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James Sands stands out as Matt Miazga emerges as the villain! Winners and losers from the USMNT's Gold Cup loss to Panama

Miazga USMNT Panama 2023Getty

Shootouts are often described as a lottery, even if there is a bit more to it than that. Still, even if you are of the belief that spot-kicks are little more than a coin flip, it's hard to argue that the Soccer Gods got it wrong in Wednesday night's Gold Cup semifinal.

Panama are through and the U.S. men's national team will head home. Through 120 minutes, Los Canaleros were the better team and the shootout only confirmed it. As the USMNT tried their darndest to unsettle their opponents in the shootout, Thomas Christiansen's side held their nerve. Deserved finalists, for sure.

The U.S., meanwhile, crash out, failing to make the Gold Cup final for only the second time in the last 20 years. It's a disappointing end, for sure. Say what you want about the quality of the team fielded at this summer's tournament, but that should've still been enough for the U.S. to look better than this in a game of this magnitude.

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They didn't and now they're done. This was a game where few stepped up or stood out as Panama, largely, controlled the match. Not many USMNT players rose to the occasion, although there is a built-in excuse of the 120 minutes played against Canada. That excuse will only carry them so far, though. This was a team that could have - and should have - done more.

GOAL takes a look at the winners and losers from the USMNT's loss to Panama: