US men’s team following American women in France
After failing to qualify for their World Cup last year, the US men's team are following the American women in France as their World Cup.
"We've been watching every game and paying close attention," defender Tim Ream said yesterday ahead of the US group stage finale against Panama in the Concacaf Gold Cup. "They have our full support."
The US and Panama are both 2-0 and have clinched berths in the quarter-finals on Sunday in Philadelphia. The Americans would clinch Group D with a win or a draw and would face the second-place team from Group C: Jamaica, El Salvador or Curacao.
Meanwhile in France, the defending champion US women play the host nation on Friday in a quarter-final at Paris.
"It's great," men's coach Gregg Berhalter said. "We're proud of what they're doing. We're really happy that the whole country is tied into their quest for the World championship. When you look at the World Cup being played and the Gold Cup being played at the same time, all it does is bring more attention to soccer, and that's fantastic."
The US have 35 wins, one loss and four defeats in the Gold Cup group stage.
"We want to win the group," Berhalter said. "We know Panama is a difficult opponent. We always have tough games against Panama. We've met them in the last seven Gold Cups and all the games have been close games."
While the US are ranked 30th, Panama are 75th. Yet, Panama edged out the US in World Cup qualifying on the final night and went to last year's tournament in Russia, while the US did not. Panama went 0-3 at the World Cup and were outscored 11-2.