Football News

USA vs Panama predicted XIs: Confirmed team news and probable line-ups

By Dean Smith

Published: 11:27, 26 June 2024

As tournament hosts, the USA could not have asked for a better start than their 2-0 win over Bolivia in Group C and now they face a Panama side that were ultimately outclassed by Uruguay in a 3-1 opening day loss.

These sides make their way to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia for their respective second outings in the 2024 Copa America on Thursday, with kick-off at 23:00 UK time, and the host nation will be expected to bag another three point haul and, with it, likely set themselves up for a showdown with Uruguay to take the top billing in Group C.

A pre-tournament 5-1 loss to Colombia was a setback for USMNT boss Gregg Berhalter and, even a subsequent 1-1 stalemate with Brazil in Orlando couldn’t entirely mask the sense of pressure on the 50-year-old ahead of their opener against Bolivia.

The anxiety was washed away quickly when skipper Christian Pulisic fired in a superb opening goal on three minutes and, from there, the US were free-flowing and had doubled their advantage before half-time through 22-year-old forward Folarin Balogun.

The Monaco ace had gone six games without a goal in US colours and it was a welcome end to that streak for the £34m man.

An excellent day at the office for the tournament hosts with their first opening day Copa America win since 1995, and one they will aim to build on.

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Panama come up shy but hope exists

Ultimately, Panama were beaten 3-1 by Uruguay with a stoppage time consolation the only thing they had to show for their endeavours, though perhaps that doesn’t tell the whole story.

Trailing by a single goal, Jose Fajardo blasted an effort wide in the 52nd minute after a defensive error, while Jose Rodriguez tested Uruguay goalkeeper Sergio Rochet with a ferocious shot from range soon after as Panama pressed against Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

Darwin Nunez settled the issue on 85 minutes and La Celeste scored a third in stoppage time before full-back Amir Murillo netted Panama’s consolation goal – the 28-year-old’s ninth for the national team.

USA vs Panama – Team News

The US delighted 47,000 fans in Texas with their opening win and it means Berhalter is unlikely to deviate too much in his selections here.
Christian Pulisic became the third American to score in five different competitions, while Folarin Balogun ended a run of six games without a goal and Timothy Weah, the third link in the US attack, impressed with his movement and energy.

With an average age of 25, this US side is young and hungry and should grow into the tournament.

Edgardo Farina, Jose Luis Rodriguez, and Adalberto Carrasquilla all came into the Panamanian starting XI against Uruguay.

Houston Dynamo’s Carrasquilla could join Omar Valencia (New York Red Bulls II) and Carlos Harvey (Minnesota United) in a strong US-based representation for Panama against the host nation.

USA vs Panama predicted line-ups

USA (4-3-3): Turner; Scally, Ream, Richards, A. Robinson; Reyna, Adams, McKennie; Weah, Balogun, Pulisic

Panama (5-4-1): Mosquera; Murillo, Farina, Cordoba, Miller, Davis; Martinez, Puma, Carrasquilla, Barcenas; Fajardo