USMNT vs Jamaica
Sporting Park – Kansas City, USA
Friday, October 11, 2013– 6:30pm ET
The job of qualifying may be done and dusted, but there is still plenty to be gained in these last two qualifiers. It’s time to start shaping up the roster and there will be plenty of opportunities with key players such as Omar Gonzalez, Michael Bradley, and Clint Dempsey missing out on the roster due to injury. Fringe players such as Kyle Beckerman, Aron Johannsson, Mix Diskerud and Brad Evans will be looking to take advantage of this camp to make a lasting impression they will hope carries over to next summer’s roster. Winless Jamaica may not be of World Cup quality, but every match is another chance to test the progress that the squad has made under Klinsmann.
These teams could not stand in more opposite positions in terms of qualifying. With 2 games left, 6 points up for grabs, the US needs to take nothing from these remaining games while Jamaica needs the full 6 points and a boat load of help just to dream about finishing in a position to take on New Zealand in the Intercontinental Playoff for a chance to go to Brazil.
The Reggae Boyz have shown promise in their 4 draws, but have been unable to turn stalemates into full points. In the previous meeting between the two teams in the Hex it took a stoppage time (near) miracle goal by Brad Evans for the Red, White, and Blue to come out on top. In the previous round they were matched up together in the same group and while the US took the second meeting, the Jamaicans earned the full 3 points in the first meeting of that group stage. Could they pull off an improbable result again?
Match Up to Watch
Ryan Johnson vs USMNT Centerbacks
With Omar Gonzalez withdrawing from the team due to injury it will be another new partnership at the back. Matt Besler will be one of those two central defenders with either Michael Orozco-Fiscal or Geoff Cameron partnering him. Cameron is the utility man of the defensive half of the field, with the ability to play wide right, centrally, or pushed into a defensive midfield position. Orozco-Fiscal is the player that won’t go away. He has never earned a solid place in the first team, but whenever Klinsmann is in need it is MOF that he calls on. How quickly will the new partnership take to click will determine if the US starts strong, or if Johnson is able to put the USMNT in a hole to start the game.
The winning streak is over. Qualification is wrapped up. There is little more to push for as a team in these two games, however there is still very much to play for in terms of individual positions. That will be the driving force for two good performances as Klinsmann begins focusing on the roster he will take to Brazil. If the players believe that true team play and good performances as a unit will go far in securing their place on that all important roster it will be a positive performance and Jamaica will stand little chance. If the players do not buy into the team effort and feel the need to try and highlight themselves first it will come off as a choppy, uncoordinated effort and the US will risk losing on home soil.
Predicted USMNT Roster
Evans – Cameron – Besler – Beasley
Jones – Beckerman
Zusi – Donovan – E. Johnson
Jamaica 0-2 USMNT