USA vs. Jamaica: Live Commentary

Happy Father’s Day and apologies no Orange Slices today.

Will the unofficial captain have his say today?

Update: Wow! More surprises from Coach Bradley.

Landon Donovan starts on the bench. Bedoya in his place. Injury, late arrival over night or form?!

Kljestan as well. Meaning a 4-2-3-1?

Freddy Adu makes the bench.

US goes: Howard, Cherundolo, Goodson, Bocanegra, Lichaj, Jones, Bradley, Dempsey, Bedoya, Kljestan, Altidore

The United States faces a tough upstart opponent in the Reggae Boyz of Jamaica at RFK Stadium at 3pm ET for the right to play the winner of Panama v. El Salvador in the semifinals.

Mexico and Honduaras are through already and will square off on the opposite side of the bracket.

Will the United States move on? Will Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey be bleary-eyed from their cross country jaunts cross continent? Does Alejandro Bedoya perhaps get a start? Can Jozy look beyond a single shining moment per match to bunches of them? Will Jonathan Bornstein score another critical goal in CONCACAF at RFK? Does prodigal son Freddy Adu perhaps make the 18?

It all goes down shortly just off Capitol Hill!

If you missed our official preview it’s right here.

See you in a few hours.

106 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Soccernst on 2011/06/19 at 8:23 AM

    Is it April Fools day? Is the sky falling or just warming?


  2. Posted by Matthew on 2011/06/19 at 10:09 AM

    Not criticism but actually a complement. I was really looking forward to TSG’s Orange Slices today. Thanks for providing such high quality analysis and commentary.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/06/19 at 10:23 AM

      Sorry about the–appreciate the compliment. I enjoy creating Orange Slices–it will return.


  3. Posted by Mark F on 2011/06/19 at 10:20 AM

    TSG, you guys do an awesome job. I cannot wait for this game!!!


  4. Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/06/19 at 11:09 AM

    Sciaretta is reporting that no Donovan…. Looks like a 4-2-3-1 with both Bedoya and Sasha in


    • Grant Wahl is saying the same thing on twitter. Well this is going to be interesting. Ewing Theory in effect, I hope.


      • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/06/19 at 11:16 AM

        The US have won, what, three Gold Cups with Donovan? Don’t think the Ewing Theory applies here.


    • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/06/19 at 11:13 AM

      Howard; Cherundolo, Goodson, Bocanegra, Lichaj; Jones, Bradley; Bedoya, Kljestan, Dempsey; Altidore.



  5. We’ve gotta score first in this one, Jamaica has been great in the tournament but they haven’t had to play from behind yet. I think if they go down early they may lose some composure and we can take advantage. Love seeing Dempsey in a more free role and Bedoya getting the start.

    I do think we’re sorely missing Holden right now, don’t think anyone out there would’ve been on Kljestan starting an elimination match six months ago.


  6. Posted by Martin on 2011/06/19 at 11:23 AM

    Interesting. Lots more MLS starters for Jamaica than the US who have none. What does that say about MLS?


    • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/06/19 at 11:33 AM

      If Jamaica wins it will prove MLS’s superiority to the European leagues.


      • Posted by Christopher on 2011/06/19 at 2:32 PM

        even if they did win…couldn’t it also mean that Jamaica played better as a team for the day? Or that US may have not been motivated…or that Donovan started from the bench.


  7. Posted by Martin on 2011/06/19 at 11:24 AM

    Anyone notice how hard a time Mexico had with a way overmatched Guatemala?


    • Posted by dth on 2011/06/19 at 11:32 AM

      Yeah. Guatemala did very well by pressuring Mexico’s central midfield, which is completely awful–the equivalent of USMNT striker or left back. If the US faces Mexico, our chances for winning will come down to beating the tar out of their central midfield.


      • Posted by Martin on 2011/06/19 at 11:57 AM

        At the end of the second half it was noticeable how tired Guatemala was. They could barely get it up to get the ball out of their own half. Have to give them credit for leaving it all out there.


