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US MNT Set for First Friendly Against Panama in Panama

The U.S. Men’s National Team faces Panama for its first-ever friendly against the Marea Roja on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City. Kickoff for the USA’s second match of 2012 is set for 8:30 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on Galavision and ESPN3.

© U.S. Soccer

U.S. Men's National Team

IN THE IMAGE: The U.S. last faced Panama twice at the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

TO PANAMA ON A ROLL: Riding high after a dominant performance against Venezuela, the U.S. Men’s National Team now faces Panama for its first-ever friendly against the Marea Roja on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City. Kickoff for the USA’s second match of 2012 is set for 8:30 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on Galavision and ESPN3. Fans can also follow the game via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer. The U.S. team arrived Monday evening and will hold its only training session Tuesday night in the stadium.

Game Guide
Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET
Uniforms: USA (white/white/white) – Panama (red/red/red)
Maximum Subs: 6
Referee: Francisco Chacon (MEX)

U.S. MNT 2012 Schedule

*2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying

GOALKEEPERS (3): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (6): Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), A.J. DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy), Zach Loyd (FC Dallas), Jeff Parke (Seattle Sounders FC), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Benny Feilhaber (New England Revolution), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Jeff Larentowicz (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (3): Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City), C.J. Sapong (Sporting Kansas City), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)


  • Jurgen Klinsmann has collected back-to-back victories for the first time since becoming head coach last summer, following the 3-2 win against Slovenia on Nov. 15, 2011, in Ljubljana. 
  • Four players earned their first cap this past Saturday: A.J. DeLaGarza, Bill Hamid, C.J. Sapong and Graham Zusi.
  • Jermaine Jones wore the captain’s armband for the first time. 
  • Brek Shea, a member of the 2011 MLS Best XI, is now the only player to appear in all eight matches since Klinsmann became head coach.
  • Benny Feilhaber made his first appearance for the U.S. since Oct. 12, 2010, a 0-0 draw against Colombia. 
  • The U.S. defeated a team from South America for the first time since March 25, 2007, a 3-1 win against Ecuador, ending a 13-match winless run against teams from that continent. 
  • Michael Parkhurst and Jeff Larentowicz were on the field together for the first since playing for the New England Revolution in the 2008 MLS Conference Semifinals, a 3-0 loss on Nov. 6, 2008, against the Chicago Fire. 
  • DeLaGarza and Zusi were on the field together for the first time since winning the College Cup for the University of Maryland on Dec. 14, 2008. Opposing them that day for the University of North Carolina was defender Zach Loyd. 
  • The crowd of 22,403 was the second-largest for a game in the state of Arizona. 
  • Goalkeeper Nick Rimando, 32, is participating in his fifth January camp since 2002. Rimando has five caps to his name, splitting time in goal with Sean Johnson during a 1-1 draw against Chile on Jan. 22, 2011, for his lone appearance in the net last year. 
  • Jeff Parke, participating in his first camp with the National Team, is looking for his first international cap. 
  • Seventeen players on this current U.S. roster are signed with MLS clubs. 
  • Sporting Kansas City striker Sapong captured 2011 MLS Rookie of the Year honors. 
  • Six of the players in camp spent time in the offseason training with clubs in Europe: Agudelo (Stuttgart, Liverpool), Beckerman (FC Kaiserslautern), Hamid (West Bromwich Albion), Johnson (Everton), Larentowicz (Bolton) and Shea (Arsenal). 
  • Four players on the roster are age-eligible to compete in qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games: Teal Bunbury, Hamid, Johnson and Shea.


