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2019 Gold Cup - USA 3-1 Jamaica: America celebrates its birthday with a win

Happy 4th of July and good night

FBL-CONCACAF-GOLD-CUP-USA-JAM Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Editor’s note, the United States Mutant Ninja Turtles will hereby be named the following:

The USMNT had endured through the Gold Cup easily beating Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago while laboring to get past Panama and Curacao. Going into the game it didn’t seem like the progress that had been promised under Gregg Berhalter was materializing. Stomping Guyana and T&T is fine and the defense had played well in the tournament - not allowing any goals makes up for a struggling attack - but the new manager is not known for a fluid, possession oriented, creative defense. The game against Jamaica would be well better in some respects, but similar in others as a brace from Christian Pulisic and a goal from Weston McKennie put the USA past the Reggae Boyz 3-1.

This is America

The US would make four changes in the lineup dropping Tyler Boyd for Seattle Sounders dog guy, a player who was included on the roster over Josh Sargent was dropped for Jozy Altidore, second division centerback loan guy was started over the 2019 MLS Defender of the Year probably, and a right back for the 8th place team in MLS was sat for a right back for the 7th place team in MLS.

In the early going, the USA was all over Jamaica and it would pay off with a well worked goal for the Thirteen Stripes.

If Gregg Berhalter was looking for progress, that’s it. Tim Ream finds Michael Bradley in the middle of the field, the General hits a well struck long ball, Reggie Cannon sends it into the box and Jozy takes a deft feint at the ball to leave it for Weston McKennie making a late run from midfield who slams it past Andre Blake.

The US would continue to control much of the match and Christian Pulisic hit a freekick that smashed off of the post - the strike was so mighty that Thor himself awoke from his slumber and sent bolts of lightning from the heavens to remind the American that he is a mere mortal. So there was a weather delay in the 16th minutes at the exact time when Jamaica needed it.

Luckily after the FS1 studio team and announcers ran out of things to talk about the network just re-played the USA vs. England so I got to re-live about 50 heart attacks and was able to stay awake before the game resumed.

But there would still be action on the field as a future MLS center midfielder sent an absolute hospital ball to a future MLS right back before being absolutely cleared out by a defender.

Let’s get a closer look at that.

Finally, almost two hours after it started, the game resumed. The US came out with the same energy as they did in the first 15 minutes, but it looked like Jamaica had also made the most of their time in the delay and had a couple decent chances to try and equalize. In fact, the Reggae Boyz grabbed control of the game and the American’s couldn’t build much through midfield and were’t quick enough to counter.

Then near the half-hour mark the Americans gained possession and then strung together a bunch of passes before Bradley picked out McKennie in the box. The Schalke man couldn’t quite get a shot off as Blake charged him leaving the goal open - he did manage a cross but Paul Arriola couldn’t stretch his 5’7” frame to head into goal.

Berhalter will show this in film sessions on repeat - the team does everything here but score with Aaron Long pushing forward and Jozy dropping into midfield to get involved in the build up.

Then just as I was about to fall asleep, Christian Pulisic did this:

As the clock struck midnight, the calendar turned to the 4th of July and the second half got underway. It seemed like the US would build on that goal as Jamaica began fading. That would pay off as McKennie played a game to Morris who sent a blistering shot on frame. Unable to do much of anything other than stop it, Andre Blake pushed his save in front of goal and Pulisic smashed it home.

Jamaica would spend the next 20 minutes trying to fight back and the US took the foot off the gas. The Americans would pay for their passivity as Shamar Nicholson scored after Jamaica collected a poor pass off Zardes that would end up costing the Thirteen Stripes.

No, I do not know what Zardes was trying to do with that pass, no I do not know what kind of defense Paul Arriola was playing and I have less idea of what Matt Miazga is doing being out jumped by a player he’s seven inches taller than.

For the next 20 minutes the US was unable to do much to either hold possession and Christian Pulisic was unable to do something all by himself because his teammates were being overwhelmed by Jamaica. Meanwhile, the Raggea Boyz kept finding dangerous passes into the US box. Luckily, the US would push forward and after a long range effort from Arriola was blocked by Blake, Pulisic ordered up a serving of Nashville Hot Chicken and put the game away.

After three minutes of stoppage time, the ref blew the whistle and then I went to bed.