U.S. Shut Outs Panama, Ending Winless Skid
Monday, February 09 2015 @ 07:08 AM EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
Clint Dempsey scored his 40th career goal later in the first half for the Americans, who wrapped up a month long training camp with their best result in 10 games since they beat Ghana in their opening match at last year’s World Cup in Brazil.
The United States had won just once since that match, but Coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad looked considerably sharper in its home opener for a big year that will include the Gold Cup and World Cup qualifying.
Goalkeeper Sean Johnson replaced Nick Rimando for the second half, finishing up the Americans’ first shutout since their victory over the Czech Republic last September, which was also their last victory.
Gyasi Zardes, the Los Angeles Galaxy forward, punctuated his first start for the United States team by making a beautiful pass to set up Dempsey’s score in the 37th minute.
The Americans improved on last month’s 3-2 loss at Chile while showing none of the second-half struggles that have prompted Klinsmann to question their fitness. The United States yielded nine goals in the second halves of its previous six games, but it held Panama to a handful of good chances in the entire game at StubHub Center. (AP)