The USA v. Jamaica Retro Diary: 2-1 USA WHAAAAAT!

Who is this Brad Evans you speak of?

Who is this Brad Evans you speak of?

Will Parchman (Twitter), folks.

I am at a buddy’s house and I have a beer in my hand and I look toward the television and Juan Arango is half-yelling into a blue microphone and sweating. Badly.

Phil Schoen looks vaguely concerned, as though Arango’s sweat is carrying with it all the fears of failed qualification. Welcome to Jamaica, home of pungent clouds of smoke in massive pockets and oppressive bricks of heat that fall on your forehead like sweaty towels made of Kyle Beckerman’s inner-most dreadlocks. And then soak those in fear.

Tony Meola and Cobi Jones are in studio and it’s hard to believe they put up the graphic that Cobi is our most-capped player. Wait, I meant the exact opposite of that. It’s like BeInSport is a little kid at a USMNT practice and WHOA HEY CLINT DEMPSEY CAN YOU SIGN MY GOOCH BECAUSE YOU ARE MY LITERAL DEITY.

Defense numbers are whatever. DaMarcus Beasley has 101 caps now and Clarence Goodson has 36 and WHO honestly expects that to mean anything at all. Goodson is a blind, deaf, frightened baby giraffe who is forced to spend his entire existence walking over vast fields of sentient marbles. So many damned marbles. Marbles with eyeballs.


US lineup: Howard; Beasley, Besler, Gonzalez, Evans; F. Johnson, Bradley, Jones, Zusi; Dempsey, Altidore #usmnt

This is, if I’m not mistaken, the first time Klinsmann has ever repeated a lineup. I’m almost scared by sameness now thanks to Klinsicakes. If things are the same I get strobing flashbacks to a Vietnam War I was not in. I can’t handle stability. SOMEBODY GIVE ME PARKHURST AND PUT BRAD GUZAN AT STRIKER OR I’M GOING TO PUNCH THIS NUN OVER HERE.

I’m not going to look at the Jamaica lineup. I’m not going to do it. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. This game should be 3-0. I JUST LOOKED.

Jamaica: Ricketts; Powell, Mariappa, Gordon, Woodbine; McCleary, Austin, Elliott, Hue; J. Johnson, R. Johnson.

Donovan Ricketts (or, based on Andres Cantor’s broadcast on Tuesday, “DONUHBAHN RAQUETS!!!”) is either a wall or a stiff breeze. Here’s hoping the trade winds are blowing gently across Kingston tonight. The rest is whatever. It’s fun and strangely comforting in its regularity to watch Jamaican attacks end in abject failure and utter, unbelievably vivid self-loathing. Jamaica in the final third is me if I saw a feral dinosaur running at me. WHADUHFRIX GO AWAY.

There was a moment against Mexico on Tuesday, in the 91st minute, when the Jamaicans earned a throw-in in Mexico’s final third. Like, even with the six-yard box. AND THEY TIME-WASTED THEMSELVES. The idiot asked for another ball. “Oi bruh, toss me dat ball ovah deyre. I GOT NUTHA TA DO.” This game will not be a walkover. But holy funky buttloving, you guys, make good on your chances and you win by three goals.

Dreds. Caribbean. Twerking. Jerk. Major Lazer. Boomayaye. Game time.

‘1 – I was just struck by the fact that we are without the Taylor Twellman pocket square. It’s not the same. It’s just not.

‘2 – OOOOH POST BRADLEY YOU ARE A BALDHEADED GANDHI. Gandhi was bald, wasn’t he? Sorry guys. So damn close.

‘3 – Ricketts is down. Ricketts is down. Wait what is Klinsmann wearing? Was that a heather half-button down breast pocket T-shirt with stars on a blue field? Dude. What.

‘4 – Fabian Johnson just did three step-overs as he cut into the box and rifled in a boring shot. He’s already better than every left winger in US history. Combined.

‘6 – Jamaica looks awful early. Like, awful. Guys falling over. Vuvuzelas are even flat. But they are blowing like a wind that breaks open your eardrums.


‘9 – Cobi Jones.

’11 – Jozy is too deep, and he doesn’t need to be. This is how crap attacking games start. He falls too far back (unless he’s like 15 yards offside) and tries to build and recycle too deep. You can already see the kernel of good attacking is there for the U.S. boys, it just requires patience. Mexico from Tuesday says “Josimer, relax and stay high. You’ll get there. Patience my dude.”

