andon Donovan of the US celebrates after the US defeated Panama 1-0 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final on July 28, 2013 at Soldier Field in Chicago . (TIMOTHY CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, Ill. -- The U.S men's soccer team didn't have coach Jurgen Klinsmann or midfielder Stu Holden, but it didn't matter in the end.
With Klinsmann and his fashionable wardrobe banned from Sunday's Gold Cup final, the U.S. seemed to lack a little bit of its own style on the field. But Donovan emerged with a strong performance and Brek Shea scored in the 69th minute to seal a 1-0 victory against Panama and win the regional tournament.
Klinsmann was suspended from the game by CONCACAF after being ejected in the final minutes of the semifinal victory against Honduras. He ran to the field to congratulate his team after watching the game from a luxury box.
Shea scored just 42 seconds after coming into the game. Alejandro Bedoya made a pass to Donovan, who missed the ball. Shea got a foot on it, sending the ball past goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.
The Gold Cup championship is the Americans' first since 2007 (Mexico won the last two titles). The victory earns the U.S. a spot in a two-team playoff against the winner of the 2015 Gold Cup. The winner of those contests will clinch a berth in the 2017 Confederations Cup.
Moments after the start of the second half, Donovan's free kick found a wide-open Clarence Goodson, but the headed deflection missed the net. Minutes later, the midfielder's slicing run across the field and subsequent shot appeared to glance off a defender's hand, but no foul was called. And in the 56th minute, Donovan was unmarked on a cross to the near post, but his header missed the target.
In the 19th minute, Holden suffered a sprained knee on a collision and was forced to exit the game. But the Americans overcame the injury, and Donovan was mobbed at midfield as the final whistle blew.