This may not have been the worst Gold Cup performance in United States national team history, but after losing back-to-back games on home soil, it's certainly the worst in at least a generation. The final blow came when DaMarcus Beasley became the third straight American to fail to convert his penalty, as the United States fell to Panama 1-1 (3-2) in the Gold Cup's third-place game on Saturday.
It was, generally speaking, a pretty disheartening performance for the USMNT, who were badly outplayed, out shot 25-5 and probably a bit lucky to even get it into penalties. Prior to Clint Dempsey entering the game in the 61st minute, the U.S. was trailing 1-0 to a Panama team that had toyed with the idea of not even showing up in protest.
But Dempsey managed to give the United States some life in the 70th minute. Michael Bradley found DeAndre Yedlin behind the Panama defense, the former Sounder chested it down and found Dempsey wide open near the penalty spot. Dempsey hit it first time, scoring his seventh goal of this Gold Cup and his 48th international tally.
The United States was able to generate precious few chances after that, though, and it was only the play of Brad Guzan that allowed them a chance to escape embarrassment in a shootout. Instead, the USMNT only made it worse. After Arron Johannsson and Dempsey converted their attempts, Fabian Johnson skied his shot and Luis Mejia stopped Michael Bradley and Beasley.