Bring on the stars, already.
The United States struggled to assert itself over the majority of a 1-0 home loss to Jamaica on Wednesday, one of two friendlies in the run-up to the Gold Cup.
Shamar Nicholson scored a terrific goal from distance for Jamaica, whose team was superior for most of the evening.
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The Yanks were without Tyler Adams, Christian Pulisic, and Weston McKennie, as well as Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore. Those five will be available for the Gold Cup, though John Brooks and DeAndre Yedlin will miss the tournament.
Those absences were very much felt, as the Yanks passed as poorly as they have in some time. It improved a bit with some second half substitutions, but not enough to engender hope in the depth of Gregg Berhalter’s squad.
Paul Arriola was active on the right wing very early, and Josh Sargent nearly nodded a cross from the DC United man past Jamaican keeper Andre Blake.
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Zack Steffen struggled in the first quarter hour, caught out of goal on a long shot from distance that sailed wide and then nearly giving away a goal on a lethargic restart.
Steffen would make a pair of saves, once on an Alvas Powell header and again in the 43rd minute on a rip from well outside the 18.
The second half began with more of the same, the soon-to-be Manchester City property getting low to make a fine parry in the 53rd minute.
The Yanks made a pair of subs, and Jamaica went ahead at the hour mark. Nicholson put Wil Trapp on skates, and then lashed a beauty past Steffen for his first senior goal.
Duane Holmes’ introduction for Cristian Roldan, who was given playmaking duties, helped give the Yanks some life. The same can be said for Jonathan Amon.
Holmes cued up Sargent for a point-blank chance that was diverted wide of the goal. He set up Sargent again in the 88th, and the youngster did well to turn but Blake got a piece of his chopped offering.