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US battles Panama to 1-1 draw

US vs. Panama insideIt was only the fourth time in the 24 years of CONCACAF Gold Cup history that the Americans did not win a match in the group stage, but at least the result had no determination on anything at all.

With Group A already clinched after victories over Honduras and Haiti, USA did not need a single point to come from their game against Panama, but they got one anyway. In a rematch of the 2013 final, USA came back in the second half to secure a 1-1 draw against Panama.

In just six minutes, Panama’s Luis Tejada put the ball in the net. The goal was waive off, however, as Tejada was called offsides, but it was clear the American defense was doing to be put under immense pressure.

That pressure eventually paid off for Panama in the 33rd minute, but well before that, it cost John Brooks an opportunity to play in Saturday’s quarterfinal match in Baltimore, Md. Brooks was assessed a yellow card in the opening game against Honduras and in the 16th minute he was booked for a foul on Blas Perez.

In the 33rd minute, Tejada made up for his offsides call as he slid the ball from the left side to in front of the goal to Perez. Perez kicked the ball past US goalkeeper Brad Guzan from four-yards out to take the 1-0 lead.

One of the problems for the USA in the first half was that Jurgen Klinsmann used the meaningless game as an opportunity to rest many of his key players, including Clint Dempsey, who scored all three American goals through the first two games, and the very fast spark-plug DeAndre Yedlin.

At halftime, Klinsmann put both in the game and it clearly made USA far more dangerous on the offensive side. Just 10 minutes out of the break with Dempsey and Yedlin on the field, Michael Bradley scored the equalizer after Alejandro Bedoya feed him the ball.

Bedoya, a World Cup starter who did not play in either of the first two games of the Gold Cup because of a knee injury, should remain in the starting lineup for a long time after his effort in the game. Bedoya was all over the field, sprinting even when he did not necessarily have to before he was relieved in the 71st minute by Aron Johansson.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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