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USMNT falls to Jamaica for first loss under Berhalter

WASHINGTON, D.C. — For the first time under Gregg Berhalter, the U.S. Men’s National Team suffered defeat on Wednesday night. Not only did they suffer defeat, but the team lacked creativity in the final third and failed to pose much of a threat.

Shamar Nicholson’s long range blast was enough for Jamaica to defeat the USMNT 1-0 at Audi Field in the first of two pre-Gold Cup friendlies. It was the first defeat for the USMNT since December 2018 and one that will be examined closely by Berhalter and his staff before Sunday’s match against Venezuela.

A sluggish first-half saw Jamaica have the better offensive opportunities.

Dever Orgill’s early attempt lacked the power to beat Zack Steffen while Alvas Powell headed Kemar Lawrence’s cross over the bar after the half-hour mark.

Kevon Lambert created space to take a rip towards goal but Steffen caught the effort cleanly.

Antonee Robinson got on the end of Cristian Roldan’s cross in the 44th-minute, but headed over the bar on the USMNT’s only effort on goal.

Steffen’s first real test came in the 54th-minute as Orgill’s shot was punched away by the former Columbus Crew keeper.

The Reggae Boyz would take the lead in the 60th-minute, thanks to a super strike from substitute Nicholson. Nicholson cut onto his right foot from 28-yards out and blasted a shot over the outstretched glove of Zack Steffen for his first senior goal.

Duane Holmes made his USMNT debut by coming on after halftime and almost made an immediate impact. The Derby County midfielder set up Josh Sargent after a corner but the striker would hit his effort wide.

Andre Blake made his lone save of the match in the 89th-minute, pushing away a low drive from Sargent. Holmes played a ball into the feet of Sargent who was able to turn and shoot low, but Blake was up to the task.

Eight players missed out for the USMNT on Wednesday, including Weston McKennie, Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley and Tyler Boyd. Walker Zimmerman was the lone player who did not feature off the bench for Berhalter’s side.

Berhlater will trim his roster to 23 players by midnight for the Concacaf Gold Cup which begins on June 18th for the USMNT.


  1. This game was straight sad. Even Steffen had a couple questionable plays, Dec need to step up if he wants to be on Navas level.

  2. Cant wait to see the cuts.
    Robinson was absolutely terrible.

    Holmes was impressive.
    First time ive seen him.

    Any American Outlaws out there? Change up your lame one chant from last cycle. Havent seen life in that group since ’14.

    • Robinson was worse last time. I saw some mild improvement. But… the popular “he can play a cross” argument that is frequently made on this site (by people who do not watch him actually play) was laid bare a bit.

      • Honestly i may have said it on this site – yea his first couple of caps, thought he had potential with his crossing.

        His recent showings and especially after tonight, smell you later. See what this roster looks like tomorrow….

  3. If Greg Berhalter doesn’t win the gold cup he should be fired. Tab Ramos should be the next coach he already knows the players like sargent weah and pullisic which will be the future along with the current u20 team whom Ramos is coaching very well.

  4. Geez.

    So after taking a break from the USMNT after the debacle inT&T, earlier today, I decided to take my kid to the game. What the heck, I figured, it’s here in DC at Audi Field, and we don’t get to see the team often in person, so why not head down to renew my support. We threw on our Waldo jerseys, and settled in for the game at DCU’s lovely stadium.

    But what a debacle on the field. Bad touches, misplayed passes, nothing creative going forward, and a complete inability to beat Jamaica when they pressed. As my kid said, when our main offensive strategy is to pass the ball back to Omar, the slowest guy on the field, we’re in trouble.

    Now, as I told a buddy who also happened to be at the game, I know that this wasn’t the A squad. Still, it was so disheartening to see such an awful performance. Made me wonder if I’ve been missing anything by not paying attention while waiting for the team to reload.

  5. Here is my opinion, and I have no professional experience to back it up, just 20 years of religiously following our USMNT:

    We are failing so often in CONCACAF now because every team we play has that grit that we used to have while we expect to win with nothing more than skill. If we are going to cash in on all the talent that is coming through the ranks right now, then we need to reinstill that inate desire to fight for absolutely everything. It was a hallmark of the USMNT from before 1990. We fought for everything. That became our greatest attribute. Then in 2002 we got an injection of talent in Donovan, Beasley and Claudio Reyna. Over the next decade, Dempsey, Donovan (in the big games), Jermaine Jones, Brian McBride (through about 2006), and MB showed what we could accomplish when we got a bit of skill to compliment all that grit, in the form of great accomplishments in the 2009 Confederations Cup (2nd Place), 2010 World Cup (Top of the group for the first time ever), and the 2014 WC (qualifying out of the Group of Death). Unfortunately, that blue-collar attitude and grit has eroded over the last several years (I blame JK, who just never understood the importance of that identity), culminating in the sad mess we are now.

    I seriously hope that GB remembers those days and sits this team down to show them some of those old games.

    In case you dont know or have forgotten what that fight used to look like, i recommend looking up the highlights from USA v Germany in 2002 WC, US vs Spain in 2009, US v slovenia and Algeria in 2010, and US v Germany in 2014 WC. Oh and literally anything on Brian McBride.

    • Do you think that it could be a generational thing? I agree with you that the desire to win tackles,50/50s, and the overall hatred of losing is seemingly lost to this generation of players. NOT ALL OF THEM, but from what i witnessed tonight, there seems to be too many that take their position on the team for granted.
      I hope they arent looking for a participation trophy at the Gold Cup.

