An Ugly Night in Panama City: USA Limps to a 1-0 Win Over Panama

Posted on January 26, 2012 5:12 am

It was hard to tell what was worse, the US play vs Panama, or the play-by-play by Ricardo Ortiz and Tightshirt Twellman. I’ve personally never met anyone with their head on a “swizzle” (as Tightshirt Twellman put it) but I’m sure its possible in a Saw III sort of way.

Ortiz called it the “Golden Cup.” Well, it is “golden” but I’m pretty sure its still called the Gold Cup. But that was the least of their problems — & hell, we all make mistakes.

And come to think of it, Tightshirt and Ortiz actually did do better than most of the US team on the evening. While Tightshirt and Ortiz were lackluster at best, at least they didn’t seem jet-lagged and lethargic (okay, Ortiz seemed lethargic).

Did the entire US National Team get stoned before the game? Only Kyle “Wooly Mammoth Head” Beckerman knows for sure; but here is how Brett and Derek rated the player performances on a scale of 10:

Wondolowski ST
Derek: 3 – Outside of a header, where were you?
Brett: 3.5 – Rather ineffective up top, but he did do some things asked of a striker.

(Like run occasionally).

Bunbury ST
Derek 2 – Just awful in every way I can think of.
Brett 2 – By far the worst performance on the pitch.  He simply couldn’t do anything right against Panama.

Clark CM
Derek 3 Poor choices; poor passing; poor involvement.
Brett 4.5 – He was a non-factor most of the game

Shea LM
Derek 3 – Bad passes; poor choices on attack. Not sharp at all. Tired? What the hell, Brek?
Brett 3 – He looked exhausted out there.  Couldnt complete a pass.  Couldnt take on his man.  He held onto the ball too long and allowed either the defense to catch up or be dispossessed.  Perhaps his worst game since the Colombia game.

Zusi RM
Derek 4 – Not there much. So he scored. That was it.
Brett 5 – Zusi failed to connect several of his passes, some leading to a counter; however, he positioned himself in the proper spot for Loyd’s cross that resulted in the game winning goal

Jones CM
Derek 6.5 – Had some errors but was in possession of 60% of all the US total possession. Bound to make some errors. Would have been a disaster without him.
Brett 7 – Much like what Twellman said, at times, Jones simply tried too much.  However, he was clearly the top field player for the 2nd game in a row.  His long passes could use some work, but overall his ability to dribble out of pressure and maintain possession was certainly a plus.

Lyod LB
Derek 4 – Not pulled for injury; pulled because his flank was vulnerable time and again. Some good crosses, but not enough to make up for bad short passes and loss of possession.
Brett 5 – Loyd had some poor passes early in the match but recovered quite nicely as the game progressed.  His crossing and attack up the left flank proved US’s only true threat in the first half.

Cameron CB
Derek 3 – Couldn’t cover the long passes between he and Parkhurst. Should’ve got a yellow, not a red.
Brett 3 – Like Parkhurst, Cameron lost track of Panama’s strikers cutting through the middle.  His red card, though incidental contact, hurt the US in the match.

Parkhurst CB
Derek 3 – Same as Cameron. Pay attention to the splitting long ball!
Brett 4 – Too often Parkhurst was beaten with Panama’s direct play.  Poor communication with Cameron.

De La Garza RB
Derek 4 – Got beat down the wings too much.
Brett 4 – AJ never really did anything to earn an above average rating, but he got caught ball watching and had a couple blunders that could have amounted to goal scoring opportunities.

Rimando GK
Derek 7 – Too aggressive at times & some odd passes out of the back, but ultimately saved our asses a few times.
Brett 8 – Despite a couple “too close for comfort” passes early on, Rimando was a beast in the box and saved the game for the US.

Johnson GK
Derek 6.5 – Reliable.
Brett 6.5 – He certainly wasn’t tested like Rimando was, but he did everything asked of him properly.

Jeff Parke CB
Derek 4.5 – Alright, Got beat deep, but recovered.
Brett 4 – He lost track of the ball just inside our box and nearly caused an equalizer.

Sapong ST
Derek 5.5 – Good holding. But not much to judge.
Brett 6 – Sapong didnt receive much playing time, but what he had was time well spent.  Unlike Wondo and Bunbury, CJ managed to hold up the ball nicely and on occasions, work his way out of a corner. 

Evans RM
Derek 5 – Not much to judge from—but did his duty.
Brett 5 – Less active then Larentowitz, but Brad also helped to put away the match by slowing the game down and possessing the ball.

Larentowicz CM
Derek 5 – Solid when things got jiggly.
Brett 5.5 – Jeff stepped up and maintained possession when we needed to close out the match.

Pearce LB
Derek 4 – Improved the defensive wing during much of a 10 man survival session, but altogether, eh.
Brett 4 – Pearce had a decent performance, however, he held onto the ball too long and lost possession a number of times in our half.

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