USMNT travels to Jamaica following huge rivalry win

Some things in life are just meant to be. After Friday night’s 2-0 win by the US over Mexico, it certainly seems like Dos a Cero is one of them.

The U.S. played home World Cup Qualifiers against Mexico in the state of Ohio a total of six times. The first five occurred in Columbus, while Friday’s contest happened in Cincinnati. In those six games, the USMNT has five wins and one loss. All five of those wins played to a now-famous scoreline. The United States, 2, Mexico, 0.

That lone loss came in 2016, during the fateful 2018 World Cup Qualifying cycle. Apparently, the USMNT righted the wrongs of years prior. Now, Gregg Berhalter’s squad turns its attention to an away qualifier against Jamaica.

Building off the win

Friday night was the third win this year for the US against Mexico. Moreover, each win came in a competitive game.

But, the win on Friday night differed from both the Nations League Final and the Gold Cup Final. The U.S. acted as the aggressor. It was the more dominant team instead of the tactic of absorbing pressure and nicking a goal. This shows in the statistics of the game. While possession came out just about even after 90 minutes, the Americans shot the ball 10 more times than Mexico. Albeit, they only had one more shot on target than their rivals.

Sure, the U.S. dominated, especially in the second half. However, a certain player still provided the difference on the scoresheet. Gregg Berhalter made the surprising move on Thursday of announcing that Pulisic would not be starting. At the time, it caused some consternation. Yet, it looked quite genius as Pulisic gave the U.S. a one-goal lead minutes after replacing the hard-working Brenden Aaronson.

Photo Credit: AFP

Things got even better with five minutes to play. Weston McKennie bagged his first World Cup Qualifying goal to ice the game for the USMNT. Again, with a scoreline of 2-0.

Now, the U.S. faces off with a team they beat 2-0 in their first meeting. All time, the United States holds a comfortable series lead with 19 wins, eight draws and just three losses. Also, this is the fourth time these two nations will play this calendar year. In 2021, the U.S. won all three of their games against Jamaica.

Jamaica

When these two nations met in October, things look bleak for the Jamaicans. The nation failed to win any of their first three qualifiers. Additionally, it had issues getting their full complement of players due to various COVID restrictions and protocols.

Since their 2-0 defeat to the U.S. in Austin, Texas things look much brighter. Currently, Jamaica’s three-game unbeaten streak features five points on the bounce. A pair of draws, including against third-spot Canada, sandwich a road-win over Honduras. The nation’s last game yielded a draw against El Salvador, in which the hosts needed a 90th-minute equalizer to get a point.

Their roster for the November qualifiers resembles that of October with a number of players from the lower tiers of English soccer. Also, seven players based in the U.S. represent Jamaica. Interestingly, 35-year-old Adrian Mariappa, with one goal in 53 caps for the country does not play for any club.

Michail Antonio, who plays for West Ham United, scored his first goal for Jamaica. He looks set to be a serious goal threat for Jamaica going forward in World Cup Qualification.

In accordance with local COVID-19 guidelines, Tuesday’s game in Jamaica will be played without fans in attendance.

Where things stand

We are now at the halfway point in the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying cycle. Remember, the top-three teams gain an automatic spot in the 2022 World Cup group stage. the Fourth-placed team enters an inter-confederation two-game playoff for a spot in Qatar.

Here are the current standings in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying.

PositionCountryPoints
1United States14
2Mexico14
3Canada13
4Panama11
5Costa Rica6
6Jamaica6
7El Salvador6
8Honduras3

Tuesday’s game is from Independence Park in Kingston, Jamaica. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. ET

Coverage of the game is on Paramount+ and Universo.

This is the end of the November international break, meaning the USMNT and Jamaican players will not reconvene with their international sides for at least a month.

The next USMNT is an international friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina. That game is scheduled for December 18 from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA.

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