Playing in the third place game was not where the US Men's National Team players and coaches envisioned themselves at the start of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. After strong performances against Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras and Panama in the group stage, and a thumping 6-0 defeat of Cuba in the quarterfinals, the USMNT seemed poised to defeat Jamaica in the Semifinals. Unfortunately, a shaky first half saw the US conceding two goals and looking inconsistent on both ends of the field. Midfielder Michael Bradley was able to rally the team at the start of the second half with an early goal, but the US was unable to level the score at the end of regulation, ending their mission of keeping the Gold Cup in the USA.
The third place match proved to be another disappointing result for the USMNT, losing to Panama 2-3 in PKs. The US trailed Panama in the first half by a goal, but Deandre Yedlin and Clint Dempsey combined to even the score at 1-1 during the second half. Clint Dempsey was awarded the Golden Ball award at the end of the tournament, having scored the most goals throughout. Brad Guzan was awarded the Golden Glove for best goalkeeper, having only allowed 5 goals during the tournament.
Even with the undesirable finish in the Gold Cup, the USMNT has important matches to prepare for in the coming months including a playoff against rivals Mexico to determine who will represent CONCACAF in the 2017 Confederations Cup. The Confederations Cup is an important warm-up for the 2018 World Cup to be held in Russia. The US also enters the fourth round of regional qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in the later months of 2015.
The USMNT plays close to home at Foxborough Stadium on September 8th in a friendly against Brazil. Tickets go on sale July 31st.