Friday, August 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

United States 2, Panama 1 a.e.t.

I'm going to keep this post as short as I can because it's 4 a.m. as I write this and I really want to go to sleep.

United States 2, Panama 1 a.e.t.

I'm going to keep this post as short as I can because it's 4 a.m. as I write this and I really want to go to sleep.

Here's all the multimedia from after the game. You've got full audio of the coaches' postgame press conferences as well as that of man of the match Kyle Beckerman. You've also got video highlights of U.S. coach Bob Bradley's press conference and remarks from Beckerman, midfielder Stuart Holden and goalkeeper Troy Perkins.

Special thanks to Fox Soccer Channel's Mark Rogondino for letting me tape his interview with Beckerman in the mixed zone.

My view of the result (click here for the Inquirer's recap) is that it's good that the U.S. won, because in the end that's what matters. But I think the U.S. will have a very hard time with Honduras in the semifinals Thursday night in Chicago, mainly because this team just is not as talented as the one that beat the Catrachos at Soldier Field in a World Cup Qualifier last month.

That's not to say that the U.S. can't win. But as we saw in the first game, Carlos Costly and Walter Martinez can be really difficult to contain, and if they get an early goal I'm not sure this U.S. squad has the firepower to reply.

If nothing else, having to play a team of Honduras' caliber in the semifinals will make sure that none of the U.S. players will look ahead to a potential championship game with Mexico.

It's worth noting that the U.S.-Honduras game will the first game of the semifinal doubleheader. The winners of Mexico-Haiti and Costa Rica-Guadeloupe will play the second semfinal; those two quarterfinals will be played today at the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium in Arlington.

A final four of the U.S., Honduras, Mexico and Costa Rica would be one of the most loaded in Gold Cup history and would make for one very hot ticket on the shores of Lake Michigan.

I'll be back some time in the afternoon with my video of the pregame tailgate party, a photo gallery from the doubleheader and an audio interview with U.S. Soccer World Cup bid chief David Downs.

Downs is the former president of Univision, and he brings a really interesting perspective to the growth of soccer in the United States. He's also got tons of political clout in both the English- and Spanish-language television markets in this country, and his interest in soccer has made him an ideal figure to lead U.S. Soccer's efforts to land either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.

You will really be interested in what he has to say, especially with regards to what it will take for Philadelphia to host World Cup matches should the U.S. bid be successful.



Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
About this blog
Soft Pretzel Logic is Philly.com's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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