by Brandon Farris
On Friday the US Men’s National Team will take its next steps on the road to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup when they take on the Jamaica National Team in Kansas City.
The Reggae Boyz have only managed to defeat the USMNT once in the 21 meetings between the squads back in 2012. They currently sit last in the standings and have little hope of making it to Brazil, with two wins and Mexico drawing with Panama being their best case scenarios.
Even then, they’d need Mexico and Panama to lose again on October 15th in their final game.
That won’t keep them from wanting to pull the upset on Team USA and damage their hosts’ perfect home record for the 2014 Qualifiers.
If team USA can hold on and win this match Friday they will finish the final round boasting a undefeated home record for the 2014 final round qualifiers and if they can pitch the shut out, not giving up any goals through all five home matches.
Team USA sits in first place for its Hexagonal group just one point ahead of Costa Rica and looks to hold on to its position.
Jamaica is coming off of a 1-1 draw against Costa Rica back in September when they met in Kingston where they managed to get a late equalizer in the 92nd minute from Jermain Anderson.
Team USA is coming off a 2-Nil win against Mexico. Eddie Johnson came up big in the 49th minute to put USA up first, then the pressure was just too much on Mexico and Landon Donovan managed to find the net to put the second one up on the board to complete the dos a cero defeat, not the first time it has happened in Columbus.
Eddie Johnson was scratched off of the roster on early Thursday morning and replaced by Chris Wondolowski after the player suffered a groin injury late Wednesday night.
Houston’s Brad Davis and San Jose’s Clarence Goodson were also added, the latter to replace Omar Gonzalez who had to withdraw from the squad with a hip complaint.
USMNT Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann is making sure his team is well prepared and ready to play with just five matches between this and the start of the 2014 World Cup.
He wants to have his A-team on the pitch and meshed well to try and make a deep run for the cup although Clint Dempsey is absent while he plays in a vital Supporters Shield tie for Seattle in Portland.
The last time these two squads met was back in June in Kingston where the USMNT got a late goal from Brad Evans to go up 2-1 and capture three vital points towards there march for Brazil.
Jamaica have some familiar names to MLS fans.
Colorado Rapids hotshot Deshorn Brown has been called up to join Portland Timbers’ Alvas Powell and Ryan Johnson, though not Donovan Ricketts, who like Dempsey, will controversially be excused national team duty to concentrate on that important club match. A third Cascadian Darren Mattocks is also in the squad.
Houston’s Jermaine Taylor captains the side and another Texas based player Je-Vaughn Watson makes up the MLS contingent.
For Taylor, it will be a reunion of sorts with Landon Donovan an opponent in the 2012 MLS Cup Final.
That day Donovan came out tops but in their last meeting on May 5, it was Taylor who saw his side win 0-1 at the StubHub with Donovan missing a penalty.
USA 3. Jamaica Nil. Team USA will keep its home undefeated shutout streak alive, the goals will come from Donovan and Evans, then Wondolowski will come off of the bench and put the third on the board for USA.