Is it just me or does the Jamaican coach, Winfried Schäfer, always look like he just ordered the wrong thing at Starbucks and wants to speak to the manager? Regardless, Jamaica’s ReggaeBoyz (gotta love the ‘z’ move by Jamaica) takes the win and moves on to the Gold Cup finals. It was a fairly dismal showing by the USMNT which really shouldn’t be a surprise considering their play in the prior Cup games. Jamaican on the other hand seemed confident although a bit sloppy at times and took home the well earned win.
Early on the US just couldn’t deliver it to the back of the net with some laughable finishing skills. The chances were there, but rather than taking any decent shots they settled on quite a bit of dancing around in the box, crosses that no one got to, and at least one spleen-bursting over-the-bar rocket by Zardes. The guy’s hair is phenomenal as is his ability to absolutely bash the ball high into the air.
Things started to pick up a bit when the Oxford born Jamaican, Garath McClearly, put in a beautiful ball to Giles Barnes for a sitter about 9 yards out. Lucky for the US, Giles is known to mishandle Garath’s sassy balls (sorry). He shoveled it high into the stands, likely bopping a $12 beer out of some poor chap’s hands. Shame on you, Garath!
Things got weird when Jamaica’s goalie, Thompson, practiced his ball skillz instead of clearing the shite out of it. Aron Johannsson almost picked him clean to pop it in but unlucky for the US the AZ Alkmaar striker put it wide. AZ Alkmaar sounds like a bad guy in Star Wars.
Not long afterwards, some nice build up by the US led to Fabian Johnson making a swashbuckling run. He laid a frothy curling shot from just outside the box onto the finger tips of Jamaica’s outstretched goalkeeper. A good save and some actual quality footy for once.
Not long after, Jamaica scored the go-ahead goal. Jamaica’s Mattocks got his noggin on the end of a long throw and guided the sphere gracefully (accidentally?) into the upper ninety of the US net. Guzan tried to get back into position when he realized he wouldn’t get out to the cross and then leapt like a pregnant salmon to attempt a stop. It was absolutely poor defense from the US and a deserved goal for Jamaica.
Only five minutes later the ReggaeBoyz doubled their lead. Attempting to start a fast break from the back, Guzan hurled the ball out to his left but was a hair over the line with the ball when he threw it. It’s really quite amazing that the line judge called it. It’s easy to bash Guzan here but still it seems rare we see that called. Either way, it set up a dangerous free kick for Jamaica. Giles Barnes made up for his previous mishaps with what can only be described as a thunderous foot clubbing, drilling the ball into the net past an outstretched and probably miserable Guzan. An absolutely beautiful strike and a well deserved goal, simply for the quality of the strike. Guzan rushed to the sideline and sharpened his head after the goal.*
The remainder of the half was quiet as the US tried to regain some control of the game. Around the 44th minute they finally got a chance. A decent ball in from Johannsson set Dempsey up nicely but all he could do with the opportunity is lodge it securely in the area between the genitals and the arse-hole of the jamaican goal keeper. It was quite an impressive save if only for the fact that it must have been within two whiskers of ending his family lineage.
the R-Boyz wrapped up the half with a McClearly yellow card and the US responded with patented long balls. Into halftime, the Jamaicans held a somewhat surprising 2 goal lead.
The second half started just about how you’d expect. A few speculative Beckerman long-balls and Johannsson taking a selfie when Klinsmann wasn’t looking.** Boring stuff.
The 48 min mark saw the US climb back when Johannsson’s decent turn outside the box became a shot right at the goalie. It popped loose though, which a charging Dempsy attempted to interact with but instead simultaneously stepped on the goalies hands and did a top notch swan dive. Luckily for the US, this was enough to allow the ball to squeak back towards Bradley who tapped it into the net for a big momentum goal for the USMNT.
Things got exciting shortly after when Johannsson was involved again with some decent attack play just outside the box to earn a free-kick. The ensuing strike forced a save and the ball popped out to Aron J but he couldn’t tuck it away instead nodding it over the bar. A huge blown opportunity for the sporting statesman (new team nickname?)
After a bunch of back and forth the US made a nice run on the break to see Bradley blast one off of the goal keepers chest. I wouldn’t even mentioned the run of play except for the fact it was such an odd save. A move you simply don’t see enough from goalies. Brave moves and we need more men like him out there. Check it out below.
Things were feeling good for the US for a while and that maybe a second goal might spill in accidentally from the goalie trying to save it with his lower back but Jamaica calmed things down around the 60th minute. Things got really boring for a while with everyone just sucking and no one doing much. Beckerman played a few long balls, Bradley looked extra bald, Brooks made a bunch of bad plays and then around the 66th minute the US got away with what looked like a penalty in the box but on replay it might have been a dive straight into Montego Bay.
The US started to spice things up and got Zardes loose but at the last second a Jamaican defender came through and broke it up. Really more should have been done with the opportunity. Klinsmann then decided to mix it up a little bit. The dashingly coifed Mix Diskerud came on around the 68th minute to hopefully make the difference for the US.
The change seemed to have swung the tides slightly as the US got a few chances just a minute later. Johnson couldn’t make anything of some good build up play and then a few crosses went no where. A good chance came from a very good long throw but Brooks just can’t do much right this tournament and nodded it straight into the clearly very supple hands of the Jamaican goalie.
In the 72nd minute Alan Gordon came on for Johannsson. According to the telecast, he’s a no-prisoners style football player, which can only mean that he kills opponents with vicious cleats up tackles I’m assuming. The US actually got some great chances immediately following his subbing-on but managed to do absolutely nothing with them. Another great chance was made by the US in the 75th minute through some touchy triangle passing but the US couldn’t force the keeper into a save. A similar situation happened moments later but again Bradley had the touch of a steamrolled platypus and nothing came of it. In a seemingly unending series of chances the US managed to get nothing substantive on net. The best chance was a ball in by Bedoya that Gordon didn’t get quite enough on. It was a no-prisoner style attempt though I have to say.
In the 77th minute the US brought on the speedy Yedlin, seemingly a crowd favorite. He put some delicious moves on the Jamaican defense shortly after he came on but an absolutely stellar tackle by the Jamaican saved an opportunity.
In the end, the US had plenty of opportunities late but the majority of them ended up being absolute shite. Jamaica almost doubled their lead late but really nothing happened which mattered much to the final scoreline. Jamaica 2, USA 0, and the ReggaeBoyz move on.