USA vs. Panama, 2013 Gold Cup final: Brek Shea fires USMNT to CONCACAF title

Brek Shea scored just one minute after coming on as a substitute for the United States to fire them to victory over Panama in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

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USMNT are champions again

The United States are champions of North America for the first time since 2007. They fell to Mexico in the last two finals, but were in control throughout in their 1-0 victory over Panama on Sunday.


Eddie Johnson misses, Klinsmann hits the floor

On the field, Eddie Johnson missed an absolute freebie right in front of the Panama net, skying his effort well over the cross bar as his teammates and fans in the stadium were left stunned.

Up in his press box fishbowl, United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann was so amazed by Johnson's "grown ass miss" he disappeared!


Or maybe he just dropped to the ground and I'm totally being a geek and overreacting.


The only question now is whether he appears on the field for the trophy celebration ... if the USA holds on.


Brek Shea puts the USA up 1-0

It took 68 minutes, but the United States finally broke through thanks to a tap-in by Brek Shea.

It wasn't anything especially flashy -- at least on the finishing end -- but since it may very well be the winning goal and allow the United States to lift a trophy, it's quite exciting.

The goal was created thanks to a ball in from the right off the foot of Alejandro Bedoya, who was given space thanks to decoy overlapping from Michael Parkhurst that allowed him to step back and whip the ball into the area. Landon Donovan was the first player to touch the ball but instead of a shot -- or due to mishitting the ball -- the Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo went to ground as the ball went to the far post, where Shea had beaten two defenders for an easy finish.

The USA now leads 1-0 with just over 15 minutes left to play in Chicago.


Angry Jurgen is still angry behind glass

When a cross into the box by Landon Donovan early in the second half hit off the trailing hand of a Panama defender, the linesman and referee made no call despite the furious gesticulations for Donovan on the field.

First, here's the perceived injustice.

Meanwhile, stuck in a fishbowl high in the press box area of Soldier Field, suspended United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann was none too pleased with the no call and made some angry gesticulations of his own.

Hopefully CONCACAF can't suspend him again for that ... and before you leave a comment, I'm kidding.


USA, Panama scoreless at halftime

Panama effectively neutralized the USA attack but were unable to do much attacking of their own as the two sides played to a rather dull scoreless draw in the opening 45 minutes.


Stu Holden leaves match with a knee injury

USA midfielder Stu Holden subbed out midway through the first half of Sunday's CONCACAF Gold Cup final after appearing to injure his right knee. There was some contact between Holden and a Panama player, but trainers weren't looking at that knee before helping him off the field.

Holden has a rather rough history of knee injuries, but finally started to reassert himself with the national team this year after spending the better part of two seasons recovering from those issues. Let's hope this isn't the next chapter that ongoing saga.

The USA wasted little time replacing Holden with Mix Diskerud as Holden sat on the bench before walking gingerly back to the locker room under his own power. That's the positive in the situation, of course, as Holden was able to walk on the leg and put some weight on it. Still, considering his recent struggles, there's not an American fan who isn't fearing the worst at the moment.


Crowd for USA vs. Panama not as weak as feared

With Mexico getting dumped out of the Gold Cup by Panama in the semifinal, the crowd at Soldier Field in Chicago could have been very sparse. Chicago has a massive Mexican population and a large number of tickets were sold before the semifinal result. Thankfully, plenty of United States (and probably a few Panamanian) fans were able to get their hands on tickets and the crowd is looking pretty good.


First flyers, next milk cartons?

The Americans couldn't quite help themselves, could they?


USA vs. Panama: Lineups

Stuart Holden and Clarence Goodson keep their places for the United States against Panama, while Joe Corona returns to the lineup in place of Jose Torres.


5th straight Gold Cup final for U.S.

The United States are in their fifth consecutive Gold Cup final, but have been denied a rematch with Mexico. Instead, they face a team that beat El Tri twice in this tournament, 2005 runners-up Panama.


Klinsmann suspended for Gold Cup final

CONCACAF hands down a punishment after the U.S. coach erupted late in his team's semifinal game Wednesday.

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