Unlikely Hero Brad Evans Hands United States a Late Win over Jamaica

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJune 7, 2013

Brad Evans has never been known as a goal-scorer. He was not even known as a right-back for the United States just a month ago.

But after the United States' 2-1 over Jamaica at Independence Park in Kingston on Friday night, everyone now knows who Evans is. 

The United States had been in front for a long stretch of 59 minutes and the match seemed to be locked up before Jermaine Beckford beat a slowly moving defense in the 89th minute to equalize the match.

Most teams would have buckled and possibly conceded a second late goal, but that was not the case for the United States.

The Americans took the Beckford equalizer and used it as a rallying cry as they marched forward in stoppage time, where an unexpected hero stole the spotlight.

On a short corner in the 92nd minute, Michael Bradley slipped in a pass to Evans, who coolly turned and finished off his first goal for the United States. 

In just a few short minutes, the United States revamped their CONCACAF World Cup qualifying campaign, and in the process, they earned their first road win in Jamaica in qualifying history. 

Evans, who has been one of the most unexpected starters under manager Jurgen Klinsmann, did not have a say in the match on defense, but because of the lapse by both Omar Gonzalez and Tim Howard on the Jamaica equalizer, the Seattle Sounders man was able to take advantage of his opportunity.

Evans' goal will be the most talked-about moment of the match, but it may not be the most important part of the match.

In the second half, Jermaine Jones went down with a concussion and he had to be replaced by Geoff Cameron.

While Cameron is a reliable enough player to count on in the defensive midfield alongside Bradley for a few matches, he is not a long-term replacement for Jones if the symptoms affect Jones for awhile. 

Up front, Jozy Altidore scored in the 30th minute on a wonderful cross by Graham Zusi, who will miss the next match against Panama because of yellow-card accumulation. But for the rest of the match, chances for the imposing forward were few and far between. 

Another concern for Klinsmann and company has to be the lack of defending on set pieces, which has been an Achilles heel of the United States recently, especially against Jamaica. 

Friday's win over Jamaica is a result that the United States should celebrate, but now the pressure is firmly planted on their shoulders as they face two home matches in a seven-day span against Panama and Honduras in which they are expected to earn a full six points. 

Follow me on Twitter, @JTansey90.