  8. Posted by dth on 2011/06/19 at 11:31 AM

    This lineup strategy is a perfect encapsulation of Bradley’s tournament so far: looks risky, might work, but it had better work. (Also–in the Bradley Obsession note: that’s four, perhaps five central midfielders on right now.)

    If he’s lining Kljestan up on the wings I’m not going to be pleased.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/06/19 at 11:36 AM

      Grant Wahl has it as a 4-2-3-1 with Bedoya/Kljestan/Dempsey as the “3”. Smart to put Bedoya on Lichaj’s side–Bedoya is a strong defender and Lichaj has trouble with the should-I-stay-or-should-I-go conundrum of fullbacks.


    • I figured Klestjan would start on the wing with Dempsey playing just behind Altidore in the center…are you thinking Klestjan might line up as our CAM? That could be really interesting to see…


      • Posted by dth on 2011/06/19 at 11:41 AM

        That’s what Wahl seems to believe. Putting Kljestan in at that position best utilizes his strengths, I think.


        • As stated in another post, we miss you Stu.


          • Posted by dth on 2011/06/19 at 11:44 AM

            Stu Holden wouldn’t be playing there because Holden isn’t a creative player. I think he only had two or three assists the entire Premier League season.


          • Posted by Martin on 2011/06/19 at 5:48 PM

            If you are really honest you’ll look back and find out that, except for those games with the infamous B team Gold Cup squad Holden has never had a dominant performance in a US shirt.

            His really outstanding perfomances have come in a Bolton shirt.

            So I don’t see how you can miss a player who has never really done anything for you.


            • Posted by cfig on 2011/06/19 at 9:55 PM

              Holden hasn’t had much of a chance to play for the Nats since improving dramatically over the last season and a half, he also plays as a holding midfielder for Bolton so he’s not in a position to rack up a lot of assists (he was leading the Premiership in tackles before his injury though). In any case he’s one of the few players we’ve got who can slot in comfortably in the middle or outside of midfield, in this case I’d play him outside and leave Dempsey in the hole under the main striker. I don’t think I’d play him in the middle as this point as he’s isn’t a true #10 (though I think he has the potential to play there) but he offers probably the best service from the wing of anyone in the US pool.

            • Posted by Martin on 2011/06/20 at 3:21 PM


              What you say about Holden is hypothetical in terms of how it relates to the US.

              You are assuming that , because he has done it for Bolton, he can do it for the US. Well he hasn’t yet.

              I”ve seen far too many players star for their clubs and then turn in mediocre performances for their national team. Bolton is not the USMNT.

              Now I think it’s very likely he would have done very well had he been able to stay healthy but that is a lot of shoulda, woulda, coulda. The other thing is this is his second serious injury in a year and he isn’t getting any younger so if you expect him to come back better than ever or even as good you are taking a lot on faith. He sustained ligament damage, no small thing. Proper recovery from knee injuries takes quite a while so for his sake I hope he doesn’t push it.( see Onyewu, Oguchi). I hope I’m wrong but my view is he might back to his best by 2013.
              Nothing against Stu but hopefully by then the US will have better options.

  9. Posted by berniebernier on 2011/06/19 at 11:36 AM

    I am torn. I like changing if it isn’t working. I even went as far as suggesting to bench Donovan on these boards. Happy with the change. That said I don’t like the fact that Bob can’t settle on a formation.


  10. Agreed with berniebernier – not quite sure how to feel on this one. Love seeing experimentation, especially when our go-to players aren’t getting the job done – but am nervous about seeing this sort of fiddling at this stage in the tournament.

    Should be a very, very interesting game to watch.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/06/19 at 11:59 AM

      Yeah, you shouldn’t be entering the knockout stage of a tournament without knowing what your best lineup and formations are.


      • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/06/19 at 12:09 PM

        Those can change depending on the opponent.


