The U.S. national team continues their long journey to the 2014 FIFA World Cup on Friday night in Kingston, Jamaica, at Independence Park. The Yanks have traveled to The Office four times during their World Cup qualifying campaigns, with all four games ending in draws. However, Jamaica has never won against America in 18 games all-time. Friday’s game can be seen on beIN Sport at 8:00 ET.
Both Jamaica and the U.S. have four points through two games in Group A of CONCACAF’s Third Round of qualifying. The top two teams from each group advance to the final CONCACAF qualifying round known as the Hexagonal.
The U.S. defeated minnows Antigua and Barbuda in Tampa back on June 8th, 3-1. Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey, and Herculez Gomez were the three goal scorers for America. Four days later, the U.S. tied Guatemala in Guatemala City, 1-1. Clint Dempsey scored for the Yanks.
Meanwhile, Jamaica’s qualifying campaign started off with a 2-1 home victory over Guatemala. The Reggae Boyz’ goals were scored by Demar Phillips and Ryan Johnson (currently playing for Toronto FC). They then traveled to Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, where they left with a 0-0 draw.
The U.S. and Jamaica last played each other during the 2011 Gold Cup Quarterfinals in Washington D.C. The Stars and Stripes came away 2-0 victors after a Jamaican own goal and a clever little goal by Clint Dempsey.
Here is America’s 24-man roster for the game:
Goalies: Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Sean Johnson, Nick Rimando
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra, Geoff Cameron, Steve Cherundolo, Maurice Edu, Clarence Goodson, Fabian Johnson, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Michael Parkhurst, Jonathan Spector
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman, Joe Corona, Jermaine Jones, Brek Shea, Jose Torres, Danny Williams, Graham Zusi
Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Terrence Boyd, Clint Dempsey, Herculez Gomez
(Note: midfielder Joshua Gatt was also called in but had to withdraw from the team due to a hamstring injury)
And here is Jamaica’s roster:
Goalies: Dwayne Miller, Jacomeno Barrett, Duwayne Kerr
Defenders: Shavar Thomas, Dicoy Williams, Adrian Mariappa, O’Brian Woodbine, Jermaine Taylor, Andrae Campbelll, Nyron Nosworthy, Lovel Palmer
Midfielders: Dane Richards, JeVaughn Watson, Errol Stevens, Rodolph Austin, Jason Morrison, Ewan Grandison, Joel Senior
Forwards: Darren Mattocks, Omar Cummings, Kavin Bryan, Ryan Johnson, Luton Shelton, Tramaine Stewart
The Yanks will be missing two key components on Friday, as both Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley will both be out due to hamstring and thigh injuries respectively. Another minor issue for head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is the fitness of Clint Dempsey. Dempsey has not played in a competitive game since America’s previous qualifying games in June and has not had much first-team training over in England. He recently just completed his move from Fulham to Tottenham Hotspur.
Jamaica’s roster is dominated by MLS players. Nine of the 24 are current playing in the league, including Vancouver Whitecaps speedster Dane Richards. Also on the roster is Jamaica’s all-time leading scorer, forward Luton Shelton.
Prediction: U.S. 1-0 Jamaica
2012 has been a year of historic 1-0 away victories for the U.S. They defeated Italy for the first time ever in Genoa on February 29th by way of a Clint Dempsey goal. Just recently, America earned their first win in Mexico on August 15th, with Michael Orozco Fiscal’s first international goal securing the win. Klinsmann will have the team ready and prepared to pick up their first ever qualifying win in Jamaica’s capital city.