A tie will suffice for the United States’ visit to Kingston for Friday’s World Cup qualifier. That’s nothing new, of course. The essential formula for World Cup qualifying from Argentina to Albania and all points in between: win at home, draw on the road and the sun will shine brightly on any march to the World Cup.
Of course, the other team has something to say about it.
The United States has a dependable history of draws in Jamaica. Four World Cup qualifiers there since 1994 – and four ties.
The United States has rang up victory once in that time, in 2003, but that was a friendly.
So, it’s been “mission accomplished” as Steve Sampson, Bruce Arena and Bob Bradley have taken U.S. selections in and out of Kingston.
Now, the Jamaican manager says “enough.” What coach Theodore Whitmore told the Jamaica Observer following Wednesday’s training:
I’m very confident of a positive result because the players have assured us of that and we have seen it in the training sessions as well. … Everybody knows what it is about, we all know the history between the US and Jamaica, but they are up for it, they know what is at stake and they are mentally prepared for it, though we know it will be tough.”
Does he believe it? Or is this just part of cramming as much confidence and belief as possible ahead of Friday’s contest?
With fellows like Dane Richards, Darren Mattocks (pictured), Omar Cummings and Ryan Johnson to choose from on attack, there is certainly enough speedy substance to trouble the U.S. back line.