Jamaica will play against the USMNT in a key match for Group A’s first place spot on Friday, September 7, 2012 at 8:00 PM EDT at Independence Park in Kingston. Both teams are currently tied for first place with four points each. However, Jamaica has the disadvantage of having played Antigua & Barbuda and not getting all three points, as they tied 0-0 in Antigua. Jamaica knows that it needs to at least get a draw at home against the USMNT (just like Guatemala did), or it risks losing its qualification spot to Guatemala. Can the Reggae Boys pull off an upset in Kingston?
Jamaica played well at home against Guatemala, winning 2-1 but never looking in danger of not winning the match. At Antigua & Barbuda it was a completely different story, they were lucky to draw 0-0, and were inches away of an embarrassing defeat. This means that the Jamaican squad does not travel well, and will struggle (lose) when it goes to Columbus this Tuesday; Jamaica will also have a tough time in Guatemala. Thus, Jamaica has to get as many points as it can at home, and a loss against the USA would seriously cripple their chances of moving on.
Goalkeeper – Dwayne Miller (Syrianska), Jacomeno Barrett (Montego Bay United), Duwayne Kerr (Strommen).
Defenders – Shavar Thomas (Montreal Impact), Dicoy Williams (Toronto FC), Adrian Mariappa (Reading), O’Brian Woodbine (Vaasan Palloseura), Jermaine Taylor (Houston Dynamo), Andrae Campbelll (Nottodden), Nyron Nosworthy (Watford), Lovel
Palmer (Portland Timbers).
Midfielders – Dane Richards (Vancouver Whitecaps), JeVaughn Watson (Houston Dynamo), Errol Stevens (Arnett Gardens FC), Rodolph Austin (Leeds United), Jason Morrison (Aaelsund), Ewan Grandison (Portmore United), Joel Senior (Harbour View)
Forwards – Darren Mattocks (Vancouver Whitecaps), Omar Cummings (Colorado Rapids), Kavin Bryan (Vicem Hai Phong), Ryan Johnson (Toronto FC), Luton Shelton (Karabukspor), Tramaine Stewart (Aaelsund)
The USMNT is a squad filled with talent, way beyond what Jamaica has to offer: from the 25 players, only five play in the MLS, three in the Liga MX, and the rest in different European teams. The goal is protected by a trusty Tim Howard, the defense has a lot of experience (albeit a little slow), the midfield is fair, with the likes of Jose Francisco Torres and Brek Shea, the offense is composed of Dempsey and Herculez Gomez, two very talented strikers. Yes, the USMNT is missing Bradley and Donovan, two key players, but this squad has enough talent to do well without their presence (against Jamaica anyways).
Last time at Guatemala the USMNT didn’t look so well: after a good first half, it let the Guatemalans control the ball and eventually tie the score. Being the team’s first away match, it can be understandable that the players struggled with the rowdy home crowd and difficult field conditions. Against Jamaica, the crowd will not be as loud or hostile, the US should display a better game than it did in Guatemala.
Prediction: The US squad has too much talent, plus it has already faced a tough Central America trip and survived, Kingston will seem like paradise compared to Guatemala City. Expect the USMNT to come out with the initiative and pressure the Jamaican squad. In the end, the US will be too much for the local team, and will get an important away victory. The score will be Jamaica 0 – USA 2.
Television: The Jamaica vs USA match will be shown on beIN Sport this Friday, September 7 at 8:00 PM Eastern.
Note: Marco Rodriguez (a.k.a. Chiquimarco) will be the referee, lets wait and see if he pulls any shenanigans.