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United States vs. Panama: Concacaf Gold Cup Prediction and Preview

United States vs. Panama: Concacaf Gold Cup Prediction and Preview

United States vs. Panama: Concacaf Gold Cup Prediction and Preview

We have finally arrived at the conclusion of group play in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup. When the United States faces Panama (both are 2-0-0, 6 points) in the finale of Group D, it also will wrap up group play as a whole with the quarterfinals on the horizon. Both teams have already advanced to the next round, but the final group standings need to be sorted out. The winner of this game takes the group title. Team USA looks to continue its outstanding run, while Panama looks to beat the Americans for just the second time in history.

United States vs. Panama

When: Wednesday, June 26 at 9 p.m. ET

Where: Children's Mercy Park (Kansas City, Kan.)

TV: FS1 and Univision

Three Things to Watch

1. Can anyone stop Team USA?

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The Americans have outscored their Gold Cup opposition 10-0, they've limited their opponents to just 13 total shots, they've accumulated 39 steals, and opponents have barely been able to cross midfield against them. Gyasi Zardes has scored three times, Paul Arriola has scored twice, as has Tyler Boyd, Aaron Long also has a brace, and even Christian Pulisic has gotten in on the act. If the United States Men's National Soccer Team (USMNT) keeps this up, they just might have a clear path to the finals.

2. Panama won't go down so easily

The two goals the Panamanians gave up against Guyana last week were both on penalty kicks. Outside of that, Panama has blanked the opposition, 6-0. Their opponents have only attempted nine shots against them, they have 34 total steals, but what's impressive is that they haven't drawn any disciplinary cards. Panama is one of the few teams that can match Team USA in this tournament.

3. Panama looks to make history

Their only previous win against the U.S. came during the 2011 Gold Cup (2-1 in Group C that year). Overall Team USA is 14-1-6 against Panama, outscoring the Central American country 40-12.

Final Analysis

Panama keeps this game close and will even make Team USA nervous. But the USMNT finds a way to win the game and take the group.

Prediction: United States 4, Panama 3

— Gabe Salgado is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He's also written for NBC, Fox, The Sporting News, The Sports Journal, The Undefeated and Complex. He's a co-host of The Rewind Sports: 60. Follow him on Twitter @GabeSalgado82.