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Jamaica sets Gold Cup semifinal date with USMNT after edging Haiti

photo by Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports


BALTIMORE — From one Caribbean nation to the next.

The U.S. Men’s National Team will meet Jamaica in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Wednesday after the Reggae Boyz edged Haiti, 1-0, in the quarterfinals nightcap at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday. Giles Barnes scored the winner from a tight angle in the seventh minute, and the defense did the rest from there to give Jamaica a third straight shutout win.

“We knew what we was capable of, so we’re just proving ourselves right,” said Barnes. “Everyone in (the locker room) – it’s a big family, it’s a brotherhood in there – so everyone is so happy for each other. But we’ve got to just come back down, focus, rehydrate, and get ready for the U.S.”

The Americans routed Cuba, 6-0, in Saturday’s first match in Baltimore to advance to the semifinals, but Jamaica will pose a much bigger challenge in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome on Wednesday. The Reggae Boyz finished group play with an identical undefeated record as the U.S. at 2-0-1, but have won each of their last three games via 1-0 scorelines.

The U.S. has recorded two cleansheets in that same stretch, but questions still persist about the back line. Jurgen Klinsmann’s defense has been susceptible to giving up space and chances on the counter, a facet of the game that Jamaica again showed it can thrive in on Saturday.

Haiti threw numbers forward as it searched for an equalizer, but the Jamaican defense stayed compact while speedy attackers attempted to put the game on ice by hitting on the break.

“We have to understand that we have to hit them when we get those spaces because they’re a real good team and they can keep the ball,” said Jamaica left back Kemar Lawrence. “But they do give up chances like any other team, and it’s just about when our forwards get there at the right time and put in their chances away when they get them.

“If it’s one chance, then we have to put it away and do like we did tonight and let the defenders do the rest, because we’re good players, we have a lot of European players.”

The Jamaicans were on a similar good run of form the last time they played the U.S. in a Gold Cup match. They had gone a perfect 3-0 in group play in the 2011 tournament with seven goals scored and zero conceded, but the Americans eliminated Jamaica with a 2-0 win in the first-round of the knockout phase.

Jamaica is not planning on having a similar fate this time around, especially since it wants to make history by winning a first Gold Cup trophy.

“We all want more,” said Jamaica head coach Winfried Schafer. “The players want more, the coach wants more, everybody wants more. Jamaica wants more.”


What do you think about the USMNT playing Jamaica in the semifinals? How big of a test will the Reggae Boyz be for the Americans? Were you impressed by Jamaica’s 1-0 win over Haiti?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Off Topic, but a query.. I knew that Keylor Navas was injured hence the Tico’s have been without him for Gold Cup. Yet, I saw him between the pipes for Real last night. Was he not on the Costa Rican supplemental pool roster? or did they simply forego his services totally for the GC?

    • I don’t know what the manager of CR is thinking but Navas is trying to win Casillas’ old job.

      He has stiff competition so he is better off stay with Real Madrid.

  2. Any updates on beasley injury?if healthy….my back 4 would be…fabian.alvardo.brooks.beasley… counter jamaica pace….

    • what pace does Jamaica have ? stop stereotyping black players. those guys were bullied by haiti and looked slow as hell. Darren Mattock is the only player they have with Pace. They are very organized defensively and finish efficiently . they dont take 100 shots at the stands like Haiti. We will have to score our chances when we get them or hope a long range strike finds net.Jamaica does not get broken down in the box but they give up lots of space outside the box for long range shots. Mattocks will be back for the next game and he could be a problem for our slower defenders.

      • Haiti were more talented than Jamaica.

        They main thing they needed was someone to figure out how to unlock the Jamaica defense, a guy like Keane, Valeri, etc.

        Even without a guy like that they probably should have at least tied Jamaica if they had been just a bit more lucky.

      • Sure haiti is more talented.. thats why Jamaica beat them last year in the caribbean cup and thats why they have not beaten Jamaica in their last 18 meetings. 1. it looks like the Jamaicans are tired after playing in Copa America and Haiti still couldn’t unlock their backline so they resorted to wild shooting.

      • Jamaica is assuredly not slow. They were chasing, and in bad heat. They also look footsore and like they’re hitting a physical wall. Mattocks is the one with crazy, insane pace, yeah, but a whole bunch of the others sure run well. Of course, the same could be said for Haiti.

