Copa America 2024: Panama vs USA Match Preview

As the Copa America 2024 unfolds, one of the most anticipated fixtures in the group stage is the clash between Panama and the United States. Both teams have shown remarkable progress in recent years, and their encounter promises to be a thrilling display of football prowess. This match preview will delve into the teams’ current form, key players, tactical approaches, and the potential impact on the tournament.

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Current Form


Panama has been steadily improving its football infrastructure and talent pool, which has translated into better performances on the international stage. In the CONCACAF region, they have become a formidable side, often challenging traditional powerhouses like Mexico and the United States. Their recent form leading up to the Copa America has been promising, with notable victories in the CONCACAF Nations League and strong showings in World Cup qualifiers.

Under the guidance of head coach Thomas Christiansen, Panama has adopted a more organized and resilient approach. Christiansen’s emphasis on solid defensive structure and quick counter-attacks has made Panama a difficult team to break down. Players like Adalberto Carrasquilla and Gabriel Torres have been instrumental in their recent successes, providing creativity and firepower in the midfield and attack.

United States

The United States has also been on an upward trajectory, with a young and dynamic squad that has impressed on multiple fronts. Winning the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League highlighted their potential and growing dominance in the region. Head coach Gregg Berhalter has successfully integrated a new generation of talent into the team, creating a blend of youth and experience.

Players like Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, and Sergiño Dest have been pivotal in the USMNT’s resurgence. Their European club experience has translated into a higher level of play and professionalism within the national team setup. The United States’ recent performances in friendlies and qualifiers have shown a team capable of competing with the best, making them one of the favorites in this year’s Copa America.


Key Players to Watch


  • Adalberto Carrasquilla: The Houston Dynamo midfielder has been a revelation for Panama. His vision, dribbling skills, and ability to control the tempo of the game make him a crucial player in the midfield. Carrasquilla’s performances will be vital in dictating Panama’s play against the United States.
  • Gabriel Torres: As one of Panama’s most experienced forwards, Torres brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for goal. His positioning and finishing skills could be the difference in a tightly contested match.
  • Aníbal Godoy: The Nashville SC midfielder is known for his defensive acumen and leadership on the field. Godoy’s ability to break up opposition attacks and distribute the ball efficiently will be essential in controlling the midfield battle.

United States

  • Christian Pulisic: The Chelsea winger is arguably the most high-profile player in the USMNT. Pulisic’s pace, creativity, and goal-scoring ability make him a constant threat to any defense. His performance will be crucial in breaking down Panama’s organized defense.
  • Weston McKennie: The Juventus midfielder is known for his versatility and box-to-box play. McKennie’s energy, tackling, and goal-scoring prowess from midfield add a significant dimension to the United States’ game plan.
  • Tyler Adams: The Leeds United midfielder is a key figure in Berhalter’s setup. Adams’ ability to shield the defense, win back possession, and distribute the ball quickly will be vital in maintaining the United States’ tempo and transitional play.

Tactical Approaches


Panama is likely to adopt a pragmatic approach against the United States, focusing on their defensive solidity and counter-attacking opportunities. Christiansen’s team is well-organized defensively, with a compact backline and disciplined midfield. They will aim to frustrate the USMNT by denying them space and opportunities in the final third.

On the counter, Panama will look to exploit the pace of their wide players and the finishing ability of Torres. Set-pieces could also be a significant aspect of their game plan, given their physical presence and aerial prowess. Panama’s ability to stay compact and hit on the break will be crucial in managing the game’s flow and creating scoring opportunities.

United States

The United States, under Berhalter, has adopted a more possession-based approach, focusing on building from the back and controlling the midfield. With players like Pulisic and McKennie, the USMNT will look to dominate possession and create chances through quick, incisive passing and movement.

Berhalter’s side is also versatile in their attacking play, capable of switching between a high press and a more measured build-up. The United States will aim to stretch Panama’s defense with width provided by their full-backs and wingers, creating spaces for their midfielders to exploit. Set-pieces, with players like McKennie who are strong in the air, will also be a key component of their strategy.

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Potential Impact on the Tournament

The outcome of the Panama vs. United States match will have significant implications for both teams’ progress in Copa America 2024. A win for either side would boost their chances of advancing to the knockout stages and build momentum for the latter stages of the tournament.

For Panama, a victory against the United States would be a statement of intent, showcasing their ability to compete with the region’s best. It would also provide a psychological boost and confidence in their tactical setup and player capabilities.

For the United States, a win would reinforce their status as one of the tournament favorites. It would also validate Berhalter’s approach and the integration of young talent into the squad. Moreover, a strong performance against a resilient Panama side would prepare them for the challenges of facing other top South American teams in the knockout stages.


The Panama vs. United States match in Copa America 2024 promises to be a captivating encounter, featuring two teams with distinct styles and ambitions. Panama’s defensive resilience and counter-attacking threat will be tested against the United States’ possession-based and dynamic approach. Key players on both sides will play pivotal roles in determining the outcome, and the result will significantly impact their respective journeys in the tournament. As fans eagerly anticipate this clash, it stands as a testament to the growing competitiveness and quality of football in the Americas.

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