The final group winner of the Group Stage will be decided on Wednesday when the United States and Panama meet. Both sides are undefeated with wins over Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago to this point, but the US has the edge ahead of this match. Their +10 goal differential is far superior to that of Panama, so a draw for the Stars and Stripes will be enough to top the group. The Canal Men know they must win to finish first in Group D.
Don't miss this Gold Cup match from Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Missouri at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 26, 2019. Catch every moment of the match live on FS1.
2019 Gold Cup Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
United States -208
Los Canaleros have not looked as strong as many believed they were at the start of the Gold Cup. They were unable to break through Trinidad and Tobago’s back line until the second half in a 2-0 win in their first match of the competition, and they received quite a test from Guyana on Saturday.
Panama controlled possession and had great chances, but they also gave up a lot of very good opportunities too. Guyana ended up converting two penalty kicks, but it wasn’t enough as four goals for the Canal Men gave Panama a 4-2 win. A better team than Guyana would have converted more of those chances, so Panama know they must play better on Wednesday.
I had some major reservations about the USMNT ahead of the Gold Cup. They did not look sharp against either Jamaica or Venezuela, but they have put those struggles aside to easily dispatch of both Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.
The scoreline against Guyana wasn’t as lopsided as you might think though. Gyasi Zardes’ goal was incredibly fortuitous, and the Americans were easily frustrated early on. Those early frustrations continued against Trinidad and Tobago, as the USMNT didn’t score until the 41st minute. However, they poured it on midway through the second half with four goals in the span of 12 minutes to eventually earn a 6-0 win.
Panama Player to Watch
Roman Torres must be solid in the center of Panama’s defense on Wednesday night. Torres is the most experienced player on the roster with 112 caps, and he is very familiar with the USMNT. He has been a part of the Seattle Sounders since 2015, and that time in the MLS will come in handy. Torres is relied upon to break up dangerous attacks as the center back, so look for him to be active.
United States Player to Watch
Gyasi Zardes is the most experienced forward on the roster, and the veteran came through on Saturday. He scored a brace in the span of three minutes, and he now has three goals through two matches at the Gold Cup. Zardes has needed some time to get going, but he has comes through and he can make plays happen if the midfielders get him the ball in good positions.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
These two countries met in a friendly in late January. The USMNT cruised to a 3-0 win over Panama, but a number of current starters for both countries were not a part of those teams. Panama was without Torres and its best attacking options, while the USMNT was without its main creators in the midfield.
I believe that will work in favor of the over. The USMNT have looked much better on the attack, and Panama will test them in ways they weren’t in their first two matches.
2019 Gold Cup Odds: United States 3, Panama 1
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