Many have questioned the addition of the German-American contingent, and there are still doubts over a few (cough, Timmy Chandler). But on that Friday night in Dick Sporting Goods Park, Jermaine Jones and his snow-fro, proved that he can get the job done while playing with a fearlessness that American supporters love. Playing next to Michael Bradley probably helps too.
Following the win against Costa Rica and with new-found optimism, the United States traveled south of the border and were able to secure a scoreless draw with our biggest rivals. All was right with the world again. After three matches (two away from home), Klinsmann’s boys were 1-1-1, and on the back of two shutouts it seemed the team was peaking heading into a long break due to club soccer prior to June Qualifiers.
On the last trip to Jamaica in September, the red, white, and blue lost 2-1 and the starting back four was Michael Parkhurst and Fabian Johnson on the outside with Clarence Goodson and Geoff Cameron in the middle. Is there another national team that would have a completely different back four playing during the same World Cup Qualifying cycle?
Klinsmann has been the boss for nearly two years now and yet there still doesn’t seem to be any consistency on players or how the team will play. Remember the Kyle Beckerman experiment? The dreadlock boy started in the September match against the Reggae Boyz.
The goal for the United States is to earn 7 points in the next three WCQ matches. Following Jamaica tonight, the US host Panama and Honduras prior to the Gold Cup starting in July. Anything less than three points tonight will cause more supporters to worry and have doubts, but a draw would be a point earned and better than the last trip to the Office.
If the back four can handle the speed of (insert Darren Mattocks) Jamaica, and Bradley and Jones can control the tempo of the game, the United States should walk away with three points. Both are big ifs. As the Mexico-Jamaica game proved, the game will become very open at times with many opportunities coming from wing play. The sequence (Dempsey – Zusi – Altidore) for the first goal the United States scored against Germany should be replayed over and over tonight.
Make sure you have beIN Sport channel or your local pub does and settle in for another rollercoaster of emotions that currently is provided by the United States squad. Lastly, keep track of the number of times you mention Landon Donovan’s name during the game. Maybe it could be a drinking game?