When you sign-up through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >
The odds for USMNT vs Panama are from the FanDuel Sportsbook. If you bet $20 you can get $200 in bonus bets after signing up.
This will probably be a close game and the hosts might have to settle for a narrow victory.
Why do things the easy way when you can put your supporters through the whole gamut of emotions? That is the approach the USMNT took in their CONCACAF Gold Cup 2023 quarter-final against Canada on Sunday.
Locked in stalemate with time running out, the USA made the breakthrough via Brandon Vazquez in the 88th minute. The home fans in Ohio went delirious and began looking ahead to a semi-final against Panama.
Not so fast. Canada were awarded a penalty in stoppage time and Steven Vitoria made no mistake from 12 yards. Extra time beckoned, the momentum now firmly in the Canadian camp.
It was indeed John Herdman's men who struck next, as Jacob Shaffelburg edged them ahead with 11 minutes on the clock. It looked like it was going to be Canada's night after all - until, that is, a Scott Kennedy own goal restored parity.
Both teams made a nervy start to the penalty shoot-out: Canada missed their first two kicks and the USA failed to convert attempt No.1. But Cade Cowell, Gianluca Busio and Jesus Ferreira held their nerve, sending BJ Callaghan's charges through to the last four with a 3-2 triumph on spot-kicks.
The celebrations immediately after victory was confirmed were understandably animated, but there is still work for the USA to do and there will have been no partying once the players left the field. Reaching the semi-finals of a Gold Cup is, at best, par for the course for the USMNT, even with this weakened squad.
Still, the confidence in the camp will have been boosted by the defeat of another of the favorites to lift the trophy with the best online sportsbooks. This team has found a rhythm and cohesion that was absent in their opening game against Jamaica, which they were arguably fortunate to tie.
At the start of the Gold Cup, the focus was on Canada, Mexico and the USMNT. That was understandable - those teams took three of the region’s four spots at World Cup 2022 and then went on to claim gold (USA), silver (Canada) and bronze (Mexico) at the recent CONCACAF Nations League Finals.
Due to the focus on the so-called ‘big three’, other teams flew under the radar. That includes two of the four semi-finalists: Jamaica and Panama. The former have made excellent use of the diaspora to recruit Premier League stars. The latter have built on their fourth-place finish at the aforementioned Nations League Finals.
Panama have had a very good tournament up to now. They took control of Group C with back-to-back 2-1 victories over Costa Rica and Martinique, before wrapping up top spot courtesy of a 2-2 draw with El Salvador.
The most impressive display of the knockout phase so far belonged to Thomas Christiansen’s men, who crushed Qatar 4-0 in a one-sided encounter in Arlington. That performance, together with their showings in the group phase, shows that Panama should be underestimated.
The country’s golden generation was aging at World Cup 2018. Since then Panama have had to move on from certain members of that group, and they have managed the process well. Several veterans of that campaign in Russia remain, but they have been supplemented by fresh blood.
Panama are now potentially 90 minutes away from a third Gold Cup final, after they reached the showpiece match in 2005 and 2013 (Panama were runners-up to the USMNT on both occasions).
It is relatively common to witness thrashings at Gold Cups. The USMNT thumped both Saint Kitts & Nevis and Trinidad & Tobago 6-0 in the group phase. Whereas the USA are ranked eleventh in the world, Saint Kitts & Nevis place 136th - behind Sudan and the Solomon Islands.
But now that we are down to the final four, one-sided contests are much less likely. In the 2019 semi-finals, the scorelines were 3-1 and 1-0. Two years later they were 1-0 and 2-1.
In fact, you have to go all the way back to the 1993 edition to find a Gold Cup semi-final in which the victors triumphed by more than a two-goal margin (Mexico thumped Jamaica, whom they will face on Wednesday, 6-1 on that occasion).
Panama are a tough nut to crack. Fourteen of their last 16 outings were either a win, a draw or a one-goal defeat. The only exceptions were 2-0 losses to Argentina and Canada.
The USMNT should therefore be ready to dig deep to triumph. The hosts deserve to be favorites, but Panama will not make it easy for them. Back the USA to win by one clear goal.
Free play options
Special contests for newbies
Bet $5 Get $200 in Bonus Bets
21+ | Terms and conditions apply
Wide range of betting options
Top notch customer service
Promo Code 'SPORTS'
$500 Free Bet
21+ | VA only | Gambling problem? Call 1-800-532-3500
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
© Rebel Penguin ApS 2023 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)
We support responsible gambling. 21+ Only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.
WSN.com is run by iGaming Cloud Inc (a Gaming Innovation Group Subsidiary) and is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.
Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.