The United States Mens National Team (USMNT) were held to a 1-1 draw by Jamaica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup opener on Saturday evening.

The visitors took the lead in the 13th minute when Damion Lowe scored with a diving header following a well-worked free kick.

USMNT deny Jamaica a famous victory

It was heading towards a famous night for the Jamaicans until Brandon Vazquez scored the equalizer in the 88th minute in front of a packed Soldier Field in Chicago.

Fresh from their second straight CONCACAF Nations League trophy, the USMNT were expected to start strong, however, it was far from easy. Jamaica were clearly the better side in the opening few exchanges making the hosts work in every department.

Turner kept USMNT in the game

Jamaica could have doubled their advantage in the 29th minute, but US goalkeeper Matt Turner kept out Leon Bailey’s penalty to keep the score at 1-0 and keep his side in the game.

Bailey did follow up from Turner’s save but his effort dragged wide of goal. Vazquez then spared the blushes for the hosts just two minutes before time.

Turner, who was captaining the side on his 29th birthday, said of the game, “I think for us, it’s all about the intensity being the starting point. We were missing that in the beginning, giving the ball away, loose touches, loose passes. We grew into it and started to do a much better job.”

It was never going to be easy for the USMNT with Jamaica fielding one of their strongest squad in recent memory, boasting the likes of Demarai Gray and Bailey in their ranks.

Interim manager B.J Callaghan made several changes in his side, claiming he wanted to try out fresh faces.

Callaghan said, “The whole thing is we’re trying to get everybody experience. I think we have a plan put in place, how we’re going to navigate the group stage with all of the players and where they are individually in terms of fitness and the ability to recover. So I think as we continue, everyone’s going to contribute to our success, and I think you saw that tonight with guys coming off the bench stepping in different types of circumstances.”

Photo credit: IMAGO / Agencia-MexSport