  • The U.S. holds a 7-1-2 lifetime record against Panama, including a 1-0-1 record on Panamanian soil. 
  • All 10 previous meetings between the two teams have come in either the CONCACAF Gold Cup or FIFA World Cup qualifying. 
  • Both games in Panama came during qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. In the semifinal phase, the teams dueled to a 1-1 draw on Sept. 9, 2004, after Cobi Jones knocked in the tying goal in the 92nd minute . They squared off again in the final round on June 8, 2005, when the U.S. cruised to a 3-0 victory behind goals from Carlos Bocanegra, Landon Donovan and Brian McBride. 
  • In qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the teams met four times, playing home and away in both the semifinal and final rounds of qualifying. The U.S. won three times with one tie.
  • In their last encounter, Clint Dempsey scored the lone goal in the USA’s 1-0 victory in the semifinal round of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, marking the fourth straight time that the U.S. has eliminated Panama from the Gold Cup’s knockout round. 
  • Earlier in that tournament, Panama collected its only victory against the United States, a 2-1 win on June 11 in Tampa, Fla. The defeat remains the only U.S. loss ever in the group phase of the tournament dating back to 1991.
  • Ricardo Clark, the USA’s hero in the 1-0 win against Venezuela, made his debut for the United States in the World Cup qualifier against Panama on Oct. 12, 2005, entering as a reserve in the 2-0 win. He also appeared in the 2-1 victory against Panama on June 16, 2007, in the quarterfinal of the Gold Cup.
  • Heath Pearce started and Brad Evans came on as a reserve when the U.S. defeated Panama 2-1 in overtime of the 2009 Gold Cup quarterfinal on July 18, 2009, in Philadelphia. 
  • Jermaine Jones started and Chris Wondolowski entered as a sub in the 2-1 loss in last summer’s Gold Cup. Panama’s Blas Perez drew the penalty kick that proved decisive in that match. Jones and Juan Agudelo were then in the first XI when the U.S. gained redemption in the semifinal.

KLINSMANN ON PLAYING IN PANAMA: This game against Panama represents the USA’s first friendly match on Central American soil since March 25, 1993, a 4-1 loss to Honduras in Tegucigalpa. So why make the trip now? “We wanted to take the players out of their comfort zone and give them a different experience,” said Klinsmann. “It’s important that they have a chance to taste what the environments will be like in World Cup qualifying, everything from the food, weather, hotels and travel. For many of them, including the coaching staff, it will be their first match here, so it’s a chance for all of us to get a feel for playing away games in CONCACAF.”

JONES SPORTS THE ARMBAND: Midfielder Jermaine Jones earned Budweiser Man of the Match honors for his performance against Venezuela, and he did it with the added inspiration of wearing the captain’s armband for the first time. “Everyone could see why he was playing with a Champions League team. He elevated the group within one training session with his energy and with his leadership,” said Klinsmann. “His vision on the field makes a big difference. These young players are all hungry to make the next step, and they want to know how to get to the next level. Jermaine jumped in and talked with the guys and took care of it, and that’s why it was an easy decision to make him a captain. We also wanted to give him a signal that we want this type of leadership from him.”

IF HISTORY HOLDS, SIX PLAYERS HERE WILL MAKE THE 2014 WORLD CUP ROSTER: With 2012 marking the beginning of the USA’s FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign and the players here hoping to make a big impression, we decided to look back at the January camp roster from this time in the previous two cycles to see if there is any forecasting to be done on how many players will actually reach the World Cup. The camp held by Bruce Arena in 2004 had 30 players, while four years later Bob Bradley called in 26 total. Each of those camps produced six players that went on to feature in Germany and South Africa, respectively.


  • Ricardo Clark’s game-winner in the 97th minute against Venezuela marks the latest goal scored in the second half by the United States in team history. 
  • With the shutout in that game, Hamid became the ninth goalkeeper in U.S. history to record a clean sheet in his first game. 
  • The U.S. MNT improved its record in January openers to 8-1-5 since 1998, with the lone loss coming against Honduras on Jan. 23, 2010 (a 3-1 loss).


0 Losses to Panama in Panama

1 Shots on goal against the U.S. on Jan. 21

4 Players who earned their first cap against Venezuela

15 Shots taken by the U.S. on Jan. 21

16 Number of MLS players on the roster

ON USSOCCER.COM: Check out the following articles, journal entries and videos on the U.S. Men’s National Team at ussoccer.com:

JURGEN KLINSMANN FACT FILE: Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is in the midst of his second year and first full calendar year in charge of the U.S. Men’s National Team. Below are some of his past accomplishments as a player and coach.

