USA vs. Jamaica: 5 Questions Facing the USMNT Against the Reggae Boyz
The USMNT takes on Jamaica twice in a week as both teams continue their World Cup qualification road. The two teams will meet in Kingston on Friday night and again on Tuesday night in Columbus, Ohio.
These games represent six valuable points for either side; currently, USA and Jamaica are tied at the top of Group A of the semifinal round of CONCACAF qualifying with four points each.
The U.S. doesn't have a great record in Kingston against Jamaica in World Cup qualifying—USA has never won in Kingston, but then again, they've never lost either, holding a 0-4-0 record against the Reggae Boyz.
Needless to say, three priceless points are up for grabs Friday night in Jamaica. Here are five questions facing our boys in blue heading into Friday's match.
Will the United States Continue Their Run of Historic Results?
The United States have produced some pretty good performances this year, grinding out a 6-1-2 record in 2012 so far.
No games, however, stick out more in the minds of fans than the Americans' first-ever win on European soil against Italy and the first-ever win at the Azteca Stadium against Mexico.
Now, the United States face another situation in which they have never won: winning a World Cup qualifier on Jamaican soil.
Will they continue their trend of producing historic results?
This is a much younger, faster and stronger team than U.S. fans are used to watching. They have the ability to outpace and outmuscle any team on the day.
With the importance of the points on the line, expect Jurgen Klinsmann's team to come out guns a-blazing.
Will the US Strikers Be Able to Keep Up Their Club Form for the National Team?
Jozy Altidore has four league goals in three games for AZ Alkmaar. Terrence Boyd has four goals already for his new club Rapid Vienna. Herculez Gomez has added two goals in five games to Santos Laguna's goal tally.
The United States' strikers are on fire with their clubs. The U.S. has a solid striking corps (including Clint Dempsey) and should be able to break down the Jamaican defense.
Speaking of Dempsey...
How Will Clint Dempsey Perform in His First Game in Months?
Clint Dempsey's summer nightmare came to an end on the last day of the transfer window, sealing a move across London to Tottenham Hotspur.
Dempsey's transfer saga was one of the most prolific—and tangled-up—transfer stories this summer, in which the American star quit playing for Fulham in an attempt to force a move away from the London club.
As a result, Dempsey has seen zero playing time this summer.
Despite this, Klinsmann has included the 29-year-old Texan in his squad this week and will likely feature him in the upcoming matches.
Has all his time alone made him rusty or rested? We'll find out Friday night.
How Much of an Impact Will Graham Zusi Have?
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi is second in MLS in assists with 12. The guy knows how to distribute the ball effectively and consistently.
But in a midfield that consists of Kyle Beckerman, Jermaine Jones and Danny Williams, will Zusi get a chance to showcase those skills?
I think it would be a mistake to leave Zusi out of the starting lineup on Friday night. The United States needs quick, efficient passing to outpace a Jamaican side that is filled with quick, tricky players.
Uh, Where Is Chris Wondolowski?
Chris Wondolowski is leading MLS with 18 goals, four more than Kenny Cooper, who's in second (who maybe also should have gotten a call-up).
Wondo is quick, he pops up in uncomfortable (for the defense) places, and he obviously knows how to score goals.
Granted, he plays in MLS, which is not the Premier League, Eredivisie or even the Mexican league. But one would think that Klinsmann couldn't ignore 18 goals?
Klinsmann even had an extra spot open after Joshua Gatt, the 21-year-old Molde midfielder, scratched with a hamstring injury, but chose to just leave the spot open.
The United States should continue their run of historic performances and fly away from Kingston with three points. The U.S. attack is just too strong for the Reggae Boyz. I predict a 3-1 win for the United States.
Enjoy the game!