Dom Dwyer recorded his second USMNT cap with his second USMNT goal, as the U.S. began its 2017 Gold Cup with a 1-1- draw with Panama in Nashville on Saturday.
The match was the first opening match of a Gold Cup not won by the Americans.
It’s far too early in the tournament to say the United States saw its depth exposed, but it’s hard to find too many strong performances short of Matt Besler, Brad Guzan, and Kelyn Rowe.
Guzan rescued an early bit of danger in the U.S. 18, while Panama’s Jose Calderon parried a long but hard strike from Kelyn Rowe.
Panama’s Luis Ovalle slipped while trying to clear a ball, and the U.S. won a corner when Alejandro Bedoya opted for a hard tight-angled cross instead of cutting the ball back into the heart of the 18.
While Kellyn Acosta was lively in attack, he gave away the ball in the midfield in the 21st minute. That allowed Anibal Godoy to play a dangerous through ball that Omar Gonzalez handled well.
The Yanks produced a solid chance off a really good stretch of possession when Jorge Villafana cued up Rowe for a shot, but the New England player had to settle a bouncing ball and that allowed Calderon to get into position for a stop.
Play went the other way, and Guzan had to stretch to paw away a curling effort from Camargo when Zusi allowed the Panamanian attacker a bit of space and time.
Largely, however, the first half was disjointed, perhaps to be expected given the unit’s lack of game time together.
The U.S. went ahead in the 50th minute when Rowe’s left-footed cross was turned home by Dwyer on the half turn.
Guzan made a terrific save when Torres just won a battle with Zusi at the far post, but Ismael Díaz somehow shot over the bar from inside the six.
Guzan then bailed Zusi out again in the 60th minute, but Camargo put the rebound inside the far post.
The Yanks were out of sorts at the back, and made a sub at the front with Juan Agudelo entering for Joe Corona.
A few minutes later, it was Arena’s not-so-old Galaxy pal Gyasi Zardes into the fray for the injured Rowe. Zardes hadn’t scored for LA in 12 games, and both club and country were hoping for a quick fix via the international pitch.