’16 – Phil Schoen makes a “Johnson, Johnson and Johnson” joke and a friend hates. Angrily.

’17 – Hay BeInSport! Thanks for cutting to another game IN-GAME while Jamaica has their best chance. Love it. Thank you. I’m clapping with my Dorito-stained forearms /Patton Oswalt

’21 – This game is obnoxiously physical. Almost entirely on Jamaica’s side. In the absence of fitness (after Tuesday) and touch (after being Jamaican soccer players) they’ve taken to kicking and smashing. JERMAINE JONES ROBO FIST ACTIVATE.



’28 – My guess is this game completely devolves in the second half. Heat and sweat and the like. Four goals. 3-1 USA. I’m also drinking beer so hashtag optimism.

Who are you?

Who are you?

’30 – JOSMER J. ALTINGTON MCTWEEEDY ALTIDORE. Header. Zusi is ON FIYAHHHHHH. Great ball in, and Zusi has now provided Jozy with his second goal on his second assist in as many games. My word. 1-0. Burn Jamaica. Burn.

’32 – BeIn Sport was minutes away from cutting away from Altidore’s goal with highlights from Modesto Johnny’s U6 youth game. Klinsmann’s shirt. Saw it again. It is awful. Like, 50-year-old-Abercrombie-model-who-can’t-let-go-of-the-dream awful.

’39 – JAMAICA POST. Holy lucky, Batman. Good thing Jamaica is like me trying to finish on FIFA 13. With China. On all manual controls. Against Spain. This back line is so mortal. Very mortal.

’44 – Jozy scored that goal and apparently he’s rewatching the Red Wedding right now. He’s had zero role since. Tim Howard is meanwhile hugging his left post while cooing to it.


HALFTIME: This hasn’t been nearly easy enough. 1-0. CONCACAF. ‘Mon. More beer.

’46 – BeIn Sport cuts in with a Magic Mesh commercial 20 minutes into the second half. Jozy will score from 55 yards with a bounce off Bradley’s head, a carom off a wayward vuvuzela in row 20 and then an angry stare. You will miss it.

’50 – Jamaica is a blunt instrument currently droning away into the bedrock of the flaky US back line. I am not confident. Besler-Gonzalez is only as good as I can throw them, and my arms are literal toothpicks.

’53 – Does it look to anyone else that Fabian Johnson barely has feet? A Jamaican 20 yards off his pace just ran him down in .46 seconds.

JJ, No!

JJ, No!

’56 – THEY HURT OUR JERMAINE. Who will punish Jamaica for punishing our punisher? A Jamaican just went down 40 yards away? Is that to mitigate the damage? That will not save you from an injured Jones spearing all 11 Jamaicans at once with an angry thought. FROM THE LOCKER ROOM. Cameron comes on. Negative move is negative.

’60 – Jermaine Jones will get a yellow somehow from the locker room. Cameron is in. I understand he used to be a midfielder. But whatev. This is a shut-up-shop move. I hate negative moves. If I had a crappy team I’d lose 43-0 every game because I’d open it up down 20. “LOOSEN UP AND ATTACK YOU CRAB PEOPLE.” Jurgen Klopp is my dad.

’67 – Exercising my right to be both right and wrong at the same time by being impressed with Cameron’s ability to probe forward and retain his defensive shape. Muscle memory runs deep, I guess. KLINSMANN FOILS ME AGAIN.

’70 – When Brad Evans crosses, forty seven angels die of emphysema.

’74 – Edgar Castillo walking to the fourth official is me grasping at a broken watch sat on by an obese Albanian helplessly falling over the side of a drifting, rudderless cruse ship.

’76 – Second half is EYE-GOUGING FAILURE PILES.

’79 – So Cameron is in the midfield. And Castillo is at left mid. Style points are being murdered by whatever Justin Beiber was wearing in that Miami Heat game.

’82 – Geoff Cameron at center mid. I’m serious. He’s looked awesome. Compact, quick-minded, sharp on possession, good passes. Everything Stoke has tried to beat out of him through those ritualistic practice whippings when you do something attractive. Impressed.


’86 – Almost there, you monkeys. This game is just awful in a bottle at this point. Thursday night rec league with drunk dudes awful. Good thing there’s OH WAIT there are four people at this game. All four are blowing trumpets and drinking past-due beer out of sloppy coolers. Jah Love.



