January 26th, 2012 || Posted in Events

US -1, Panama -0 Recap (via The Shin Guardian)

The United States went south to Panama Wednesday night and came away with a win against a CONCACAF up-and-comer and little else.

The small margin of victory came early in the contest as Zach Loyd lofted a ball into the box. Chris Wondolowski challenged his defender for it as it skipped (or grazed) past their heads.

The marble caromed of the unsuspecting heal of Teal Bunbury into the waiting path of Bunbury’s Sporting KC teammate Graham Zusi (“Encino Man”) who slotted it past Luis Meija for the difference in the match. Zusi was open as the result of a defensive gaffe by Panama, one of their few stumbles of the evening for the opponent defensively. Their attack was another story.

There was little else to cheer Wednesday as the States’ struggled to generate attacking opportunity with probably the incorrect formation to break down Julio Dely Valdes’s team.

The US came out in a 4-4-2, with CAM Benny Feilhaber sacrificed from the Saturday Venezuela line-up for Wondolowski, but the States struggled to link successfully up to the two forwards as Panama came out and elected to challenge Jurgen Klinsmann’s men in the midfield instead of playing pack-and-counter. The gambit left the States weak–personnel-wise and numbers-wise–and the imbalance only excaserbated as the US’s lone psuedo-creative midfielder Jermaine Jones tired from his second game on short rest after what has been a long club hiatus from him.

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