FOOTBALL: U.S. pummels Panama, 5-0, in CONCACAF Champs

U.S. midfield star Rose Lavelle

In an uncompetitive and uninteresting game, the no. 1-ranked U.S. women’s team overwhelmed Panama, 5-0, in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship in front of 7,532 at Shalen’s Stadium in Cary, North Carolina on Sunday.

After a 6-0 win against Mexico in its opener, the U.S. opened the scoring in the fifth minute as Sam Mewis came forward to head in a corner from Christen Press past 17-year-old Panama keeper Yenith Bailey.

The American side played nearly the entire half in the Panama end and scored again in the 23rd minute on a Carli Lloyd header from a Press corner kick, then again in the 29th minute by Lloyd, who turned in the box and ripped a right-footed shot into the goal. Those were Lloyd’s 103rd and 104th career goals for the U.S.

Press then scored in the 32nd minute, on a turnover and a solo dribble and shot for a 4-0 lead at half, with the U.S. again not allowing an opponent shot in the first half (17-0 this time). The final shot count was 35-4.

The U.S. got a fifth goal after half, in the 48th minute, on a Lloyd header for a hat trick, this time on a header off a Rose Lavelle free kick that traveled right to left in front of the goal.

Bailey was pounded continuously throughout the game and considering the terrible defense in front of her, played pretty well and stopped the U.S. multiple times. The U.S. also had multiple misses and the score could have been 8-0 in the first half alone. In its two games, the U.S. has out-shot its opponents by 28-0 in the first half and 58-7 in the two games combined.

The U.S. made nine changes to its starting line-up from the first game, but the result was essentially the same. With two wins and an 11-0 scoring margin, the U.S. is through to the second round and will have a better idea of who its opponent might be after Monday’s Group B games. The remaining schedule:

∙ Group A:

4 October:
Panama 3, Trinidad & Tobago 0
United States 6, Mexico 0

7 October:
United States 5, Panama 0
Mexico 4, Trinidad & Tobago 1

10 October:
Panama vs. Mexico
United States vs. Trinidad & Tobago (7:30 p.m. Eastern time, on FS1 and UDN)
(Games at Shalen’s Stadium: Cary, North Carolina)

∙ Group B:

5 October:
Canada 2, Jamaica 0
Costa Rica 8, Cuba 0

8 October:
Costa Rica vs. Jamaica
Canada vs. Cuba

11 October:
Cuba vs. Jamaica
Costa Rica vs. Canada
(Games at H-E-B Park: Edinburg, Texas)

The top two teams out of each group will advance to the semifinals at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The stakes in this tournament are high: the top three teams will qualify directly to the 2019 World Cup, with a fourth team moving into a play-off, with that winner to qualify.

All of the tournament games will be shown on FS1 or FS2, as well as Univision. The semis will be on 14 October and the finals on 17 October.

The U.S. now has an unbeaten streak of 23 (20-0-3) games since a loss to Australia in mid-2017. In 2018, the U.S. women are 13-0-2 and have outscored their opponents, 47-10. The U.S. women are now 2-0-0 vs. Panama; the only prior game was in 2002.

This is the 10th edition of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, first held in 1991. The U.S. has dominated the event, winning in 1991-93-94-2000-02-06-14 and taking the bronze medal in 2010. All-time, the American women have now compiled a 29-1-0 record in this tournament (169-5 on goals scored!), losing only in 2010 and did not compete in 1999 as an automatic qualifier for the World Cup as the host country. Canada won the 1998 and 2010 tournaments.

Look for the scores here.