’91 – Disaster. This is all a disaster. Botch everything. Quit Brazil. Quit soccer. Go kick a ball at your sister.


’94 – Schoen: “This is the goal that may well define Jurgen Klinsmann’s career.” IN WHAT UNIVERSE.


You wipe this one clean. I’m just going to sit down for a minute. What. I’m already sitting down? I’m gonna sit down harder.


31 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by matthewsf on 2013/06/08 at 12:46 AM

    There were like 25 Klinsmanns walking around in the Mission tonight–sipping on Roobois tea latte’s and drink Mescal from flasks. Just saying.


  2. Posted by Crow on 2013/06/08 at 1:55 AM

    Jermaine Jones will get a yellow somehow from the locker room. Love it but when was the last game he actually got one now?

    Jurgen Klopp is my dad.Best line in the article


  3. This is hilarious. Wtf is with the Tracy Chapman cameo? Hahaha


  4. Posted by gino744 on 2013/06/08 at 2:05 AM

    Had to watch the game at a Tilted Kilt with a friend because I don’t have freakin’ BeInSport. Aside from the obvious distractions, I managed to catch every goal live despite the abominal Al Jazeera owned network coverage. I don’t care what Uli Hoeness says, methinks Klinsmann CAN coach. Not getting ahead of myself but the road to Brazil seems less bumpy.


  5. Posted by gaug on 2013/06/08 at 9:40 AM

    I agree that Cameron looked good and composed in the CDM role (and I like how it allowed for Bradley to play farther up the pitch).


  6. Can we create a tab/section just with all the previews and post-game reviews paired up together? Because this is awesome, from a soccer and a, um, visceral reading experience perspective. Out-flipping-tastic. That was better than watching highlights.


  7. Posted by t on 2013/06/08 at 2:17 PM

    Who replaces Zusi next match?

    By the way- the commentary was hysterical!


  8. Posted by john m on 2013/06/08 at 3:56 PM

    wait? what’s happened to anti-bradley, anti-altidore gang? don’t hear much from them these days.

    as expected, bradley’s maturing wonderfully and turning into our very own hairless gattuso. altidore meanwhile is burying proper service in the proper manner. he will retired as the US’s leading goal scorer and be remembered as our first top shelf striker.


    • That might be a bit ambitious. He’s got 33 to go to tie LandyCakes, and frankly I’d be happy if he just breaks 35 on his career. I can’t see him getting 50 when he’s got at most 9 years left.


      • Posted by Ufficio on 2013/06/09 at 11:19 AM

        You can’t see him averaging four goals per year for the USMNT?


        • Not for that long, no. Especially considering he just went through a nineteen month drought and has never scored more than 3 goals for us in a calendar year.


          • Posted by Ufficio on 2013/06/09 at 3:21 PM

            That can’t be right; he scored at least six goals in 2009.

            If you think it’s unlikely he’ll hit 50, I won’t argue. It seems odd to discount it as a possibility, though.


            • Ah doy. You’re right on that, I completely missed the hat trick. 50 seems optimistic to me – and of our striker pool, I think he’s the most likely to get there. He’s 23 years old – which is only a year older than Dempsey was when he popped his international cherry. And while Deuce has scored 35 in the past 8 years…15 of them have come in this WC cycle. Could Jozy click like Dempsey has? Yes, but again…I’m not optimistic. Dempsey had a tendency to drift in and out of games when he was younger (and still does once in awhile), but he could pop up and score after being invisible for 70 minutes. Not sure Jozy has that je ne sais quoi about him…at least, I haven’t seen that yet.

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/06/09 at 6:26 AM

      Comments like this always make me laugh.

      The US changed up their attack and get Jozy moving towards goal so he scores. 1 in a friendly and 1 in a WCQ. That’s great. Hopefully JK stays with the system and it can dictate the other team’s defense.

      And Bradley has matured wonderfully. But if time has shown anything it’s that as yet–unless deep lying–he’s not an attack catalyst where he was asked to me under his father.

      Players changes. Time changes and system changes.
      Opinions change.

      Anywho, you knew that already.


    • As far as “top-shelf goal scorers” go, Jozy’s still a heavy touch behind McBride, IMHO.