      • Posted by Martin on 2011/06/19 at 5:52 PM

        1982- Italy barely gets through its World Cup group with three points from three draws scoring two goals and giving up two goals.

        They go on to win the World Cup. You can get through with nine points or you can get through with three points.

        Just get through.


  11. Posted by Ufficio on 2011/06/19 at 11:40 AM

    I really wish Wondo were on the bench instead of Adu.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/06/19 at 11:43 AM

      I agree. But Bradley’s decisionmaking has been very difficult to track this tournament.

      (The Bedoya thing–from out of the 23 to starter in knockouts, the Rogers thing, not using Adu at all through the group stage before resurrecting him for knockout…just me or does Bradley seem desperate?)


      • Posted by Martin on 2011/06/19 at 11:54 AM

        I don’t see that as desperate. Injuries are part of the game. Maybe Benny would have been great this torunament.

        As for Adu maybe he needed that time to get back into it. Every player is different. Interesting that he is on the bench while Spector and Wondo are not.


  12. Posted by Alex on 2011/06/19 at 11:45 AM

    I’m a little worried right now. Yea I’ve been critical of Donovan this entire tournament, but this doesn’t seem like the round to be experimenting… It’s too important of a game to experiment with things. Oh well, we’ll see.


  13. Posted by scweeb on 2011/06/19 at 11:54 AM

    When dempsey gets the free role he is getting is Jozy the best partner up top for him?


  14. Posted by Andy on 2011/06/19 at 12:05 PM

    The good news: Ricketts in the goal for Jamaica.


  15. where can I watch the game online??


  16. Posted by Alex on 2011/06/19 at 12:12 PM

    Wow another terrible start saved only by Howard and poor finishing. WAKE UP!


  17. Posted by scweeb on 2011/06/19 at 12:16 PM

    Hmmm Altidore out? lets see um Landon Clint up front


  18. Posted by Jared on 2011/06/19 at 12:17 PM

    Well, with Jozy leaving Bob’s terrible job picking only 3 forwards might bite him.


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/06/20 at 3:05 PM

      I love Gomez and would have loved to have him rather than Rogers but otherwise the 3 striker thing is not an issue.

      The question is can Dempsey and Donovan play up front better than Buddle and Bunbury?

      Since it seems Bedoya, Kjlestan and Edu can fill the midfield void should either of the Glimmer Twins play up front, then the answer to me is yes.


  19. Posted by BryDax11 on 2011/06/19 at 12:17 PM

    Did Altidore pull a hammy?


  20. Posted by Joe Shoulders on 2011/06/19 at 12:17 PM

    This line-up and all the Gold Cup line-ups have been puzzling to me. Altitdore and Jones represent the typical Bradley thinking of throwing athletes out there to play with his son. I’m tired watching his son complete square passes fin the midfield for what seems like the last 10 years.

    Where is Jose Francisco Torres?? He’s the best US midfielder (besides Donovan – who should really be a forward) I guess Torres is a lost cause.

    I see Freddy Adu is dressed today. Hopefully, we can see his talent again. Freddy a is perfect example. Here’s a super-talented kid with skills beyond anything we have seen the US and he has been flop because coaches (highly educated coaches), both here and Europe (where coaching education is huge) choose to focus on what he can’t do rather than what he can do better than anyone.

    Bob Bradley represents the US coaching philosophy. He preference for hard-working, simple players (like his son) over less predictable talents (like Adu or Torres). This type of thinking filters down throughout US Soccer resulting in a very ordinary product on the field.

    I’d love to see Agudelo and Adu together.


    • Posted by John Henry on 2011/06/19 at 12:50 PM

      pretty slick through pass from bradley there.

      But overall he hasn’t been great today, IMO.


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/06/19 at 2:34 PM

      “Where is Jose Francisco Torres?? He’s the best US midfielder (besides Donovan – who should really be a forward) ”

      Why do you say that about Torres?


