SANTA MONICA – After playing through the group stages, the quarterfinals, and the semifinals, the USMNT have finally made it into the Gold Cup finals. Their opponent: Jamaica. The two teams will face each other tonight at 6:30 Pacific Time at Levi Stadium in San Jose. The game will likely come down to whether or not the USMNT’s wildly skilled offense can outplay the aggressive Jamaica.
Throughout this tournament we have seen the USMNT play better and better. After adding several seasoned vets like Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore to their roster following the group stages, their offense has become a serious threat.
Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore illuminated just how dangerous they are up front together during the USMNT’s game against Costa Rica. First, Dempsey assisted a goal that Jozy Altidore scored. Then, Dempsey scored another goal of his own all within 10 minutes.
Now that the USMNT will not be playing Mexico in the finals like expected, they will have to prepare themselves for a more physical game against Jamaica. Mexico, once the favorites of the tournament, were knocked out in the semifinals by Jamaica thanks to Lawrence’s beautiful goal in the last few minutes of the game.
Jamaica has shown that they are fighters and their ability to score when it really counts has seen them through this far. In turn, the USMNT will have to adjust their smart, strategic game to match Jamaica’s aggressive. Adjusting, however, is something the US team is no stranger to. After doing poorly in their first few World Cup Qualifiers, the team got a new coach and under Bruce Arena’s leadership they have completely turned it around.
Bruce Arena reflected on that journey in a team talk on ussoccer.com.“Four months ago we were right here, rebuilding this program that all of you guys should take credit for. We were in a difficult situation last March, 0-2 in Qualifying and you guys have positioned us to qualify for a World Cup and win a Gold Cup,” Arena said.
Watch tonight to see if the USMNT will take Arena’s advice to heart. The game will air at 6:30 on FS1 and Univision. You can also stream the game on fubTV and FOX Sports GO.
Photos by ISI.