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Gold Cup Rewind: Jamaica matches Costa Rica; Canada and El Salvador go scoreless

Garath McCleary Costa Rica Jamaica (USA TODAY Sports)


Costa Rica may have won a Group of Death at the World Cup last year, but the side could only manage a 2-2 draw against the lowly Jamaica on Wednesday.

Jamaica scored first in the 13th minute, when Kemar Lawrence fired a shot into the roof of the net from a long throw-in that bounced into the box and over a Costa Rican defender.

Roy Miller equalized for Costa Rica in the 33rd minute off of a set piece, as Bryan Ruiz’s free-kick pass on the ground found David Ramirez on the right side of the box before the latter flicked up a cross in for Miller to head home past Jamaican goalkeeper Dwayne Miller.

Costa Rica then quickly took the lead, with Ramirez turning from provider into the goal-scorer in the 37th minute. Celso Borges launched a ball from the halfway line into the box, and Ramirez flicked it over Jamaica’s Miller to put his side up 2-1.

Jamaica evened the score again in the 48th minute thanks to a strike from Jobi McAnuff. McAnuff displayed a fantastic solo effort just after the restart as he dribbled through the Costa Rican defense before firing one into the bottom right corner of the net.

In the other half of the Group B action earlier Wednesday evening, El Salvador played Canada to a scoreless draw.

The story in the match was the outrageous miss from young Orlando City star Cyle Larin, who dribbled around the keeper in the 36th minute before blasting his shot into the crowd.

Both teams failed to produce attacking quality in critical moments. In the end, the scoreless draw was nothing less than deserved between the two sides.

El Salvador had a few sniffs at goal, with one coming from a Richard Menjivar run into the area and others coming after Canadian goalkeeper Kenny Stamatopoulos created issues for himself with some questionable decisions throughout the night.

The teams will be in group action again on Saturday, as Jamaica takes on Canada and Costa Rica plays El Salvador.


  1. Cuba honestly can use there entire roster in this match. There’s only 3 field players on the bench. Gold Cup group stage is just kind of sad.

  2. Carlos Ruiz with an obvious stamp on the Trinidad goalkeeper at the end of the game, and the referee completely misses it. Then color commentator Cobi Jones gives el Pescadito a pass because he’s a “former teammate.” CONCACAF is a joke. Anywhere else, this is a straight red card, and Ruiz doesn’t see the field for the rest of the tournament.

    • Glad I wasn’t the only one who saw that! I ended up buying a month of Fox Soccer2Go just so I can watch these FS2 matches (I get really into the Gold Cup lol) and it had a ‘commentator’ on there who only talked if there was a shot on goal, so I was left to watch without any commentary (which wasn’t terrible), so I had no one to confirm my suspicions of what I saw…

      But yeah, T&T keeper makes an outstanding play to get out and smother the ball before Ruiz gets there and Ruiz, who could have easily gotten out of the way, stamps on their keeper not once, but twice. Then he conveniently “gets hurt” on the fall after the stamp so the ref won’t give him a yellow or red. SMH

  3. Jamaica is dangerous when they actually play a high line. Actually, if I’m Jamaica, I don’t just play a high line, I pull my CB’s all the way up to midfield and DARE anybody to try to go over my head. I mean…I’m Jamaica. I have the fastest humans on Planet Earth, so I’m going to play on your end of the field, and if you’ve got a problem with that, why, just chuck one long and go for it. See how that works out for ya.

    Jamaica dominated the first 35, got a deserved goal…then gave up a soft goal because they forgot to mark on a set-piece…and then forgot how fast they were, dropped off, let CR do those cut little triangles in front of their centerbacks – no, no, no, Jamaica, Saborio and even Campbell are not just going to run past you – and promptly gave up another. At halftime they remembered they were, well, Jamaica, got their line up high again, contested possession in the middle of the park, and began to dominate. Jamaica will be dangerous if they continue to do that; they’re crazy athletic and far more technical than they used to be. You can tell playing in Copa America a couple weeks back did wonders for their game; wish we’d been there.

    Costa Rica does not look like the same team – or nearly the same – without Pinto. And their new coach thought Roy Miller is a centerback, with predictable results. Is it just me, or does Roy Miller have the kind of demeanor that would lend one to a successful Bobblehead likeness? I suspect it was actually the Roy Miller Bobblehead on the field last night, since it was Roy Miller who not only scored Costa Rica’s first goal on an unlikely header but also just sort of stood there, well, bobbing when Jamaica scored theirs and went past him like Very Fast Cars blowing past a traffic cone. It would explain a lot.

    I don’t think, unless they kiss and make nice with Pinto, that Costa Rica will be winning any Gold Cups, or advancing to the Round of 8 in World Cups, this next cycle…whereas Jamaica is my pick for the dark horse Gold Cup finalist, like Panama the last time around. If they can keep their current form – always an interesting question, with Jamaica – they could also make the Hex again and qualify for the World Cup. They’re good enough…on their good nights, anyhow.

    And Oh My Word does Canada play some stodgy soccer. They have more talent than they used to – actually a lot more – but they still somehow come out with the same trudging demeanor they always had, and at no point convince anybody they’re actually aware they’re at an important, competitive sporting event they actually have a chance at winning, much less demonstrate that they have any particular interest in actually winning it. They’re 3-and-done…again. Which is disappointing…a good Canuck team might actually lend CONCACAF some much-needed credibility.

