There may not be such a thing as an easy CONCACAF game but the United States Men’s National Team had a poor outing against Panama on Sunday evening.
The first half was a failure from every single player on the pitch. Yes, that includes New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner.
The U.S. attack was clearly missing the wondered Ricardo Pepi who was replaced by veteran Gyasi Zardes in the starting XI. The same can be said for the midfield who was in desperate need of Tyler Adams.
Even Turner had his struggles as he whiffed on a punch off of a corner that could have easily led to an early goal for Panama. The 27-year-old was able to bounce back before the end of the first half making some impressive saves to keep the game scoreless entering halftime.
After performing well against Jamaica, Yunus Musah had a particulary poor showing that ended with him being subbed off after 45 minutes. Kellyn Acosta also did not look well on Sunday evening.
Adams and Brandon Aaronson came in at halftime and appeared to be getting the United States on the right track but disaster struck in the 54th minute as Zardes did a poor job defending a corner and Turner was left out to dry. Panama went up 1-0 and USMNT fans everywhere were ready to throw Gregg Berhalter in the gulag.
Even with the changes the United States was unable to score and fell to Panama. While fans should have been happy with a draw, the fact that the U.S. lost is unacceptable. There are no excuses for this defeat.
If the USMNT is going to be praised and get fans excited, they need to live up to the high expectations. If they are going to be crowned the best team in CONCACAF, they can’t use the excuse that teams are playing up to them as Taylor Twellman put it.
Luckily for Revolution fans and Turner, the goalkeeper was one of the few players who wasn’t awful for the USMNT. While the missed punch was tough to watch, he can’t be blamed for the goal and made some impressive saves.
The United States will look to bounce back on Wednesday when they face Costa Rica.