U.S. Delivers Under Pressure, 1-nil Over Jamaica

The U.S. deserved more, playing a brilliant first half, mostly in the back third of Jamaica’s “play for a tie” defensive strategy. It all went wrong for Jamaica in the second half when Gomez blistered in a set ball piece from 28 yards outside of the box.

As much as I enjoyed the first half, I equally disliked the timid play of the U.S. in the second once they secured the 1-0 lead. Instead of keeping up the attack, maybe with a smaller push from the backs, just to be safe, the U.S. looked discombobulated, and unsure of how to proceed. I wish we stayed with an attacking style mentality and attempted to get a knockout goal, which would have put the U.S. at the top of the table.

In the end, the U.S. was after 3 points, but against a better team, I think the second half uncertainty would have been costly.

At this point for the U.S., things are pretty straight forward. Win their next two matches, and advance to the knockout round.

Seeking its seventh straight World Cup appearance, the U.S. plays at virtually eliminated Antigua and Barbuda on Oct. 12, then completes the semis four days later against Guatemala at Kansas City, Kan.

One would have to think the A&B match is a given 3 points for the USMNT, but in CONCACAF qualifying, the U.S. should take nothing for granted, and should push as hard as possible to move up the goal differential chart. When Team USA hosts Guatemala, hopefully the confines in KC will be as good to the U.S. as Crew Stadium!

Columbus Crew Stadium is an unimposing structure on the downtown periphery of the city, yet the USMNT keep coming here, and it is not hard to see why. The U.S. are now 6-0-3 in Columbus Crew Stadium, outscoring opponents 13-1. From “The Star-Spangled Banner” onward, the atmosphere was unrelentingly rowdy and occasionally emotional. From the 9th minute to the 11th, the 23,881 in attendance stood on their feet and cheered in remembrance of 9/11. The U.S. team responded in kind. In the crucial first 15 minutes that set the tone for the rest of the game, the stats were 80 percent possession and 100 percent adrenaline.

So now we wait 30 days, keep our eyes on the health of the squad as they play their club matches, hopefully sharpening up for the final stretch into the round of six.

Go U.S.A!!!


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