The first 45 minutes brought on worry and concern as the United States fell behind 2-nil despite dominating play. Jamaica's goals came from Darren Mattocks (31') and Giles Barnes (36'). Jurgen Klinsmann's halftime speech must have changed everything. Former captain and current captain came out hungry, peppering the goal without enough effect. Michael Bradley netted the United States' first in the 48th minute. That was the last goal of the match as the USMNT lost to little Jamaica.
Previous teams to eliminate the US from the Gold Cup are Brazil, Mexico and Colombia. Jamaica joined that list on their first-half performance. They did it through rapid counters with the speed of Mattocks and a stupid error by a veteran keeper. The second goal came off of a Brad Guzan error. The Aston Villa keeper left the box with the ball in his hands, granting Jamaica a kick from 19 yards out. Barnes put it straight in the net.
Klinsmann made somewhat early subs in an effort to level the field after Bradley's goal. Diskerud entered for the struggling Beckerman (67'). Just six minutes later Alan Gordon entered for Aron Johannsson, give the Americans a clear target on dead balls and in the long game. Former Sounder DeAndre Yedlin replaced Bedoya in the 78th minute.
Now out of subs, Jurgen's goal is clear - win in the next 20 minutes and added time, no extra time. He doesn't have the subs.
His players continue to crash Jamaica's 18, constantly threatening. A match played at this pace feels more like ping-pong than soccer. It is swift, opportunistic and tiring.
The Americans will enter the third place match exhausted and defeated. Their players dreaming of helping their clubs, but toiling away in Philly with a team that can earn a consolation prize despite being favored to win the tournament.