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USA vs. Panama: Complete Preview, Live Stream, Start Time and Schedule

Josh Martin@@JoshMartinNBANBA Lead WriterJanuary 22, 2012

HOUSTON - JUNE 22:  Armando Cooper #11 of Panama moves the ball past  Steve Cherundolo #6 of the U.S.A. at Reliant Stadium on June 22, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Team USA's Jurgen Klinsmann Experiment will conclude its January training camp with a friendly game against Panama in Panama City on Wednesday. The Americans squeaked by Venezuela in Phoenix on Saturday on a header by Ricardo Clark in stoppage time. Los Canaleros last took to the pitch back in November during a 3-0 victory over Dominica in a qualifying match for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The Americans and the Panamanians met twice at the CONCACAF Gold Cup last summer, with the US notching its first-ever group-play loss in the tournament to Panama, 2-1, before avenging that defeat in the semifinal round, 1-0.

Where: Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City, Panama 

When: Wednesday, January 25th at 8:30 p.m. EST

Watch: Galavision

Live Stream: ESPN3

Player to Watch for USA: Jermaine Jones

With most of Team USA's biggest stars (i.e. Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra, Tim Howard) tied up abroad, Klinsmann has sought out skill and leadership wherever he can find it.

Surprisingly enough, the Americans have gotten just such a jolt from Jermaine Jones. The 30-year-old midfielder was recently suspended for eight weeks by Schalke, his club team in Germany's Bundesliga, for intentionally stomping on an opposing player.

Despite that perceived unruliness, Jones has been something of a spark plug for Team USA since his arrival. Unlike his MLS-based teammates, Jones is fresh off of European competition and put as much to good use by assisting on Ricardo Clark's header against Venezuela.


Player to Watch for Panama: Luis Tejada

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19:  Luis Tejada #18 of Panama dribbles the ball against El Salvador during the 2011 Gold Cup Quarterfinals on June 19, 2011 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.  Panama wins 5-3 in penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 tie.  (Photo by
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The up-and-coming Canaleros lean on Luis Tejada to put the ball in the net. The 29-year-old striker has notched 34 goals in 65 national team caps, including four scores during World Cup qualification this past fall.

The veteran Tejada figures to play a crucial role in whatever Panama's attack is able to muster against the Red, White and Blue on Wednesday.


Key Matchup: America's Young Back Line vs. Panama's Veteran Forwards

Team USA's defence held up well against Venezuela, despite the absences of Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez and George John. Michael Parkhurst and Geoff Cameron filled in valiantly alongside Heath Pierce and AJ DeLaGarza to hold La Vinotinto scoreless in Phoenix.

Doing the same to Los Canaleros will be no easy task. The attacking duo of Tejada and Blas Perez will put pressure on Klinsmann's back line all night, as will America's impotence on the attack.

If the young Americans up front can't generate much ball movement, then the task for Team USA will grow that much tougher.  


What They're Saying

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 24:  Robbie Rogers #18 of the Columbus Crew controls the ball against the Los Angeles Galaxy on September 24, 2011 at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.   (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The defection of American-born stars to Europe has continued en masse during the January transfer window, with Robbie Rogers serving as just the latest success story. According to ESPN Soccernet, the 24-year-old winger has signed for Leeds United on a free transfer from Columbus Crew of the MLS.

Leeds manager Simon Grayson said of Rogers' signing:

"We're delighted to have agreed a deal with Robbie. He's been training with us and he came to [the] Arsenal [FA Cup tie] to get a feel of the group.

"He has been playing in the MLS where he has done well, he wants to continue his career in Europe, and we believe he will make an impact here.

"As soon the work permit business is complete he will be an immediate part of our plans and have an opportunity with the first team."

The Whites will to turn to Rogers to help them in their request to move up from the Championship and back into the English Premier League.

Prediction: USA 1, Panama 0

The American attack is still a work in progress, but should be able to generate just enough action up front to score at least once while keeping Panama off the board on the other end of the pitch.