Less than a month after an historic win in Mexico, the U.S. suffered an historic loss, dropping its first game ever to Jamaica 2-1. Unfortunately, it was the latter result that counted for World Cup qualification.
Like many, we weren’t able to watch the match. From the reports, it sounds as though absences from Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan contributed to an inability to hold possession or create when they could hold possession.
We advised witholding judgement on Klinnsmann until the U.S. started performing poorly in actual qualifiers. Now is the time to be concerned. The current standings through three games are Jamaica (7, +2), United States (4, +1), Guatemala (4, +1), Antigua and Barbuda (1, -4). The top two teams advance.
The U.S. is in an uncomfortable position, though not a terrible one. Their remaining games against Guatemala and Jamaica (Tuesday) are at home, with the only away trip to Antigua and Barbuda. A win against Jamaica on Tuesday is not mathematically necessary, but not winning would leave them on the brink of disaster. The U.S. had an 8-1-3 record in this round of qualifying heading into the 2014 cycle.
[Photo via Getty]