Jamaica VS USA Gold Cup 2011 at RFK Stadium in Washington DC promises this sunday promises to be a “humdinger.”
This year the high riding reggaboyz has taken the Gold Cup by storm.
After playing three games thus far in the tournament, the boyz are undefeated.
…4-0 against Grenada, 2-0 against Guatemala, and 1-0 against Honduras. Not bad for a team that struggle this time two years ago in the same tournament.
…and even with those wins, very few believe thet the boyz can go all the way. In fact, they believe that the fairy tale will be over after the next game.
…and who is that opponent? The United States of America!. Along with Mexico, the USA has long been considered one of the best team in the region…and for that both have been favorably ranked among the nations of football elite.
Inspite of that, the CONCAF giant struggled to make it through to the second round of the gold cup this year…2-0 win against Canada, 1-2 loss to Panama, and 1-0 win over lowly Guadelope.
Not very impressive, if you ask me!
So the big question is with the reggaboyz riding so high right now, will they be able to win against their long their long time rival – the USA? My answer is…it is all ain their mind. They are playing good football, so all they have to do is believe they can and go out and do it.
I mean all you have to do is take a look at the games they have played thus far. They have played quality soccer…one-touch, two-touch passes. No more hugging the ball and dribbling all the way down the field trying to score by themselves…or better yet making a few passes in the back field and then “boom”…send a long ball up the field, hoping to cover quite a bit of real estate with such a searching ball and finding a Jamaican striker who latches onto it, dribble his way into the box, and score.
Not gonna work on the world stage in today’s game. Just about all the teams are “good” nowadays. If you are going to win on the world stage consistently, you have got to come tactically and technically prepared…and fundamentally sound in basic football.
Somehow Whitmore has gotten them to play soccer that way.
There is no question that we have the talent. All we needed was a coach who could get these individually talented players to play together as a team and start winning some games on a consistent basis…which will no doubt boost their confidence.
Well, thus far, Whitmore has done a darn good job!
Initially, when they hired him, I had my doubts. I thought he was too soft-spoken. He would not be able to handle those strong willed Jamaican players…but you know what, I was wrong.
Anway, the real test will come this sunday against the USA. They say if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.
If they can pass that test and finally beat the USA, then I will know that they are for real. They will not have only raised their game technically and tactically, but mentally as well….then will we be able to talk seriously about the possibility for world cup qualification.
…and I seriously mean that.
At this point, there are a lot of doubters. Everyone is talking about Mexico has taken over leadership in CONCAF, now that the USA is stuttering. Nobody is talking about Jamaica. Afterall, what do you expect? Mexico has Chicharito…the new found Manchester United gem. Personally, I love the player, but let us not forget football is a team sport.
…and the way Jamaica is playing right now, I am not counting them out. In fact, it would be my greatest pleasure to see them beat USA on sunday…and later on take on Mexico and win that too.
Is it possible? You bet! Especially the way they are playing right now. All they have to do is keep doing what they are doing, don’t listen to the media, stay focus, believe in themselves, the coach, and the system and it can be done.
I am looking forward to the game on sunday. In fact, I have already bought my ticket. RFK here I come!
For more on Jamaica VS USA Gold cup 2011, we will update you after the game.