BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, September 7, 2012
The United States will resume its 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign tonight when it heads to Kingston to take on Jamaica at The Office.
The United States national team this year has reversed several trends this year as they defeated Italy for the first time in their history and also earned their first win over Mexico at Estadio Azteca. Friday night they will hope for their first ever win at The Office in a World Cup qualifier.
To do so the Americans will have to win with some of their best players out due to injury. Michael Bradley pulled a muscle last week training with his new club AS Roma in Italy and Landon Donovan has been bothered with a hamstring injury.
Also, several American players had an inconsistent preseason after club transfers late in the window. Captain Carlos Bocanegra and Maurice Edu had to spend most of the summer with Rangers in the fourth tier of Scottish soccer and Clint Dempsey has not played a game in almost three months due to his holdout with Fulham.
As a result, US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is likely to play with a backline of Fabian Johnson, Steve Cherundolo, Carlos Bocanegra, and Geoff Cameron.
In the midfield, the top candidates to start are Jermaine Jones, Kyle Beckerman, Danny Williams, Jose Torres. At forward, Clint Demspey and Jozy Altidore should both be out on the field from the opening whistle.
Jamaica boasts a very athletic roster that consists of nine MLS players and the most talked about young player Darren Mattocks who was the first overall pick in the 2012 MLS draft. The gifted Mattocks is an offensive threat with elite speed and aerial ability.
The United States has four points through its first two games of qualifying and will play Jamaica twice this international window.