USA Vs. Panama, Gold Cup 2011: Clint Dempsey Half Volley Missed By Inches

Panama's defense looks solid in the early going against the United States, but they almost allowed Clint Dempsey to score a great goal on a set piece opportunity. After a corner kick deflected out towards the edge of the area in the 8th minute, Dempsey ran onto it and hit a fantastic half volley strike. Unfortunately for him, it curled just inches wide.

The USMNT has more of the possession in the early going, and they haven't allowed Blas Perez and company to get out in space on the ball. Much like the game against Canada, there's an obvious difference between the current Tim Ream-Clarence Goodson central defense pairing than any before it as far as distribution goes. Their ability to hold and pass the ball has been impressive, especially given the fact that Goodson's play on the ball was considered questionable when he first came into MLS years ago. As long as the US can keep possession, Panama will have a very hard time scoring.

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