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SOCCER ROUNDUP

U.S. defeats Panama, 2-1, to reach semifinals

Kenny Cooper's penalty kick in the 105th minute is the difference. Honduras beats Canada, 1-0, on a penalty kick.

July 19, 2009|Associated Press

With only one regular in the starting lineup, the United States rallied past Panama into the semifinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Kenny Cooper converted a penalty kick midway through overtime in the 105th minute, giving the two-time defending champions a 2-1 victory at Philadelphia and a semifinal berth against Honduras.

"It was ideal to finish it off in regulation, but it took 30 extra minutes and that still says something about this group," U.S. Coach Bob Bradley said.

Blas Perez put Panama ahead in first-half stoppage time, but Kyle Beckerman tied the score in the 49th minute.

Cooper was kicked in the stomach by Roman Torres as they went for the ball, and the penalty was awarded by Mexican referee Benito Archundia. Goalkeeper Jaime Penedo guessed correctly and dived to his right, but Cooper's low kick went in off the post.

Forward Brian Ching was the only U.S. regular on the field, with the others dispersed to their clubs or on vacation ahead of the European season.

Jimmy Conrad, captain of the U.S. team for the game, left the field in the 44th minute after he was hit in the face, which drew blood.

Honduras advanced with a 1-0 victory over Canada in which Walter Martinez converted a penalty kick in the 36th minute.

Martinez was trying a bicycle kick when Paul Staltieri was caught pulling on his jersey by referee Joel Aguilar.

An announced 31,087 attended the doubleheader.

In today's other quarterfinal doubleheader, Guadeloupe plays Costa Rica and Mexico plays Haiti in the first sporting event at the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium at Arlington, Texas.

The semifinals are Thursday in Chicago.

Sturridge leads Chelsea

Daniel Sturridge scored in the 12th minute and assisted on Frank Lampard's goal later in the first half to help Chelsea FC open its preseason tour of America with a 2-0 exhibition win over the host Seattle Sounders FC in front of 65,289.

Sturridge, 19, was making his debut after an off-season move from Manchester City, and he helped make a winner out of new Coach Carlo Ancelotti, who took over the Blues in an off-season move from AC Milan.

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