      • Sean,

        I don’t know when you first started watching McBride but he was about 28 during the 2002 World Cup so Jozy still has a little time to improve his touch.


        • Well, I was 14 in 2002 and was still calling soccer players lawn fairies, so it’s all biased third-hand hindsight on my end. It’s not so much touch that’s been Jozy’s problem – it’s been workrate and (less often) speed of thought. Of the two, I think Jozy is far more technically gifted with the ball. McBride was more dangerous in the air and maybe a little more decisive about going for goal. But again, all I have are highlights from McBride – and that means I’ve never been frustrated with him the way that I’ve been frustrated with Josmer.

          Jozy was saddled with the Ken Brett curse of limitless potential, much like Freddy Adu before him. And while he’s been far better for the USMNT than Adu has, he could still be considered a disappointment because the general overblown expectation was that he would burn down the EPL. That didn’t – and it’s going to – happen. I love what I’ve seen from him in the past few games but I need to see it for a long period to be sold. This is a good step in the right direction – nothing more.


          • Posted by Jim on 2013/06/10 at 6:17 AM

            You would have never been frustrated with McBride. Ever. Not until his international retirement. I still think he would have been our best option up top in 2010. Oh well.


          • Sean,

            The expectations attached to Jozy were always ridiculous.

            He has time to grow from what he is now, a fairly one dimensional striker, into the reasonably sophisticated player that Bake was at the height of his Fulham days.

            Five years is a long time in soccer and at 23 Jozy is, in some ways ,already far ahead of what McBride was at a similar age.

            Of course, things do not necessarily go the way they “should” and there is, hopefully, a lot of competition coming Jozy’s way soon but Jozy has a chance to be really good and that’s all you can ask..


  9. Posted by dth on 2013/06/08 at 6:00 PM

    More MLSing, but obviously everyone’s loving the way New England is playing recently. A few (maybe non-obvious) things:

    1) Love Kelyn Rowe — why is Toja starting over him?
    2) Scott Caldwell is very underrated. Get a young Kyle Beckerman and/or Uri Rosell vibe from him.

    Everyone loves the Agudelo/Sene/Fagundez trident, but just wanted to note other stuff. (Agudelo is playing as well as he ever has. Looking like he and Altidore are the new model U.S. #9: athletic, interchangeable, surprising passing skills…though maybe not as clinical as you’d like.)


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2013/06/09 at 6:29 AM

      For my money, different players.
      Altidore is more Thierry Henry like. Agudelo more .. more Fabiano like maybe?

      Altidore works much better on the run. Agudelo can do the back to the basket.

      Rowe has the ability–a little bit Javy Morales-like–has to do it for a year or so. But agree that Toja was an awful buy. Gums everything up for them.


      • Posted by mbw on 2013/06/09 at 10:14 AM

        Agudelo seems to be developing into the player so many USMNT watchers thought Jozy was supposed to be.


      • Posted by dth on 2013/06/09 at 10:15 AM

        Different players, of course, but share some similar characteristics. And it seems like we’re relatively short on the smaller-poacher-dude prototype, or the medium-sized-sprinter type.

        On the Revs side, I understand why they’d want Toja in the first place. But there comes a point where you’ve got to stop throwing good minutes after bad money.


  10. Posted by JGD on 2013/06/09 at 6:49 AM

    Blas Perez out for the match in Seattle.


  11. Posted by Dirk on 2013/06/09 at 10:03 PM

    Geoff Cameron at center mid. I’m serious. He’s looked awesome. Compact, quick-minded, sharp on possession, good passes. Everything Stoke has tried to beat out of him through those ritualistic practice whippings when you do something attractive.

    Haha, good laugh.


    • Posted by mbw on 2013/06/10 at 10:01 AM

      Plus he’s one of the very best tacklers in the Premier League (as the statistics bear out), a skill that complements what Bradley does defensively.


    • Posted by Wxman40 on 2013/06/10 at 1:44 PM

      Geoff was doing CDM for the Dynamo in 2010 when he was injured at the end of April and missed most of the season. He was doing very well with it before the injury and even was showing great service in the counterattack.


  12. Posted by Tom Patton on 2013/06/10 at 3:34 PM

    Whatever happens,for the love of God and US National team(not necessarily in that order) do not let Kljestan near the pitch!
    Pick on Beckerman all you like but he is nowhere near the liability Kljestan is.


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