U.S. taking game-by-game approach to Gold Cup
USA head coach Bruce Arena (front left) speaks to his squad during a training session on July 5, 2017, in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo: John Dorton/isiphotos.com)

NASHVILLE, Tennessee -- Bruce Arena wants to win the CONCACAF Gold Cup, but, admittedly, he isn't planning that far in advance.

While his United States side is considered one of the favorites to emerge from Group B, the former LA Galaxy manager is focused on Saturday’s opener against Panama at Nissan Stadium.

"I think any time you're in a competition like this, you want to win, so it would be a great for our team," Arena said.  "Obviously, that's jumping way ahead.  We're looking forward to game one in the tournament.  Hopefully, we'll get a win there and position ourselves to move on past the group stage."

Still, Arena knows something about winning in the Gold Cup.  He is the only coach to earn two titles (2002, 2005).

Last Saturday, the 65-year-old certainly liked what he saw in the 1-0 friendly win over Ghana as three players made their U.S. debuts and two (forward Dom Dwyer and midfielder Kellyn Acosta) scored their first international goals.

"I thought it was a good performance against a good team," Arena commented.  "It helps us answer some questions we had about certain players.  It was a good game to get us prepared for the game against Panama."
Panama traditionally has been a difficult Gold Cup foe for the Americans.  The Canaleros are the only team to beat the U.S. in group-stage play (2-1 in 2011) and they prevailed on penalty kicks, 3-2, after a 2-2 draw in the match for third place two years ago.