      • Posted by dth on 2011/06/19 at 3:31 PM

        Because he wants to complain about Bob Bradley. Torres is an adequate player but worse than all the central midfielders on the roster and particularly struggles with speed of play. Torres, like Edu, needs to change leagues. Unfortunately both are so average that I can’t see a move being worthwhile.


  21. Posted by Ufficio on 2011/06/19 at 12:20 PM

    Agudelo looking good in his first few sequences, at least.


  22. Posted by Alex on 2011/06/19 at 12:23 PM

    Bradley reads Zonal Marking haha. 3 man Ds are easier to break down with just one man up front


  23. Posted by dth on 2011/06/19 at 12:31 PM

    Jamaica has zero ideas when in possession.


  24. Posted by Ufficio on 2011/06/19 at 12:34 PM

    Utterly stupid yellow from Jones there.


  25. Posted by Alex on 2011/06/19 at 12:38 PM

    Distribution for our midfield “2” has been poor today. too many give aways so far


  26. Posted by dth on 2011/06/19 at 12:40 PM

    As a distributor, Bradley has been playing poorly. As a destroyer, he’s been excellent.


    • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/06/19 at 12:43 PM

      One of those poor distributions led to what should have been a goal for Jamaica, though.


  27. Posted by dth on 2011/06/19 at 12:47 PM

    Is “let’s test Clarence Goodson aerially” the Jamaican equivalent of “let’s keep on letting Eric Lichaj cut back to his right foot”?


  28. Posted by Alex on 2011/06/19 at 12:47 PM

    Seeing a little why Bedoya was in for Donovan. He tucked into that inside right lane and you can see him edging to blow right by the defense. Shame that Kljestan didn’t see him. But loving the kid’s energy so far. Kinda like someone else a few years ago…


  29. Posted by Matthew on 2011/06/19 at 12:48 PM

    Dempsey trying some shit-love it.


  30. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/06/19 at 12:50 PM

    Luckily, Lichaj’s overdribbling can be coached.

    And the stagnation on offense continues. Otherwise Clint wouldn’t have to come into our half to receive the ball


  31. Posted by John Henry on 2011/06/19 at 12:51 PM

    nice left foot from Lichaj… ha!


  32. Posted by John Henry on 2011/06/19 at 12:53 PM

    bedoya and kljestan have done more offensively in one half than pretty much anyone else has all GC, except maybe Demspey.


  33. Posted by Ufficio on 2011/06/19 at 12:55 PM

    Total US domination. Failure to hold the line twice led to Jamaica’s only chances, and then there’s the finishing…

    One of these chances the ball will have to find the back of the net, right?


  34. Posted by dth on 2011/06/19 at 12:56 PM

    Not a bad first half considering the circumstances. The US would be advised to get the win and not try the extra time stuff.

    I’d let the first half lineup ride for a while in light of the forced early sub.


  35. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/06/19 at 1:00 PM

    Lichaj has got to finish that one


  36. Posted by Alex on 2011/06/19 at 1:13 PM



  37. Posted by Ufficio on 2011/06/19 at 1:13 PM

    Well, that’s one way to get it.


  38. Posted by dth on 2011/06/19 at 1:20 PM

    Landon is warming up, but I’d let him rest. The team’s been playing well and Landon probably needs the rest.


  39. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/06/19 at 1:22 PM

    JJ is such a G in every sense of the word


  40. Posted by Alex on 2011/06/19 at 1:25 PM

    Okay, I think LD for Bedoya now. He’s done a lot of hard work, but looks tired now. Good game ofr him though


  41. Posted by Bob on 2011/06/19 at 1:37 PM

    That was a terrible red card. It’s embarrassing that such an obvious dive makes such a difference.


    • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/06/19 at 2:11 PM

      You need the right angle of the replay to see it, but there’s clearly a knee to Jones’s heel. It was absolutely the right call. (Not to mention that diving in that spot makes little sense. Your at the ref’s mercy, and don’t even get a penalty, as opposed to taking a free run at the goal.)


