Sunday, June 19, 2011

On Tap: USA v Jamaica

So who feels confident? This dude doesn't. Plenty of the Stars 'n Bars crowd aren't, in fact, which kind of baffles me. It's easy to look at a relatively poor run of form compared with a hot one and say unequivocally that this is Jamaica's turn to announce itself as a fledgling force in CONCACAF. But we're talking about a sample size gathered over the span of roughly two weeks. Three games can tell you a lot until the fourth game happens and you realize you didn't know much of anything.

Look, the US still has superior talent, more relative experience and a home field advantage, more or less. I think it's crazy to tab Jamaica as anything resembling favorites just because Clint Dempsey forgot his scoring boots against Guadeloupe and Tim Ream forgot how to walk against Panama. With the media crushing down on the US and simultaneously lifting the supremely athletic but no means invincible Reggae Boyz, I see this as a prime breakout game for the Yanks. 

I doubt we'll see Wondo in the XI, but I'd expect the back line to remain the same from Guadeloupe: Dolo and Lichaj bookmarking Goodson and Boca up the middle. Jermaine Jones and Lil' Bradley will form the strong middle of the spine, and I'd expect to see another Altidore/Agudelo pairing up top, even though I've been supremely unimpressed by how they work off each other. The ability is there, it just hasn't bloomed yet. And of course Donovan/Demps on the wings. Speaking of those two...

- Will Parchman

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