After ending a winless streak of 75 years in Mexico, the United States national team should feel a bit more confident about its chances against Jamaica on Friday at Kingston's Independence Park.
A statue of the legendary Bob Marley, who was a loyal soccer fan and player, is stands just outside the soccer grounds. However, on the field, Jamaica has proven to be stiff competition for America, as they have a 2-0-5 career record on Jamaican turf. They also are only 0-0-4 in World Cup qualifying matchups against them.
Just three weeks removed from halting their bad luck against the Mexicans via 1-0 exhibition victory at the Estadio Azteca, the United States will face off against the Reggae Boyz in the third of six qualification matches in the CONCACAF semifinal round at 8pm EST.
The stakes are different from what they were. With the fitness regimen of many players in question and a few players missing, coach Jurgen Klinsmann's American team will aim to secure a win at the stadium that they have had tough luck at in the past. The qualifying match on Friday will be game number 17 of Klinsmann's 13-month tenure at the helm of the squad.
The bar will be set high, as midfield anchors Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley will be out of action. However, the gritty victory that the United States pulled out against the powerhouse Mexicans proved that they do have heart.
According to Oregon Live, United States forward Herculez Gomez spoke about the team's confidence going into the crucial matchup against Jamaica to reporters:
"It gives us a greater sense of relief. We always believed in ourselves, but once it starts getting a little more tangible for ourselves you see the fruits of your labor and you can definitely try doing more. That sense of belief goes a long way."
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