  42. Posted by dth on 2011/06/19 at 1:39 PM

    Don’t know what I’ll rate everyone, but the cameraman deserves a 0. Try following the ball, buddy.


    • Posted by Bode on 2011/06/19 at 2:07 PM

      Agree– also, could we make sure that there aren’t fans doing the wave and blocking the camera. I mean, the TV rights for the game have to be worth a little more than the 5 seats or so it would take to make sure the picture was clean for all the viewers at home


    • Posted by dth on 2011/06/19 at 2:11 PM


      Howard: 7

      Cherundolo: 7
      Goodson: 5
      Bocanegra: 5.5
      Lichaj: 5.5

      Jones: 7.5
      Bradley: 5

      Bedoya: 6
      Dempsey: 6.5
      Kljestan: 6.5

      Altidore: N/A

      Agudelo: 6.5
      Donovan: 5.5
      Edu: 5


  43. Posted by Ufficio on 2011/06/19 at 1:44 PM

    I want to complain about the ref, but at least he got the call on the red card right. That would’ve been an easy one to blow.


  44. Posted by John Henry on 2011/06/19 at 1:45 PM

    donovan really can change the game, though… obviously. The big difference so far (to my eyes) is his through-balls ability.


  45. Posted by dth on 2011/06/19 at 1:46 PM

    Clarence Goodson has had some bad misadventures with the ball at his feet.


  46. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/06/19 at 1:54 PM

    Dempsey liberated his vision in the second half. Well done as a trequartista


    • Posted by dth on 2011/06/19 at 3:35 PM

      Thought kljestan was more central. Still, usmnt was so fluid that it’s hard to pin down roles


  47. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/06/19 at 1:57 PM

    Jermaine Jones new nickname. You heartd it here first. GMC (German Manslaughtering Co.)


  48. Posted by dth on 2011/06/19 at 2:00 PM

    Congrats to Bradley for having the brainstorm to put a creative player in the middle of a “3”. WHO COULD’VE GUESSED?


  49. Posted by usasoccerfan818 on 2011/06/19 at 2:13 PM

    Great play from USA, klejstan was a pleasant surprise for me.


  50. Posted by Eric on 2011/06/19 at 2:15 PM

    Jones looked like he came off with an injured groin… not good.


  51. Posted by dikranovich on 2011/06/19 at 2:27 PM

    this game was interesting because it showed that usa could do well without getting the best out of junior bradley and without donovan on the field. mucho chaones from coach bradley. it seems obvious that deuce will start the next game on the bench, this is a big hurdle the usa is getting over right here in this gold cup 2011. herr jones………….. big ups to lichaj when he moves to the right he will be even better.


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/06/19 at 2:46 PM

      “it seems obvious that deuce will start the next game on the bench, ”

      Why do you say that?

      One of the interesting things about the comments on this game is that most of them focus on this bad pass by player x or that missed tackle by player y. I’m sure all those things happened and if things were just a bit different could have led to bad things. But, for the most part they did not. I have yet to see a game from anyone where the midfielders completed every single pass or did not make some sort of mistake that might have led to a goal by the other guys.

      What matters is how well they recover from their mistakes and it seems the US did well with that today.

      What I saw was a very professional performance by the entire US team. They ground down a Jamaican/MLS team that everyone praised for playing very well this tournament and made them look like DC United on a bad day.


    • Posted by Braden Lang on 2011/06/19 at 6:37 PM

      I hope Lichaj stays left and Timmy C relieves ‘Dolo whenever ‘Dolo says he’s ready to leave.


  52. Posted by Christopher on 2011/06/19 at 2:42 PM

    Wish FIFA would enact some sort of carding players for theatrics after games. I am not entirely clear on what constitutes a foul or not as it seems like Thomas won that ball cleanly or nearly so. If Jones didn’t flail and fall there would have been no foul called. Yes players are coached, I’m sure to draw fouls…but Jones’s was over the top. He took a very stable step in stride after any contact and only fell when he knew that ball was gone. Retro-red for him…in my opinion. Sad to see theatrics awarded. With that said, excellent goals by Dempsey and Jones..and good overall effort.


