If there was ever a time that a US National Team supporter should be nervous during World Cup qualifying, it is now. Besides missing Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley due to injuries, the squad also has key players that, until recently, had unsettled club situations. Clint Dempsey hasn’t played a competitive match since the June WCQ games, while Carlos Bocanegra and Maurice Edu had been training with Rangers of the Scottish 3rd Division until this past week. All three players have missed out on competitive matches, while transferring to different teams on Friday. At a time when a national team manager wants players to be playing at a consistent level, he has three that haven’t been playing and another, Geoff Cameron, who recently moved from the Dynamo to Stoke City. Will a summer of discontent for these players at club level have a negative effect with the national team?
On the positive side, Klinsmann has two forwards in Jozy Altidore and Terrence Boyd that are currently playing at the top of their game, scoring goals for their club at a regular rate. With Donovan absent and Dempsey not at match fitness, both forwards will need to bring their scoring boots if the US will want to gain positive results against Jamaica.
The United States will be training in Miami the next few days prior to their match in Kingston, Jamaica on Friday evening. The second match will take place on Tuesday September 11 at Columbus Crew Stadium. Klinsmann’s men are atop Group A on goal differential over the Reggae Boyz, who are level on points with four. The United States has never won a qualifier in Jamaica, and unless new players emerge from the shadows, that streak could continue on Friday evening.