      • I know what you mean Mr K but i really dont think that has too much to do with it personally, other than that most the the team today never learned that mentality first hand. I say that because even most of the leftover players from the pre-klinsmann time lost that fire when playing for the nats, with bradley being the most evident change in my mind. JK came from a background in Germany that could rely almost entirely on talent and tactics, so they never had to fight for respect, so i cant truly blame him for not recognizing how much we really needed that. He tried to change us into what we all thought we needed to be, myself included, but i never realized that would come at the cost of us forgetting what had gotten us to that point, i just thought we would keep that and build on it with the slow influx of talent and european influenced tactics.

    • Solid post, Swiftly, and spot on. And the problem is that what we have lost in grit in the last decade has not been counter-balanced by the marginal improvement in skill level. Even if we had 11 Pulisic-level players on the field, you need to be ready for a knife fight at each Concacaf game. The USMNT has been showing up with a spork in recent years.

      • No real disagreements here, though I would say claiming the US team has lost its “grit” over the last decade is a little overboard (frankly, I thought the Belgium and Ghana games at WC 2014 were a high-water mark for ballsy US stubbornness). But yes, this sort of passion/grit does seem to be wanting. While leaders like Bocanegra will always be in short supply, one wonders whether we will be able to produce guys like Jay Demerit, who are reliable and make you proud of the character of the team.
        Having said that, this was hardly the team we will see during the Gold Cup. We have better players and more importantly guys who will be the leaders in driving the mentality. Personally, I’d love it if we identified our long-term Captain here (who is it now? Brooks?) Should be any interesting few weeks, but no reason to believe it can’t be productive.

  6. I only saw the last 20 minutes. I am glad I spent most of the evening flyfishing.

    In that time Jamaica played the ball out of the back by making something like 8 passes and Sargent spun and took a quick shot that Blake saved. Not much for me to go on.

    I think this was pretty much Jamaica’s A team and don’t know what to call it for the US. Probably unsurprising since the US players have had a relatively short time together, especially the midfield and forwards. Still, they should be able to string together a few passes. Perhaps it is just that Arena, and Klinsmann were right in their assessment that the players they picked were better than what we saw from their would-be replacements tonight.

    • This is a pretty level-headed take (other than the part where you walked away from perfectly decent fly fishing). Sunday’s performance will tell more, but today was unfortunate for all but 2-3 performances

  7. Yuck. Somebody open a window. The stench from Mihailovic alone could kill a cactus. I sure hope these guys (beyond Holmes and perhaps Sargent and Amon) understand that they are competing for their futures with this team The center of the park was a debacle after 10 minutes. Yuck. Eager to see what we learned from this (I hope).

  8. Wow. Defintely shocked at how bad, technically, the players were. No amount of training can teach a player how to play a 5 yard pass. Some call it a C team but this was definitely an F. These players couldnt even sniff the U-20s

    • I thought the same thing about the U20s. I think that this team would have been beaten by the French U20s that we played the other day.

  9. Pretty terrible performance, only bright spot being holmes and amon at times. Trapp, roldan and mihalovic are just too soft for this level. Lima isn’t good enough at this level and sargent isnt there yet. I’m not quite sure why GB is giving pulisic and adams such a long break here, this team is in no way integrated yet, gotta get used to playing together before a major tournament.

  10. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ?, WOW……..No respect.
    4 MLS players, 4 USL players, 1 Championship player, 1 Turkish Super Lig player, 1 Slovenian League player, 2 local players
    ……..and what we have in reserve, the guys we have to save us, to right the ship, our hope and trust, is Bradley, Altidore an Zardes ????????? Beaten, out muscled and out played by players that wouldn’t even qualify or make the USMNT’s player roster????? hahaha ?, it’s going to be a LLLOOOONNNNNNGGGGGGG year!!

    THE WINNERS: GK Andre Blake Philadelphia Union (MLS) ??, DF Kemar Lawrence New York Red Bulls (MLS) ??, DF Alvas Powell Cincinnati (MLS) ??, DF Michael Hector Sheffield Wednesday (ENG 2), DF Damion Lowe Start (NORWAY), DF Shaun Francis Louisville City (USL) ??, DF Kevon Lambert Phoenix Rising (USL) ??, MF Peter-Lee Vassell Los Angeles (MLS) ??, MF Andre Lewis Portmore United (Jamaica), FW Dever Orgill Ankaragücü (TURKEY), FW Shamar Nicholson Domžale (Slovenia) ⚽ SUB, FW Maalique Foster Rio Grande Valley Toros (USL) ??, FW Brian Brown Reno 1868 (USL) ??, FW Darren Mattocks Cincinnati (MLS) ??, MF Tyreek Magee

    …..No trophies anytime soon

    • Actually, Kemar Lawrence would be the starting left back for the USMNT and Blake would have a good shot at keeper, but you are probably right about most of the rest.

  11. This wouldn’t be terribly upsetting if GB would actually use the information gathered tonite to dismiss a number of players for good like Omar, Ream, Trapp, Roldan, Lovitz, and Mihailovic. But I’m fairly certain those first 3 will be on the final 23. That’s what is upsetting to me.

    Look, I get that this was a C team for us. I’m assuming it was the same for Jamaica. But we should still be able to impose ourselves at home with our C team. This was quite poor.

    • I can pretty much guarantee you that right now, somebody at SBI is making the case that Roldan was Man of the Match. Sigh.

  12. That was pathetic. No cohesion, sloppy all over the field. Couldn’t pass out of the back. Not impressed by Robinson, he was poor and Arriola was passing a lot to Jamaica. Sargent didn’t have his best game either, but he was lacking for service. I thought he could’ve done better when Holmes set up up off the corner. Speaking of Holmes, he was the only one that impressed me. Amon wasn’t bad when he came on, but maybe that was because he was such an improvement over Arriola. If this effort continues, they’re not making it out of the group stage.


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