    • SBI confirmed this. Jones did get clipped. He sold the foul, but he got clipped nonetheless.


        • Posted by B on 2011/06/19 at 7:03 PM

          it does say something when the defender doesnt argure on the call or the red. he knew he made contact and if there was a whistle it would be red…. so i see nothing wrong with it and live in stadium (i was there today) it looked like a no brainer call.


          • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/06/20 at 5:36 AM

            It was a yellow card because it was not a “clear goal scoring opportunity” – No. 12 is technically defined as a recovering player – the ref got this call wrong. Yes, Jones did get caught, indirectly, but only decided to go down once he realised he wasn’t going to get to the loose ball..


            • Posted by Martin on 2011/06/20 at 2:54 PM

              “it was not a “clear goal scoring opportunity””

              I beg to differ. If you watch the replay Jones would have been going in alone on Ricketts with the ball. A clear “obvious goalscoring opportunity”.

              There was one other defender who might have caught him from behind but that is pretty iffy.

              “Yes, Jones did get caught, indirectly, but only decided to go down once he realised he wasn’t going to get to the loose ball..”

              Tell you what. Sprint full speed down a field. Have someone as fast or faster than you at some point clip the heel of your trailing leg. Write back and let me know how much time you have to make decisions about anything.

              Even if Jones did not fall down, he was denied an obvious goalscoring opportunity by the intentional contact of the defender; and the defender clearly was trying to bring him down from behind.

              It’s a red card, easy.

              FIFA LAW 12

              Sending-off offences
              A player, substitute or substituted player is sent off if he commits any of the following seven offences:

              serious foul play
              violent conduct
              spitting at an opponent or any other person
              denying the opposing team a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his own penalty area)
              denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick
              using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures
              receiving a second caution in the same match

              A player, substitute or substituted player who has been sent off must leave the vicinity of the field of play and the technical area.

  53. Posted by mbw on 2011/06/19 at 2:45 PM

    Re: Jamaica, I think it’s fair to say that a good part of the US soccer punditocracy engaged in a bit of a flight of fancy following the group stage. Kyle Martino actually said at the start of the broadcast that the US could be considered an underdog today. That said, Jamaica’s definitely getting better with its MLS-heavy roster — cool that our league seems to be adding something to CONCACAF as a whole, not just American soccer.


  54. […] USA vs. Jamaica: Live Commentary Happy Father’s Day and apologies no Orange Slices today. […]


  55. Posted by mbw on 2011/06/19 at 5:05 PM

    This second game is amazing — controversial late goal, pitch invaders, double-red card fracas, going to extra time. . . .


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/06/19 at 6:03 PM

      Too bad. I was hoping for El Salvador. On the other hand this was a pretty draining match for Panama. We should be favored but it won’t be easy.


  56. Posted by Nate on 2011/06/19 at 6:21 PM

    Great effort by the team today. I didn’t get a chance to see the lineup or the subs before the match but I was surprised to see Donovan in gray and learn he was sitting it out. WIthout knowing the circumstances I thought: “Ballsy move by Bradley”, but one that really worked! Bedoya came out strong and stayed that way, and even Sacha showed some spunk in there. All the guys were putting in that extra push – so much so that I think it threw Jamaica off their game early – and they really never recovered. Agudelo continued to show his potential up front, but if we go with a 4-5-1 vs Panama he’s going to need a sub so he can go full out in the 1H.

    I think Donovan was still tired from the flight . Maybe I was wrong to think when Bradley subbed him in, he’d come out of the gate like a toddler on PixyStix – all full of energy and ready to run his butt off. Then again, maybe he was put in with instructions to calm down the play rather than go for the throat?


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