Watching a pre-match motivational speaker rip phonebooks in half didn't help the U.S. in their first of two World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica. The U.S. lost 2-1 in Kingston for their first ever loss in 19 matches against Jamaica, even though Clint Dempsey scored just 36 seconds into the match for a new U.S. record in World Cup qualification.
That would be the lone highlight of the match for the U.S. though, as Jamaica scored from free kicks in the 22nd and 62nd minutes to take the lead in Group A of CONCACAF qualifying. It was not the performance the U.S. hoped for just after beating Mexico at the Estadio Azteco for the first time ever and winning in Italy for the first time earlier this year in friendlies. But drastic inconsistencies and crushingly mediocre performances are nothing new for the U.S., so it probably should've been expected. Especially since the U.S. had never won a World Cup qualifier in Jamaica (all four previous matches had been draws) and Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan were not in the squad.
Because of those injuries, Kyle Beckerman aka Ras Trent was allowed to start, which proved costly. His late tackle set up the free kick where Jamaica scored their first goal. He was also a member of the wall on the shot and when he jumped, the ball deflected off of him and went in.
The U.S. won't have to wait long for a chance at revenge against revenge against Jamaica, since they play again in Ohio on Tuesday. Hopefully Donnie Moore isn't invited.
- Sports & Recreation