Players from the USA (pictured) react during the match for third place's penalty-kick shootout in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Photo: Mexsport)
CHESTER, Pennsylvania -- The United States officially completed its 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign, falling to Panama 3-2 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw in the match for third place.
In one looming respect, though, the Americans still have some unfinished business with the competition.
They must play 2015 champion Mexico in a special playoff in October 9 for the right to represent the region at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.
After Saturday’s setback against the Panamanians, when asked about the possible composition of his roster for that showdown, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann remarked, “It's going to be very similar," to the one he used in the Gold Cup.
Regardless of the final personnel selections, the team will be under scrutiny, especially after experiencing its poorest showing since 2000, when it was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Colombia.
"There is constant expectations, constant pressure for everybody," Klinsmann said. "That's just part of our job. We didn't use the opportunity finish things off in this tournament. So we have to finish now in October. It's just simple as that."
During the post-game press conference at PPL Park, Klinsmann wouldn't second guess himself for any Gold Cup choices, at least not yet. He said he will watch the matches again and "see more detailed stuff. There are always something that I could have done this differently or that differently.”
One of his most important decisions will pertain to the goalkeeper situation.
Brad Guzan was named the Gold Cup’s Golden Glove award winner, but Tim Howard -- who starred at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil – commented recently that he was ready to return in September from a one-year sabbatical.
"I will have a phone call with Tim probably next week and also with Brad and see how we want to move forward," Klinsmann finished. "Brad kept us in the game (against Panama) with a couple of tremendous saves.”