  • Klinsmann was named the U.S. Men’s National Team head coach on July 29, 2011, making him the 35th coach in the history of the program. 
  • Klinsmann’s record as head coach of the Men’s National Team is 3-4-1, including consecutive wins against Slovenia and Panama. 
  • Klinsmann’s U.S. coaching debut was a 1-1 draw against Mexico on Aug. 10, 2011, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. During Klinsmann’s abbreviated 2011 tenure, opponents outscored the USA by a 7-5 margin. The U.S.’s two victories during the Klinsmann era include a 1-0 win against Honduras (Oct. 8, 2011) and a 3-2 victory against Slovenia (Nov. 15, 2011). 
  • Klinsmann was named the Germany National Team manager in 2004 and guided Germany to a 20-6-8 record and a third-place finish in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He earned Coach of the Year honors in Germany, and two years later he took over the head coaching position at Bayern Munich. 
  • As a player, Klinsmann played 17 club seasons from 1981 to 1998 with the following teams: Stuttgarter Kickers (1981-84), VfB Stuttgart (1984-89), Internazionale (1989-92), Monaco (1992-94), Tottenham Hotspur (1994-95, 97-98), Bayern Munich (1995-97) and Sampdoria (1997-98). During that time, he scored 226 goals in 506 appearances. He was named German Player of the Year in 1988 and 1994 and FWA Footballer of the Year in 1995. 
  • Klinsmann earned 108 caps with the German National Team, scoring 47 goals. He participated in three World Cups (1990, 1994 and 1998) and won the 1990 World Cup.
  • Klinsmann was born on July 30, 1964, in Goppingen, Germany.

ITALY ON THE ITINERARY: U.S. Soccer announced earlier this month that it will face four-time World Cup champion Italy on Feb. 29 in Genoa. Kickoff at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris is at 8:30 p.m. local (2:30 p.m. ET), and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and ESPN3. Fans can follow the game live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and Twitter @ussoccer. “Obviously we are very excited to be playing a team of such high quality,” U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. “We are slowly trying to raise the bar for our team, and this is an awesome opportunity for the players to be challenged against one of the top teams in the world.”

NUTRITION 101: U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has utilized this January camp to focus heavily on educating the roster in many areas, and one key away from the pitch is nutrition. On the nutrition side, the U.S. MNT received instruction and advice from Danielle LaFata, the director of performance nutrition at Athletes’ Performance. Some key nutritional tips include eating the least processed forms of food (i.e. fruits, vegetables, whole grains); choosing a variety of colored fruits and vegetables with each meal; eating healthy fats such as nuts, fish and flaxseed oil; eating smaller portions spread evenly across the day; and staying hydrated. Also check out a video of the players receiving this tutorial and going shopping!

U.S. MNT SCRIMMAGED U-23S TWICE: The U.S. MNT and U.S. U-23 MNT converged for two scrimmages on Jan. 13 and 17 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The U.S. MNT netted four first-half goals and earned a 4-0 win against the U-23s on Jan. 13, and the two sides played to a 1-1 draw on Jan. 17. In the second game, U.S. MNT defender Graham Zusi scored a goal, while the U-23’s Jack McInerney had a tally as the two sides settled for the stalemate. The U-23 MNT is now in San Jose, Costa Rica, where it will face Saprissa and Alajuelense in two more games to wrap up the January training session.

CONTINUITY AMONG U.S. SOCCER TEAMS: This year marks an important overlap between the U.S. Men’s National Team and the U.S. Under-23 MNT as the U-23s prepare for the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament in March. U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has emphasized a desire to play possessive and attack-driven soccer, and he wants to see this type of continuity within the younger levels. That holds true for U-23 head coach Caleb Porter, whose group has been training within a 4-3-3 formation and focusing on connection in the attack and combination play. Klinsmann’s current MNT roster includes several players who likely will play big roles for the U-23s in the qualifying and hopefully the 2012 London Olympics.

U.S. U-23 MNT 2012 Schedule
(2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament)

SIX-GOAL GAME: Jurgen Klinsmann has introduced a tactical training exercise called the “six-goal game” to focus heavily on shifting and moving as a unit, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. The 70-yard-long, 72-yard-wide field is incorporated with big goals in the center of each endline and then two smaller goals on each side of the big goals, placed seven yards from the sideline. Each team has the ability to score on three different goals spread all the way across the field, forcing defenses to quickly move as a group from side to side. Here is a video of how it all works.

ROSTER FILLED WITH FORMER TEAMMATES: It’s no surprise with so many talented players having come through the U.S. system that there would be a lot of guys who have shared the same field together and then separated as their careers progressed. Well, it’s reunion time here in National Team camp, and a review of the roster reveals several players who have won national championships together, MLS Cup titles, U.S. Open Cups, and even former road roommates. Let the nostalgia begin!

