World Cup Qualifying

Jamaica rallies from early deficit to earn first win over USMNT


photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com


For a second straight month, Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. men's national team made history, but this time the result was not one they wish to remember.

Weeks after beating Mexico for the first time in a friendly at Azteca Stadium, the United States resumed its World Cup qualifying campaign by suffering a surprising 2-1 loss to Jamaica at National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica on Friday night. The defeat was the Americans' first to Jamaica in 19 games and put them three points behind the Reggae Boyz in Group A.

Clint Dempsey got the U.S. team off to a dream start by scoring 36 seconds in, but the Jamaicans rallied with a pair of free kick goals. Randolph Austin netted the equalizer in the opening 45 minutes and Luton Shelton scored the winner in the second half against a United States side that seemed to lack ideas in the final third.

The Americans now have four points at the halfway point of the third round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. They will not have to wait long to get a shot at redemption against the group-leading Reggae Boyz, as the two teams will square off at Columbus Crew Stadium on Tuesday.

Playing in a 4-4-2 and without key players Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley, the United States came out of the gate flying. Herculez Gomez made a run down the right side of the penalty area before unleashing a pair of shots on goal that were blocked but not cleared. That allowed Dempsey to pounce on a rebound and put the ball in the back of the net from eight yards out in his first game at any level in nearly three months.

Jamaica were unable to muster up much of a response offensively, as the trio of Jermaine Jones, Kyle Beckerman and Maurice Edu helped negate the hosts' speed. The three defense-minded midfielders, however, had issues keeping the ball for the United States and that helped the physical Jamaicans enjoy some good spells in possession.

The Americans were forced to make a number of fouls to stymie the likes of Shelton and Ryan Johnson and Jamaica took advantage. Following a foul from Beckerman, Austin struck a low free kick in the 24th minute that deflected off of the midfielder's foot before rolling past Tim Howard.

Austin's goal gave Jamaica some much-needed momentum heading into the intermission and it also carried over into the second half despite Geoff Cameron and the rest of the U.S. back line holding steady from the run of play.

That was until another foul in a bad spot was conceded, this time by Edu, to give Jamaica another free kick from just outside the penalty area. Shelton then beat Howard with a free kick to put Jamaica up 2-1 in the 62nd minute.

The U.S. team tried to throw numbers forward as the match wore on but their inability to create clear chances allowed Jamaica to secure the three points with relative ease, evoking the Jamaican fans to run onto the field after the final whistle to celebrate the historic win with their team.


What do you think of the United States' 2-1 loss to Jamaica? What was the main problem in the defeat and what needs to change before the next match? How worried are you right now?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Since 82

    Amen. Especially when you consider the emerging talent and depth of our striker pool. We are playing into opponents hands by fielding overly defensive lineups.

    I will say it again too … Freddy Adu should be on this team. Period. He has a role.


  • Zac

    I can see you have a very short memory. Beckerman had a very good pass that freed up Edu to make that pass to Herc. There is your one good ball.

    In all seriousness, I completely agree that Beckerman was hurting us out there with his lack of pace and the fouls he was committing in bad spots to compensate, but I’m so sick and tired about myopic fans overlooking all of the good work he has put in over the last year. He is the kind of distributor out of the back that Edu, Jones, and Williams cannot hope to be. Bradley is a better distributor, sure, but we need him further up field.

    Face it, Beckerman was exposed by the superior pace of the Jamaicans, but few teams in the world are going to have that kind of pace all over the field.


  • Zac

    Did you really just say that Williams has more skill connecting passes than Beckerman?! Seriously? Have you seen Williams play at all or do you just have a hard on over the fact that he plays in Germany? He has more pace than Beckerman and that is about it.

    Your assessment of Boyd vs. Jozy is off, too, although I have been pretty disappointed with Jozy in a Nats jersey, as well.


  • Zac

    One of our best players on the field during the match at Azteca. What was the result of that game, again?


  • Primoone


    Get real…that was a 4-1-2-2. Beckerman was the sole defensive mid. Jones and Edu traded off the advanced MF role. Gomez and Altidore did nothing but hang out in the last third and dempsey was given carte blanche doing nothing but poaching and minimal tracking. This happened for the majority of the minutes…which by the way is why we could not hold the ball nor connect the midfield with the attackers. That was a bunker ball selection that failed to bunker. They tried to possess the ball and wasted 3 attacking players leaving them on an island in the final third while using defensive midfielders in an advanced position. On what planet was this going to work? Black eye for Klinsi today.


  • Primoone

    Only 9 players represented in that formation because dempsey was given carte blanche however, he wasnt really doing anything after he scored that first goal. not his fault however, he was a wasted position player.


  • Old School

    Me out alone? Please, you can call me out for acknowledging reality, all you’d like.

    However, if you believe I’m alone in that, I can see why you believe Kljestan is the savior.

    See how I used hyperbole, too? It’s fun.


  • beachbum

    he can go forward better than ANY of the midfielders which played yesterday.

    you disagree? Jones goes forward better? Beckerman? Edu? Williams? please share your insights with us


  • Will

    I don’t see the problem with Klinsman, The team looked uninterested in the fight. Jamaica away in the heat on a lumpy pitch with big fast strong men bumping you all night and a ref who believes in letting play go on? No thank you sir, I’d rather go back home.

    Oh well. Kudos to Jamaica. The second free kick was almost as good as Messi’s, which I was lucky enough to catch on the other stream.


  • Clemsonuee

    The US women’s team plays and loses to teenage men’s teams all the time. I doubt they would be able to hang in vs. any full men’s team. There is a pretty big gap between the genders in soccer.


  • SweatyCosbySweater

    Well, technically your video just shows an example of a level of workrate and skill. It is hardly the literal definition of the words.


  • MJC-DC

    I never said your alone in your views, I just called out only you. Your great at twisting words, see how logic defeats your entire smug argument which in no way addresses my key point that you are just as biased against Sacha as those who favor his inclusion in the USMNT squad.


  • MJC-DC

    Could you provide some evidence of this? I try to google USWNT friendlies and didn’t find any loses to men’s teenage teams. I’ll have no problem admitting I’m wrong if you can provide some sources supporting your argument.


  • MJC-DC

    Upon reviewing the MLS.com chalkboard, I think I was wrong and you were right, surprisingly they both didn’t have horrible passing numbers, however they had a severely limited amount of touches on offense, the difference as you pointed out was Edu’s assist.


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