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USA Gets Win They Needed Against Jamaica

The U.S. Men’s National Team grabbed the biggest win in Jurgen Klinsmann’s U.S. reign last night as they beat Jamaica 1-0 thanks to a goal from Herculez Gomez. With the win, the USA who moved to the top of Group A with two rounds of matches left.

The first 45 minutes was as good a performance that I have seen a US side put in, in a long time. On the 11-year anniversary of Sept. 11th, backed by a loud and boisterous crowd at Crew Stadium the American’s took the game to Jamaica from the opening whistle and could have scored five or six; hitting the woodwork three times and forcing Jamaica’s goalkeeper Dwayne Miller into a couple of brilliant saves.

The U.S. did not get frustrated at not scoring, despite dominating play, and took a well deserved lead in the 55th minute when Gomez’ free kick was pushed into his own net by Miller. Considering the saves that he had made earlier in the game, it was a very soft goal to concede from Miller’s stand point.

After scoring, I expected the U.S. to go on an get a couple more, instead they took their foot off the pedal and allowed the Reggae Boyz to get back into the game.

And this is a disturbing theme to the U.S. play. They seem uncomfortable playing with a lead. Time and time again in World Cup qualifying already, we have seen the U.S. fail to hold onto a led, and they nearly allowed Jamaica to steal this one at the end. It is something that Klinsmann will have to work on, especially in the final qualifying round if the U.S. are to make it to Brazil in 2014.

So after four rounds of play, group A looks like this:

Team MP W D L GF GA Pts
Guatemala 4 2 1 1 6 4 7
USA 4 2 1 1 6 4 7
Jamaica 4 2 1 1 4 3 7
Antigua and Barbuda 4 0 1 3 2 7 1

The remaining two fixtures are to be played next month when on Oct 12 the USA travels to Antigua and Barbuda while Guatemala hosts Jamaica. Then four days later Jamaica hosts Antigua and Barbuda while the USA plays Guatemala in Kansas City.

Both the USA and Jamaica should beat Antigua and Barbuda, so the group comes down to the two Guatemala matches. If the US wins that one they will advance. A loss opens up a lot of scenario’s depending on how the Guatemala v Jamaica game goes.