    El Salvador might squeak into the knockouts as a 3rd-place team but they looked like Round of 8 roadkill. Arturo Alvarez can still really play, though, and he didn’t knee anybody in the ‘nads last night.

    • Canada would have been much better with a Teal Bunburry on the field…Oh, wait! He chose to play for the U.S. because we actually look like we give a crap when we are in a tournament. When will they realize that your attitude and performances in these kinds of tournaments are your biggest recruiting tools to get the next generation of Canucks to play for the glory of the shirt. If I were a kid trying to decide if I was going to play for Canada or some other place like say…Jamaica/Holland/England, last night’s and the last decade to be honest are not strong recruiting tools. Honestly, Canada has so many dual nationals available to them but they will NEVER get any of them to play for the Maple Leaf if they keep coming out playing like this.

      Maybe they need their own version of Jeürgen Klinsman ;-]

    • Except for 2000, Canada has seemed to play like the sum is less than the whole of its parts. They seem to lack spirit or intensity or grit or something. I agree about Jamaica and wrote similar before I read your post.

  4. As for the results from the first games in Group B, I disagree with the writer (and with most pundits) who don’t think Jamaica can get out of this group. They can absolutely make it through this group. They’ve got speed and enough technical ability to get it done.

    I’m obviously a USMNT fan first, but I do pull for the Caribbean nations (especially Jamaica and T&T) to do well because I think it brings a different dynamic to CONCACAF. The English-speaking Caribbean islands play differently (emphasis on speed) than all the Central American CONCACAF nations, and I just think it adds a new wrinkle to the mix.

    • Jamaica and Costa Rica will make it thru.
      Anybody that watched Jamaica in the Copa America knows how well coached they are and what they lack in technical skills they make up for with strength and speed.

    • Here, here!

      I enjoy watching the blazing speed and raw power of the Caribbean Nations in these tourneys… It’s sloppy, a bit dangerous (Aerial challenges/Tackling) at times but a heck of a lot of fun to watch. I was commenting to my wife that there is so many “non-standard” things that the islanders do when they play (flicks/tricks/positioning/formations) that they add a dynamic that you don’t see often in tournament play from EUFA, AFC and CONMEBOL. Honestly I think our region has the most variety style wise. There are so many matchups that are Cobra vs. Crane or Tiger vs. Mantis or something altogether different.

    • A couple of days ago in SBI there was an article previewing all the teams in the GC. One post said that Jamaica played well against Argentina and could surprise some people in the Gold Cup. Well, they did and they are better than a lot of people expect. I must admit I am the one who wrote that about Jamaica the other day.

      Jamaica has always been blessed with fast, athletic players, but always seemed to be let down by lack of organization and poor defense. I thought they looked much better during the last round of WC qualifying in 2012 and 2013, but I think they were rather unlucky to not do better. Now they have added Giles Barnes, so they could make noise both in the GC and in the next round of WC qualifying.

  5. Would’ve loved to watch the Jamaica game last night (their games are usually exciting due to their speed), but of course I couldn’t because it was on FS2.

    Seriously, does ANYONE get FS2? Color me unimpressed with Fox’s coverage of soccer the last few years. No reason not to put the whole tournament on FS1, not just the U.S. and Mexico games.

    • I get FS2. It is one of the sorriest channels on TV. Low def rubbish the makes you feel like you are in a bad part of eastern Europe.

    • I paid for 2 months of fs2 so i could see the u20 tourn, and everything in July. But i live in the Dominican Republic, and dont have many viewing options

    • Unimas all the way man. I think I would have had to upgrade twice to get FS2….what a lousy channel.

  6. Canada is just God awful team to watch. Big, strong, fast and athletic but lacking the most basic of soccer skills. Costa Rica, El Salvador and Jamaica at least look like they work on their soccer skills. Canada goes from the gym straight into the field to hit whatever moves.

    • I was thinking the same thing, which is why it’s mind-boggling that they hired a Spaniard to manage them. Canada isn’t close to ready to play that kind of soccer. What they need is someone like Bob Bradley.

    • That is almost the definition of hockey, except you have to learn to skate first. Never mind the $^&*^*^*### puck! check him!

    • It’s weird their national team plays like this. They have a lot of talent performing very well in league/MLS. Cyle Larin for example has some great goals in MLS and he has 5 goals in his last 8 appearances.

      • Apparently Floro decided to not play their first choice midfielders because he wanted to rest them for the Jamaica and Costa Rica games, so that added to Canada’s lack of cohesion as well.

  7. Yep, Costa Rica looked so so and Jamaica had a few chances to win the game in the end. I don’t know if it was first game nerves but Canada didn’t look so sharp either against a so so El Salvador team.

  8. Costa Rica is just average without the coach they had during the World Cup. I don’t know if there was drama or money issues, but they should have never let him go. He made them relevant. He is also helping Honduras become a more dangerous team. Pinto?

    • Agreed 100% even with the injuries there is some talent on that team.
      But it barely even mattered.

      Honduras on the other hand hung in there against the US very nicely.


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