Action from the international friendly between the USA (white jersey) and visiting Panama on February 8, 2015, in Carson, California. (Photo: John Dorton/isiphotos.com)
CARSON, California -- The United States scored twice within a 10-minute span in the opening half to defeat Panama 2-0 in an international friendly at the StubHub Center on Sunday, snapping a five-game winless streak.
Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey tallied for the Americans, who last won at the Czech Republic on September 3. It also was their first home triumph since topping Nigeria last June in Jacksonville, Florida, 2-1.
Bradley put the host ahead 1-0 lead in the 27th minute, when he curled a left-sided corner kick beyond the reach of goalkeeper Jaime Penedo and inside the far post.
Ten minutes later, Dempsey doubled the advantage off a pin-point through ball by Gyasi Zardes. After gaining possession at midfield, the LA Galaxy forward ran through the defense before slotting a pass to a well-positioned Dempsey, who rounded Penedo and slipped the ball into the empty net for his 40th international goal.
Panama's best opportunity came in the 39th minute. U.S. goalkeeper Nick Rimando delivered a pass to his left for teammate Matt Besler. The Sporting Kansas City center back slipped and lost the ball near the top of the box. Blas Perez pounced quickly to gain possession, but misfired on a right-footed effort from nine-yards out that sailed wide of the near post.
The U.S. returns to action on March 25 with a friendly at Denmark, while Panama will host Costa Rica on March 31.
NOTES: Dempsey joined Landon Donovan as the only players in U.S. history to reach the 40-goal mark … Matt Hedges and Perry Kitchen made their international debuts for the USA … Four players from the Panama squad that finished as runner-up to Mexico in the recently completed CONCACAF Under-20 Championship appeared in the match: Ismael Diaz, Fidel Escobar, Chin Hormechea and Luis Pereira.
February 8, 2015: Carson, California, USA – StubHub Center (A: 20271)
USA 2 (Michael Bradley 27’; Clint Dempsey 37’)
USA: Nick Rimando (Sean Johnson 46’); DeAndre Yedlin (Matt Hedges 72’), Jermaine Jones, Matt Besler, Brek Shea, Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud (Perry Kitchen 72’); Gyasi Zardes, Clint Dempsey (Luis Gil 81’), Miguel Ibarra (Lee Nguyen 79’), Jozy Altidore (Chris Wondolowski 46’). TD: Jurgen Klinsmann
Panama: Jaime Penedo; Leonel Parris, Fidel Escobar (Chin Hormechea 46’), Harold Cummings, Luis Ovalle (Hecgar Murillo 46’); Marcos Sanchez (Yairo Glaize 46’), Alfredo Stephens (Ismael Diaz 55’), Aníbal Godoy, Eric Davis, Blas Perez (Ricardo Buitrago 56’), Rolando Blackburn (Luis Pereira 63’). TD: Hernan Dario Gomez