A.J. DeLaGarza and Graham Zusi*
University of Maryland (2005-08) – National Champions 2005, 2008

Jeff Larentowicz and Michael Parkhurst
New England Revolution – (2005-08) – MLS Cup Finalists 2005-07, U.S. Open Cup Champions 2007

Ricardo Clark and Chris Wondolowski
San Jose Earthquakes (2005) – Houston Dynamo (2006-09) – MLS Cup Champions 2006, 2007

Ricardo Clark and Geoff Cameron*
Houston Dynamo (2008-09)

Geoff Cameron and Chris Wondolowski
Houston Dynamo (2008-09)

Heath Pearce and Brek Shea
FC Dallas (2009-10) – MLS Cup Finalists 2010

Zach Loyd and Heath Pearce
FC Dallas (2010) – MLS Cup Finalists 2010

Bonus material

  • Brad Evans, Benny Feilhaber and Michael Parkhurst were on the U.S. team that reached the final of the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. 
  • Geoff Cameron and Michael Parkhurst were teammates at the Bayside FC Bolts in Rhode Island. Neither can remember which year, so assistance is welcome… 
  • Same goes for Jeff Larentowicz and Jeff Parke, who were together at U.S. Soccer Development Academy club FC DELCO.

*Former road roommates

RECAPPING 2011: The USA posted a 6-8-3 record in 2011 and opened the year with a 1-1 draw against Chile on Jan. 22. The big event last year was the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June, and the USA made a strong run to the final. The team posted shutout victories over Canada, Guadeloupe, Jamaica and then Panama in the semifinal. However, the USA’s run came to a halt when it lost to Mexico 4-2 in the Gold Cup final on June 25 in front of a crowd of 93,420 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. During the next month-and-a-half-long break between matches, the U.S. MNT parted ways with head coach Bob Bradley and brought in Goppingen, Germany, native Jurgen Klinsmann as the program’s 35th coach on July 29. Klinsmann guided the Germany from 2004-2006, posting a 20-6-8 record, a third-place finish in the 2006 FIFA World Cup and earning Coach of the Year honors in Germany. Klinsmann made his U.S. coaching debut in a rematch against Mexico, and the USA played to a 1-1 draw on Aug. 10 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Klinsmann earned his first U.S. win on Oct. 8 when the USA shut out Honduras 1-0 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., and the team wrapped up the year with a 3-2 victory against host Slovenia on Nov. 15. The USA was 2-4-1 under Klinsmann in 2011.

Federación Panameña de Fútbol
Founded: 1937 (Joined FIFA in 1918)
Head Coach: Julio Dely Valdes
Best World Cup Finish: Never qualified
Best CONCACAF Gold Cup Finish: Second Place (2005)
Caps Leader: Ricardo Phillips (110)
Top Scorer: Luis Tejada (34)
Key Players: Blas Perez, Gabriel Gomez


  • Panama takes the field for the first time in 2012, having finished the past year on top of Group C in the second round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and advancing to the semifinal phase. 
  • The team went undefeated in the group that included Nicaragua and Dominica, outscoring its opponents 15-2 in four matches. 
  • Canada, Cuba and Honduras will be Panama’s opponents in Group C of semifinal round qualifying. 
  • Newly signed FC Dallas striker Blas Perez is the leading scorer with 23 goals in 38 matches. He is joined by FCD defender Carlos Rodriguez. 
  • Philadelphia Union midfielder Gabriel Gomez is the leading cap winner, with 74 appearances for Panama. Gomez scored the penalty that secured Panama’s only victory against the United States. 
  • Head coach Julio Dely Valdes has called on a total of 10 players who are age-eligible for the Olympics, including the starting U-23 goalkeeper Luis Mejia.

