Good start for Canada

Jonathan Hernandez
July 10, 2017

"We didn't deal well with their pressure, especially in the midfield", USA coach Bruce Arena said. These sides played out a 1-1 draw in a World Cup Qualifier in March, while Panama beat the the previous edition of the Gold Cup - 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

Now, "new" shouldn't be confused with "young". Hernan Gomez's men will now want to end a four-match winless run and place extra pressure on the United States of America ahead of their qualifier in October, but they are not without problems at the moment. But with his size, it seemed a career in top-level English soccer was off the books. He started a February exhibition against Jamaica and performed particularly well Saturday in a 2-1 exhibition victory over Ghana, his seventh global appearance. He was also instrumental in setting up Dwyer's goals. The opening double header features a Group A match-up of perennial Central American rivals, Honduras and Costa Rica as well as the 2000 champion Canada facing newcomer French Guiana.

This is a draw that doesn't really impact USA's chances of advancing too much, considering it will still play Nicaragua and Martinique, two teams that should give the US little trouble.

Miguel Camargo's goal in the 60th minute pulled Panama even, with the two teams settling for a 1-1 draw in the end.

Another player who elevated his standing with the USMNT was the man on the assist, New England winger Kelyn Rowe.

The attack of Canada is shown threatening from the start of the duel. He hadn't really impressed that much with the LA Galaxy before earning the Gold Cup call, but Arena knows him well and should give him his chances to regain a key role on the national team. "Our passing wasn't good on the day ..." And although it was a poor decision on his part, there was poorer defending by a trio of Americans in the box.

Gabriel Torres' effort was initially saved by American goalkeeper Brad Guzan but Camarago was on hand to convert the rebound to ensure his side left with a share of the spoils. With plenty of young players knocking on the door, performances like this one will do no favors for Zusi ahead of Russian Federation. The Confederations Cup just finished Sunday and some European clubs will soon be playing preseason exhibitions across the U.S. The defense was nowhere near as impressive as a week ago and the midfield that looked so good against Ghana struggled in the Nashville heat, failing to generate many chances or keep possession. I think our team has a lot of depth.

The U.S. resume Group B play at 8 p.m. CT on Wednesday, July 12, when they take on Martinique at Tampa Bay's Raymond James Stadium.

Then there's the younger crop, headlined by FC Dallas midfielder Kellyn Acosta (21) and Seattle Sounders midfielder Christian Roldan (23), who could become the faces of the US midfield once Bradley is out of the picture.

Cy Brown writes about soccer and other stuff for Sports on Earth.

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