World Cup 2022 qualifier. Christian Pulisic scored his first hat-trick for the national team in the win, with further goals from Paul Arriola and Jesús Ferreira.
USA vs Panama Prediction
The Opta supercomputer makes the United States the favourites for this semi-final, with a 59.2% chance of progressing to Sunday’s final inside 90 minutes. Panama have been given a 15.8% chance of reaching their third-ever Concacaf Gold Cup final, while there is a one-in-four chance of the match going to extra time and potentially penalties.
USA vs Panama Squads
USA: Matt Turner, DeAndre Yedlin, Aaron Long, Matt Miazga, Bryan Reynolds, Gianluca Busio, James Sands, Jesús Ferreira, Cristian Roldan, Cade Cowell, Miles Robinson, Jordan Morris, Djordje Mihailovic, DeJuan Jones, Aidan Morris, Alejandro Zendejas, Sean Johnson, Brandon Vázquez, Jalen Neal, John Tolkin, Julian Gressel, Gabriel Slonina, Jackson Yueill. Alan Soñora withdrawn with injury.
Panama: Luis Mejía, Harold Cummings, Fidel Escobar, Roderick Miller, Cristian Martínez, Jovani Welch, Adalberto Carrasquilla, Azarías Londoño, Yoel Bárcenas, Ismael Díaz, César Samudio, Freddy Góndola, Eduardo Anderson, Eric Davis, Andrés Andrade, José Fajardo, Cecilio Waterman, Alberto Quintero, Aníbal Godoy, César Yanis, Orlando Mosquera, Omar Valencia, Iván Anderson. César Blackman and Michael Amir Murillo withdrawn with injury.