The US national team is preparing to square off against Jamaica for the 18th time on Sunday in the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup, and if history has any say, the Yanks should be just fine.
The USMNT is undefeated all-time against the Reggae Boyz, boasting an impressive 9-0-8 record. But while history may be on their side, this is certainly not the same Jamaica team the US have traditionally tamed.
Ahead of their Sunday clash at Washington’s RFK Stadium (3 pm ET/12 pm PT, Fox Soccer), we highlight the top three United States vs. Jamaica games.
1. October 7, 2001
Facing a must-win scenario in the final stage of CONCACAF qualifying, the US fended off Jamaica 2-1 at Foxborough Stadium to guarantee a berth at the 2002 World Cup.
Joe-Max Moore headed home a cross from Claudio Reyna in the fourth minute to give the Yanks the early lead, but it was squandered just 10 minutes later when Jamaican midfielder James Lawrence found the back of the net from 12 yards out.
Desperate for a win, the US pressed forward and finally caught their break in the 81st minute when Landon Donovan was fouled in the box by Jamaican defender Tyrone Marshall.
Moore, currently the fourth-leading scorer in US history, calmly buried his penalty kick into the lower-right corner of the net and secured the victory (and World Cup entry) for the Red, White and Blue.
2. August 18, 2004
In another World Cup qualifier, this time for the 2006 tournament in Germany, the US traveled down to Kingston and grinded out a tough 1-1 draw right at the death.
Second-half substitute Brian Ching notched his first career goal for the US in the 89th minute to steal a point on the road. The Hawaiian, who earned just his third cap in the match, unleashed a shot into the upper-right corner of the net off a feed from fellow San Jose Earthquakes teammate Donovan.
The US battled back after falling behind in the 49th minute. Captain Theodore Whitmore (currently Jamaica’s head coach) curled a corner kick into the box that was headed into the back of the net by defender Ian Goodison.
A slew of missed opportunities followed for the United States before Ching was able to capitalize and extend the Americans’ unbeaten streak to 14 games against the Caribbean nation.
3. July 16, 2005
The last time the US faced Jamaica in the Gold Cup, they came away with a decisive 3-1 win in the quarterfinal round, a result they hope to duplicate on Sunday.
Forward Josh Wolff opened the scoring for the US in the sixth minute when he redirected DaMarcus Beasley’s shot on goal. Wolff’s touch sent Jamaican goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts in the wrong direction and easily found the back of the net.
The US doubled their advantage moments before the halftime whistle. A streaking run by Donovan ended with a perfectly executed through-ball to Beasley, who hammered it home. Beasley, who reached double digits in scoring for his international career with that strike, wasn’t finished.
In the 83rd minute, he took a pass from Chris Armas in the box and neatly pushed a left-footed shot around Ricketts to up the lead to 3-0.
A consolation goal for the Reggae Boyz came just two minutes from full time when Ricardo Fuller found himself wide open in the penalty area and easily beat Kasey Keller.
The United States ultimately built on their success in this match and carried it all the way to the final, where they took care of Honduras in the semifinals 2-1 before beating Panama on penalty kicks to earn their third title.