CHICAGO (Sporting Alert) — After topping defending champions Mexico to book a place in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup final, Panama will try for another famous victory when they take on the United States at Soldier Field on Sunday.
Watch CONCACAF Gold Cup final: USA v Panama at 3:30 PM ET on FOX
Sunday’s clash will be a repeat of the 2005 championship game which the United States came away winners on penalties.
After an impressive showing in the group stage and two wins over Mexico in the tournament, Panama head coach Julio Dely Valdes is hoping his team can maintain its hot form for another game.
“Lifting the trophy would the perfect game, independent on how we play,” Valdes said at a press conference on Saturday.
“That’s the maximum goal, the objective here. Even if we play very, very bad, but we lift it, but that would be the perfect game.”
Panama have been discipline for the most part at the tournament and Valdes doesn’t intend to change anything.
“We’re going to try not to change many things,” he said. “You can’t really change anything drastically at this point.
“We have to continue to be the same since that has gotten us this far. But we also know the U.S., the team that we’re facing tomorrow also is unlike previous games that we played against them.”
The United States, in the meantime, will be without head coach Jurgen Klinsmann at the sideline after the German coach was suspended by CONCACAF for his dismissal from his 3-1 semifinal win over Honduras in the semis on Wednesday.
However, he doesn’t expect his touchline absence to affect his team too much, revealing that they will be pushing hard to land this year’s trophy.
“We want to win this thing badly,” Klinsmann said. “I’ve said that from the beginning on. We want to keep growing.
“This is a group that went through a lot of pain through the last four weeks. They have hard and dedicated work. You want them to be rewarded.”
Captain DaMarcus Beasley is also determined not to let Klinsmann’s band affect them.
“We can’t let that affect us,” said Beasley. “We have to go out and play our game. [Klinsmann] gives us the tactics, but at the same time we know how to play football, we know how he wants us to play.
“I’m sure he’ll be cheering us on from wherever he’s sitting.”