I know Week 1 of the NFL was this past weekend, but after tonight’s Monday Night doubleheader the focus of the country SHOULD go to the United States Men’s National Soccer Team and their match in Columbus against Jamaica. It is a critical match with World Cup Qualifying on the line.
Last Friday the United States were upset in Kingston, Jamaica by the bobsledding nation. The game looked to be in the US’s favor less than a minute into the game Clint Dempsey found the back of the net and seemingly the rout was on. But twenty minutes later Jamaica knotted the score off of a free kick deflection. They would eventually take the lead for good in the second half that left the United States in utter shock.
US Coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, pretty much summed it up perfectly saying, “they [the Jamaicans] were hungrier and more determined.” The Americans now trail the Jamaicans by three points in the third round table Group A.
Luckily, we get another shot at the Reggae Boyz Tuesday night in Columbus–on our turf. We are currently tied with Guatemala in the group. Only the top two teams advance to the next stage of qualifying. So, a win against Jamaica would draw us even with the Jamaicans in points. Should the United States fall or even tie the Jamaicans our hopes of advancing would be much dimmer.
I am not sure what Klinsmann, Dempsey, and Tim Howard have in store for the match but it better be something special. For how bad the squad looked down in Jamaica they will need to look that good tomorrow night. The Jamaicans will be not only be traveling with a carry-on but they will be bringing a lot of confidence over to the states.
One player that has impressed me with little amounts of times I have seen him play is Brek Shea. He is a young attacking minded player with good composure on the ball. I am not sure how he would react to a larger role in the team’s game plan but as a substitute he has more than impressed me. Good things seem to happen when he is on the ball. He may not have done much against Jamaica, but I look for him to step up. And with only a couple days between the two games Shea will likely get more minutes replacing players that aren’t 100% fit.
Klinsmann, however, has not impressed me since he has become the head coach for the US. Sure, he won against Mexico at Mexico for the first time ever, but that is one of his most notable victories. As a team we do not seem control much of the game against strong opponents. I am not sure if our game plan is to solely counter, but sometimes it looks like that. Not only do the players on the roster need to start performing better, Klinsmann needs to game plan better for his opponents.
With all of that being said, I think the United States will find a way to win against Jamaica and to pull back up to the top of the table. We are the better team and should ultimately win, but soccer is an unforgiving sport.
What is wrong with the US Men’s National Team? Will they qualify for the next round? Will they qualify for the World Cup? Let me know in the comment section or on Twitter @Believelander.
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