World Cup qualifying takes USA to Jamaica

The Friday night match is the last for the US before facing Panama at CenturyLink Field next week and could help the US jump in the standings for the Hexagonal Round of World Cup Qualifying.

USA vs. Jamaica
Friday, June 7; 6:30 pm PT; Kingston, Jamaica
2014 World Cup Qualifying match
TV: BeIN Sport

The US Men’s National Team is back in World Cup qualifying mode this week as they start a stretch of three matches in the Hexagonal Round of the CONCACAF tournament on Friday night at Kingston, Jamaica’s Independence Park.

It will be the first meeting of the Hexagonal Round between the two teams, but third in the qualifying tournament after they split matches in the tournament’s third round with each side winning on their home turf.

Jamaica is currently the only team in the Hex without a win at 0-2-2 and lost 1-0 to Mexico on Tuesday. They finished second in Group A of the third round, behind only the US, at 3-2-1, getting into the final round ahead of Guatemala and Antigua and Barbuda.

There are plenty of familiar faces on the Jamaican roster to MLS fans, as Portland Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts captains the squad and Portland forward Ryan Johnson has been a consistent starter up top. Additionally, Vancouver Whitecaps forward Darren Mattocks and FC Dallas midfielder Jevaughn Watson have been regular contributors.

Among the other players to watch for Jamaica are midfielders Jermaine Hue and Jermaine Johnson. Those two and Omar Daley make up the veteran core of the midfield while they are relatively inexperienced at forward and defender outside of Ryan Johnson and defender Adrian Reed.

This is the final match for the US before they plat at CenturyLink Field on Tuesday against Panama in their fifth match of the final round. They are currently fourth in the Hexagonal Round at 1-1-1. They went 4-1-1 in the third round, getting crucial performances from Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson in the final two matches to win the group and get through to the next round.

They come into the match on a high after posting a 4-3 victory over Germany in a friendly honoring the centennial of US Soccer. Clint Dempsey scored two, Jozy Altidore had one and the US scored on an own-goal, then held off a second-half comeback attempt by Germany to get the win at RFK Stadium. Seattle’s Brad Evans started the match at right back, earning high marks in his first international start at the position. Eddie Johnson made a second-half appearance for the 50th cap of his international career.

The US is 11-1-8 all-time against Jamaica, with their lone defeat coming 2-1 in the third round of World Cup qualifying. For all that success, though, they have yet to top the Reggae Boyz in Jamaica during World Cup qualifying, going 0-1-4 in five meetings.

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