Following the 1-0 win Saturday against Venezuela, on an injury time winner by Ricardo Clark, it’s safe to say a majority of the roster will be hoping for a much better performance against Panama on Wednesday. It’s not all doom and gloom, as there were a few bright spots, but the US struggled in the final third, rarely created any real chances in behind the Venezuela back-line, and players lacked individual creativity that is needed to excel at the international level. The players that helped their cause included Geoff Cameron, Michael Parkhurst, and A.J. DeLaGarza.
1. Geoff Cameron is thankfully losing his fight to not want to become a center-back, ultimately taking his career to a level he didn’t think was possible when he left the University of Rhode Island in 2008. With years of experience on the ball in the midfield, he is a natural fit for what Klinsmann wants out of the center-back position. Against Venezuela he was comfortable on the ball and kept the backline organized. He was the bright spot in this match, and it will be interesting to see if he looks to get even more involved in the attack against Panama on Wednesday.
2. Earlier this month, Jermaine Jones was suspended 8 weeks from the Bundesliga for intentionally stomping on an opponent’s foot. Not only does Klinsmann invite him into camp, but he rewards him with the captains armband for the match against Venezuela. Not sure how a man that is suspended for 8 weeks, and doesn’t know the majority of his teammates, fits into the leadership category, but in Jurgen we trust?
USA: Lineup: 1-Bill Hamid; 2-A.J. DeLaGarza, 4-Michael Parkhurst, 5-Geoff Cameron, 3-Heath Pearce (13-Zach Loyd, 72); 6-Jeff Larentowicz (15-Ricardo Clark, 62), 8-Jermaine Jones (capt.); 7-Graham Zusi (18-C.J. Sapong, 74), 10-Benny Feilhaber (17-Chris Wondolowksi, 62), 11-Brek Shea; 9-Teal Bunbury (16-Brad Evans, 88)