        Haiti has shocked me, how good they’re looking right now. The final product isn’t there, as a lot have pointed out, and they’ve always had really good athletes, but right now their organization, technical ability, and passing is top-drawer…if they could just finish they wouldn’t just be a threat to make the Hex they’d be a genuine threat to win it. Somebody has done a superlative job with that bunch because they sure didn’t look like that two years ago. Could it be that the likes of El Salvador and Guatamala have been passed by the Island nations? Sure looks like it.

        Jamaica, like I said, is probably hitting the wall physically. They’re not a deep squad, they haven’t rotated much, and I think they’re starting to break down. I also question how well, or how professionally, they’re recovering after matches. Games 3, 4, and 5 is where really athletic teams that can’t possess – especially those from Feds with limited resources – really tend to start coming unglued as lack of depth and lack of logistical support start really raising their head. How much will they have left in the tank for the USA? I admire the Jamaican team and what they’ve accomplished and they look like they could also be a pain in World Cup qualifying…but much like African nations in the World Cup, I do question their ability to sustain a prolonged tournament.

        I still think it’ll be tough, but I’ll take the ugliest of 1-0 wins over Jamaica and smile about it. To heck with style points at this juncture; survive and advance. And book our spot in the Confeds Cup in two years.

      • Jamaica also has record of beating teams like El Salvadore and Guatemala, its Haiti and Trinidad that has finally stepped out. outside of USA and Mexico they other teams have been up and down. none of them have been consistently better than the caribbean teams even with their poor infrastructures. the HEX will be a dog fight because the gap is rapidly closing among the regions teams.

      • Yes, a dog fight with the US winning the Hex once again. But before that, when they tie or lose a game, the earth will be falling for many, PSSS.

      • re: Jamaican pace, ‘pace’ is commonly misused. it has almost become a word with multiple meanings. but specifically ‘pace’ is the ability to run with the ball quickly. so it’s not precisely just speed, acceleration or quickness, rather a combo of all three while on the ball. so in ghost’s statement I feel he was referring to the general speed Jamaica does possess. whilst not elite speed they are athletic and by no means a ‘slow’ team. imho they do not have the technical ability to run vastly with the ball thus they’re ‘pace’ isn’t the best but their mean team speed is generally on the higher end.

        fwiw i only chose to explain this because of the “stop stereotyping…” etc. I don’t think saying ‘Jamaica is a fast team’ is particularly wrong or stereotyping. perhaps he used the word ‘pace’ instead of ‘speed’.

        also, i will admit that they don’t currently have the fastest team in their history but, having personally watched a lot of Jamaican soccer over the years, they generally have good to great team speed.

      • Haven’t you ever heard of Usain Bolt?

        ……. Before I get flamed by the politically correct police, I’m kidding.

  3. Should we start corona over beckerman,he has more pace and he is good with the possesion game.He’s played the position before…….

  4. Timmy Chandler has talent for sure but I don’t know if I trust him in a tight must win game. I would go with John, Omar, Fabian and either Damarcus or Brad over Timmy.

    • Chandler’s defending has all the fans in an uproar, but we saw last night why JK keeps going to him. It was his cross that found Dempsey for the first and most important goal. Chandler can shoot or cross with either foot, and my guess is he’ll be in the starting 11 vs. Jamaica.

      • yea Chandler is an interesting player. he has the talent to help in the attack as you mentioned but he just hasn’t really clicked on defense. he gets caught ball watching more than anything. If he’s decided to act he can usually close a player down and tackle the ball solidly well. it’s just his knack to flip the attention switch off every now and then that’s a real killer; it’s usually accompanied with a “Sloth”-faced look of disappointment. (10 credits to anyone who gets the reference).

      • A lot of fans are being harsh towards Chandler. He hasn’t been at fault for a goal all summer, while Alvarado has been responsible for around 3 boneheaded errors.

        Chandler’s become the new whipping boy like Jones was at times last cycle. Klinsmann is sticking with him for a reason.

      • The more that Chandler runs up and down that flank, the more dangerous our offense will become. JK sees him as a continuing upside dangerous fullback. He has the speed/quickness to recover quickly and frequency of his mental errors will diminish as his maturity and comfort levels rise.

        JK has selectively picked diamonds in the rough and is in a process to develop them in this cycle. Alvarado, Brooks, Chandler, Yedlin specifically. I’m excited and all for it. The inclusion of Beasley is a serious function of this process, as even in training, his mentorship highly benefits these youngsters.. even the CB’s but especially the outside players.

  5. Like in the US game, Haiti played well, created quite a few chances, but just lacked that finishing touch. I think the controlled the ball more than when they played the US. Jamaica will be tough, but we should go through to the final. The biggest problem will be to have our back line getting caught too far forward, combined with turnovers.


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