GOALKEEPERS (2): Luis Mejia (Fenix), Kevin Melgar (Alianza)
DEFENDERS (6): Carlos Rodriguez (FC Dallas), Sergio Thompson (Sporting), Eric Vasquez (Chorrillo), Eduardo Dasent (Tauro), Rolando Algandona (San Francisco), Edward Benitez (Sporting)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Luis Ovalle (Sporting), Amir Waithe (San Francisco), Marcos Sanchez (Tauro), Rolando Botello (Tauro), Gabriel Gomez (Philadelphia Union), Juan De Gracia (Chepo), Alberto Quintero (Chorrillo)
FORWARDS (3): Blas Perez (FC Dallas), Manuel Mosquera (Arabe Unido), Luis Renteria (Tauro)

On the field for USA:
Jan. 21, 2012 – University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, Ariz. – International Friendly

USA        1  Ricardo Clark 90+7
Panama  0

USA: 1-Bill Hamid; 2-A.J. DeLaGarza, 4-Michael Parkhurst, 5-Geoff Cameron, 3-Heath Pearce (13-Zach Loyd, 72); 6-Jeff Larentowicz (15-Ricardo Clark, 62), 8-Jermaine Jones (capt.); 7-Graham Zusi (18-C.J. Sapong, 74), 10-Benny Feilhaber (17-Chris Wondolowksi, 62), 11-Brek Shea; 9-Teal Bunbury (16-Brad Evans, 88)
Subs not used: 12-Nick Rimando, 14-Jeff Parke

Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

VEN : 1-Jose Morales; 2-Carlos Rivero, 3-Carlos Salazar, 4-Jose Manuel Velasquez, 21-Andres Rouga; 5-Miguel Mea Vitali (23-Emilio Renteria, 78); 10-Alejandro Guerra (14-Diego Guerrero, 89), 8-Francisco Flores, 6-Angel Flores, 7-Edgar Perez Greco (17-Angel Chourio, 73); 15-Alejandro Moreno (9-Richard Blanco, 86)
Subs not used: 11- Jose Reyes, 12- Alan Liebeskind, 13-John Chancellor, 16-Ruben Arocha, 19-Rubert Quijada, 20-Javier Gonzalez, 24-Diomar Diaz, 25-Darwin Machis
Head coach: Cesar Farias

On the field for Panama:
Nov. 15, 2011 – Estadio Rommel Fernandez – Panama City, Panama –2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Second Round
Panama    3 Rolando Blackburn 6′, Ricardo Buitrago 20′, Blas Perez 84′
Dominica  0

PAN : Kevin Melgar; Roderick Miller, Rolando Algandona, Felipe Baloy, Sergio Thompson; Gabriel Gomez, Armando Cooper, Federico Marines (J. Ruiz, 62), Ricardo Buitrago Jr.; Anibal Godoy; Rolando Blackburn (Blas Perez, 76)
Head coach: Julio Dely Valdes

DMA: Glenson Prince; Colin Bernard, Prince Austrie, Elmond Derrick, Calvin Christopher; Josley Prince (Mitchell Joseph, 46), Euclid Bertrand (Rasheed Betrand, 73), Craig Reid, Jonathan Abel; Kurlson Benjamin, Lester Langlais (Jerome Thomas, 84)
Head Coach: Kirt Hector

vs. Panama:
June 22, 2011 – Reliant Stadium – Houston, Texas –2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Semifinal
USA         1   Clint Dempsey 76’
Panama   0

USA : 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 21-Clarence Goodson, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 14-Eric Lichaj; 4-Michael Bradley, 13-Jermaine Jones; 22-Alejandro Bedoya, 16-Sacha Kljestan (10-Landon Donovan, 46), 8-Clint Dempsey; 9-Juan Agudelo (20-Freddy Adu, 66)
Subs not used: 7-Maurice Edu, 11-Chris Wondolowski, 12-Jonathan Bornstein, 15-Tim Ream, 23-Marcus Hahnemann
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

PAN : 1-Jaime Penedo; 5-Román Torres, 14-Eduardo Dasent, 17-Luis Henríquez, 23-Felipe Baloy (capt.); 6-Gabriel Gómez (20-Anibal Godoy, 86), 10-Nelson Barahona (8-Gabriel Torres, 86), 11-Armando Cooper (16-Luis Renteria, 71), 21-Amilcar Henríquez; 18-Luis Tejada, 19-Alberto Quintero
Subs not used: 3-Harold Cummings, 4-Aramis Haywood, 9-Renan Addles, 12-Luis Mejía, 15-Eric Davis, 22-Eybir Bonaga
Head Coach: Julio Dely Valdes


Related Topics

U.S. Men, Panama, AJ DeLaGarza, Benny Feilhaber, Bill Hamid, Brad Evans, Geoff Cameron, Graham Zusi, Heath Pearce, Jermaine Jones, Jurgen Klinsmann, Michael Parkhurst, Ricardo Clark, Teal Bunbury, Zach Loyd

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