As a reminder of what is on the line here in the Gold Cup. Outside of winning the Gold Cup and being the Concacaf Champion, the winner of the 2015 Gold Cup will play the winner of the 2013 Gold Cup (USA) for a berth in the Confederations Cup in Russia 2017.
USA (FIFA Rank 34) v Jamaica (76)
The USMNT offense got on track via a Clint Dempsey hat trick, his first ever in international competition, while crushing Cuba 6-0. The United States looked good in attack with Aron Johannsson partnering Dempsey after Jozy Altidore was sent home after the group stage. Cuba decided to press the USA from the outset and they left Michael Bradley with time on the ball and were not very good at defending crosses. Not a good look when playing the USA.
The big question for the USA is who starts in defense? Seattle Sounders Brad Evans has been good at right back with the chances he has been giving when replacing an ineffective Timothy Chandler. The centerback pairing is also a question mark with Omar Gonzalez, John Brooks, Ventura Alvarado and possibly Tim Ream all in the mix. But left back should see the return from international retirement of DeMarcus Beasley. Beasley was talked out of retirement by Jurgen Klinsmann in anticipation of the next two rounds.
Jamaica has been playing extremely well and despite the USA holding a 13-1-8 all time edge over the Reggae Boyz, Jamaica is confident. Houston Dynamo's Giles Barnes has been playing extremely well in attack for Jamaica and will look to take advantage of any miscommunication from an unsettled USA central defense.
Mexico (40) v Panama (62)
In a rematch of Gold Cup 2013 Semi-Finals, Mexico will look for revenge. Panama is looking to repeat the upset that saw them make the final in 2013.
Mexico was 10 seconds from going to penalty kicks against Costa Rica in the Quarter-Finals but a dubious penalty was drawn by Oribe Peralta and Andres Guardado finished the last kick of the game for a 1-0 win over Costa Rica in 120 minutes.
Panama did need penalties to make it to the Semi-Finals. They needed ten rounds from the spot and eventually beat Trinidad and Tobago 6-5 in penalties. In fact Panama has not officially won a game in this Gold Cup, but they have not lost a game either. Panama has earned four consecutive 1-1 draws in the Gold Cup.
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