After the pitiful showing earlier this month in a friendly against Spain, the U.S. soccer team had yet another poor performance when they lost to Panama, 2-1, on their home soil in the Gold Cup.
Bob Bradley's squad has the chance to make up for the loss in a rematch, as the two clubs meet on Wednesday night in Houston in the semi-finals.
The U.S. already has two wins since the loss to Panama, but despite dominating Jamaica, the Americans struggled a bit against Guadeloupe.
Panama escaped against El Salvador on penalty kicks. But they might be in the heads of the U.S. players with the 2-1 victory on June 11th.
Which U.S. team will show up?
In the last game against Jamaica, Landon Donovan was battling illness, and Clint Dempsey looked his best in the tournament, but still had trouble scoring up until the game was basically out of reach after Jamaica was play a man down. Still, the U.S. played their best game of the month, and dominated the Jamaicans.
Against Panama and Guadeloupe, the U.S. seemed tentative and weren't able to execute their plays. Perhaps at this point the squad is past that point, and back to play the style of soccer that helped them over-achieve in the 2010 World Cup.
The U.S. still has Tim Howard who is responsible for a fantastic save against Jamaica. The Everton goalkeeper is among the best netminders in the world, and he hasn't lost his skills.
But even with Howard on the field, the U.S. will need a better performance from their defense than the last time they face Panama. Tim Ream didn't make the Starting 11 against either Guadeloupe or Jamaica, and that means the pressure is on Eric Lichaj, who will need to continue his solid play.
Panama has a young and capable midfield. They also have Luis Tejada up front who scored against the U.S. in the qualifying rounds, and Tejada has the ability to do it again.
Panama will likely go to a counter attack, as the game is on America soil, and the team is aware of the Yanks' ability to put pressure on opponents with their aggressive midfield.
The winner of this game will face the winner of Mexico versus Honduras on Saturday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
PREDICTION: US 2, Panama 0