Welcome to your open thread for Gold Cup semifinal freedom as the United States Men's National Team gets set to take on Jamaica with a spot in final on the line. Tonight's match comes to you from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta at 6 p.m. ET.
We're not sure why the USMNT isn't playing in prime time, but it seems like an epic fail for all involved in the scheduling. Duck out of work early today. Your boss won't mind if they are a true American.
Whoever wins today gets the winner between tonight's Mexico-Panama match Sunday at 7:30 p.m. in Philadelphia.
How We Got Here
The United States took seven of nine points in group play, finishing 2-0-1 at the top of Group A, with wins over Honduras (2-1) and Haiti (1-0), and a draw against Panama (1-1). In the quarterfinals, the U.S. topped Cuba 6-0 behind a Clint Dempsey hat trick and goals by Aron Johannsson, Gyasi Zardes and Omar Gonzalez, who was replacing the suspended John Brooks. Brooks is eligible to play today.
Jamaica captured Group B with a 2-0-1 record, drawing Costa Rica 2-2, then beating Canada 1-0 on a 92nd-minute goal by Rodolph Austin, and winning 1-0 over El Salvador on a Garath McCleary tally in the 71st minute. The Reggae Boyz then dispatched Haiti 1-0 in the quarterfinals in Baltimore, with a Giles Barnes goal in the sixth minute holding up.
The U.S. is 2-0 in Atlanta but those games were in Fulton County Stadium and the last time was in 1977 against China. This will be the team's first game at the Georgia Dome. The Yanks are 3-2-2 in domed stadiums at home, having played in the Kingdome (1-1-1), Silverdome (1-0-1), Alamodome (1-0-0) and Astrodome (0-1-0).
The Yanks are 13-1-8 in the all-time series against Jamaica, 12-0-2 on home soil, and 3-0-0 in Gold Cup play. The first meeting came back on July 24, 1988 in a World Cup qualifier in Kingston with the teams drawing 0-0.
The U.S. went unbeaten in the next 17 matches (10-0-7) before falling for the first and only time in the series on Sept. 7, 2012 in World Cup qualifying. The Reggae Boyz won in Kingston's Independence Park 2-1, despite Dempsey's goal in the first minute. The United States has won the last three meetings.
The first Gold Cup meeting was a 1-0 U.S. win at the Cotton Bowl in July of 1993. Eric Wynalda's 67th-minute goal gave America the victory. In the 2005 Gold Cup, the U.S. won 3-1 in the quarterfinals in Foxborough, MA, with Josh Wolff scoring once and a brace by DaMarcus Beasley. Ricardo Fuller pulled one back in the 88th minute but the damage was done.
The teams met most recently in Gold Cup play in the quarterfinals on June 19, 2011 in RFK Stadium, winning 2-0 on goals by Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey.
When the two sides last met in any competition, the Yanks won 2-0 at Sporting Park in Kansas City on Oct. 11, 2013. Graham Zusi and Jozy Altidore each scored in the final 15 minutes of an ugly match in CONCACAF hexagonal play during World Cup qualifying.
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Can the Americans advance to the final yet again? Will Deuce win the golden boot either way? Should we all swear off Red Stripe if Jamaica pulls off the upset?
We should get some answers today.
And don't forget to vote in our poll below.
U.S. Men's National Team (4-4-2 Diamond):
Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan
Defenders: Fabian Johnson, John Brooks, Ventura Alvarado, Brad Evans
Midfielders: Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Kyle Beckerman, Aron Johannsson
Forwards: Gyasi Zardes, Clint Dempsey
Bench: Nick Rimando, William Yarbrough, DaMarcus Beasley, Timmy Chandler, Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, Joe Corona, Mix Diskerud, Graham Zusi, DeAndre Yedlin, Alan Gordon, Chris Wondolowski
How to Watch:
Match time: 6 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Georgia Dome - Atlanta, GA
TV: FOX Sports 1, UniMas, Univision Deportes
Live Stream: FOX Soccer 2GO, UnivisionDeportes.com
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