If the US men’s team World Cup qualifying matches were tense in September, the team is under even more pressure to deliver in all three October World Cup qualifiers, starting with Thursday’s match against Jamaica. That’s because the Americans will play two of the home games this time around and the expectation is no less than six full points in Austin and Columbus after drawing 1-1 against Canada in Nashville last month.
Home points are big in the regional standings and the US (3rd place, 5 points) will be the big favorite on Thursday against Jamaica (8th, 1 point), who could only muster a draw in their first three games in September. . The Reggae Boyz will be desperate for the surprise victory to revive their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup with only the top three places guaranteed a ticket to Qatar 2022 (fourth place advances to a play-in match).
Jamaica will be missing some headlines for this one and their star forward, West Ham’s Michail Antonio, did not travel. They have still shown they are a tough team to take down, especially on the road, as seen in their 1-1 draw in Costa Rica and their 2-1 last minute defeat in Mexico. The US mantra for this camp is to get behind defenses with early passes and break the lines with smart moves and fast, vertical passing sequences. We’ll see if they can do it against Jamaica.
The United States will have to try to achieve results without two of its best players, Christian Pulisic and Gio Reyna, who are absent due to injury. Weston McKennie, who was suspended and fired from the camp in September after breaking COVID-19 protocols, is back and starting. Yunus Musah from Valencia, who is now in shape again, has also been authorized to rejoin team activities after following an inconclusive PCR test with a negative.
Head coach Gregg Berhalter still faces a series of big decisions as he navigates three games in seven days: Is Matt Turner still starting as goalkeeper over now-shaped new Manchester City striker Zack Steffen? Is adolescent forward Ricardo Pepi starting over after starring in the last tie? Who replaces central defender John Brooks, who was a late scratch off the list: Mark McKenzie or Chris Richards?
These two teams have already met twice this year with the Americans winning both: a 4-1 friendly and a 1-0 Gold Cup win.
DECOURCY: Turner or Steffen? Why the USMNT coach has no other choice
How to watch USA vs. Jamaica
- Date: Thursday October 7
- Weather: 7:30 pm ET
- TV channels: ESPN2
- Spanish television: Univision, TUDN
- Transmission: fuboTV, ESPN +
The qualifier for the World Cup between the United States and Jamaica will be televised in English (ESPN2) and Spanish (Univision, TUDN). Those networks are available to be broadcast on fuboTV, which offers a 7-day free trial for new users.
The match will take place at a sold-out Q2 stadium in Austin in the USMNT’s first match at the venue, which opened in June. The United States women’s national team played the first game at the venue.
MORE: Ranking and qualifying schedule for the World Cup
USA vs. Jamaica: lineups
Much discussion will ensue if US coach Gregg Berhalter opts for Zack Steffen over Matt Turner as goalkeeper. All expectations are for Chris Richards to start as a central defender alongside Miles Robinson, and for Ricardo Pepi to retain his starting forward role after last bursting onto the international scene in Honduras. If Yunus Musah didn’t jump straight into the starting eleven after needing a follow-up COVID-19 test, Kellyn Acosta or Sebastian Lletget would likely start in central midfield.
Projected US Starting Lineup (4-3-3, left to right): Matt Turner-GK – Antonee Robinson, Chris Richards, Miles Robinson, Sergino Dest – Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie – Brenden Aaronson, Ricardo Pepi, Tim Weah
Projected Subscribers in the US: Zack Steffen-GK, Sean Johnson-GK, Shaq Moore, DeAndre Yedlin, George Bello, Mark McKenzie, Walker Zimmerman, Gianluca Busio, Luca de la Torre, Sebastian Lletget, Cristian Roldan, Yunus Musah, Paul Arriola, Gyasi Zardes, Matthew Hoppe
The Reggae Boyz are understaffed. According to local reports, three England-based players will be lost due to injury (Brentford defender Ethan Pinnock, Reading defender Liam Moore, and Preston North End midfielder Daniel Johnson), while West Ham’s Michail Antonio apparently lost. withdrew after “a disagreement with the Technical Staff regarding your personal physical therapist. “Jamoi Topey, from the local Cavalier FC of Jamaica, was called up to replace Pinnock.
DECOURCY: USMNT’s best option up front is clear
The loss of Antonio, who stayed at West Ham, is especially frustrating for Jamaica given that they have been in good form in the Premier League and were expected to give the Reggae Boyz an advantage in the race for Cup places. CONCACAF World Cup. But Jamaica remains optimistic: “We have enough quality in the team to beat these Americans,” said the assistant coach. Paul Hall told the Jamaica Observer.
Jamaica Projected Starting Lineup (4-4-2, Left to Right): Andre Blake-GK – Kemar Lawrence, Damion Lowe, Adrian Mariappa, Alvas Powell – Junior Flemmings, Devon “Speedy” Williams, Jevaughn Watson, Andre Gray – Shamar Nicholson, Bobby Reid
Jamaica Projected Subscribers: Dillon Barnes-GK, Jeadine White-GK, Javain Brown, Oniel Fisher, Jamoi Topey, Tyreek Magee, Javon East, Jamal Lowe, Kemar Roofe
USA vs. Jamaica: betting odds and prediction
Fees courtesy of DraftKings
Choose: United States -1.25 Asian Handicap (-140)
The USMNT is the big favorite to win the match and the only question is how many goals the Americans will score. Jamaicans will play defense first and when they are in their game and goalkeeper Andre Blake is blinded, they can hamper the best teams (see the opening game against Mexico). They have also capitulated in other parties.
Even with a decimated Jamaican team, it’s best to steer clear of goal totals. Because the sides cannot be played, the focus is on the spreads market. Looking for some insurance in case Jamaica has one of those games, the recommended play is USA -1.25 Asian Handicap, which returns you half of your bet if USA only wins by one goal.
Prediction: USA 3, Jamaica 1
- Money line: United States -330 / Draw +425 / Jamaica +750
- Spread: USA -1.5 (+100) / Jamaica +1.5 (-120)
- O / U 2.5 total goals: Over -130 / Under +105
- Both teams will score: Yes +120 / No -160
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.