Trying something a little different here. Last night, the United States beat Jamaica 1-0 to go level with the Reggae Boyz and Guatemala on points at the top of their CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying group after finding themselves in a tough situation following Friday's loss in Kingston. I decided to sit down with Microsoft Word and a couple of drinks and do a minute-by-minute recap of the game, with more visceral reactions to the action.
Others have done this, and probably better. I just thought it would be fun.
Let's not mince words here: despite the 1-0 scoreline, the Yanks absolutely dominated Jamaica. This wasn't a contest. Jamaica got maybe two or three looks at goal all game, and I think Tim Howard made about two saves. At most. No American player looked poor, and a few players looked particularly good, among them Gomez, Cherundolo, Williams, and Johnson.
But enough clear-headed reflection. Let's see what I was thinking as it was all happening. Follow me after the jump and find out.
1' Kickoff. I'm out of sorts. Waited till the last minute to finish setting up the live thread and lineups and everything. Haven't even had a sip of the whiskey yet.
2' Dolo with a sweet move and then a poor cross. Don't matter. I'm confident in him. Still haven't had that sip of whiskey yet.
4' Good US sequence leads to nothing. Dempsey should have pulled the trigger, long touch from Torres, decent recovery defense from Jamaica. Aaaand....finally. The whiskey.
5' Aaaand just remembered the whiskey I'm drinking is Evan Williams. Wish I'd made a beer run. Wish I had better time management skills.
6' ZUSI OFF THE BAR. I can't begin to express how impressed I am with him, honestly
7' Ugly looking giveaway from Torres, missed the ball. I can't understand what everyone sees in this kid.
10' Fans have started the 9/11 tribute. Nice to see. Not much else going on in the game, though.
11' Dempsey looks sluggish. He's probably pretty tired.
12' GOMEZ. Damn. Great run, if only he could have chested it a little more forward or controlled his momentum. He's shaken up but there was no foul.
14' Two fouls by Jamaica in quick succession. This one sets up the US in a decent spot, definitely in Zusi's range if no one else's. Herc took it....and Jones gets a head on it, went wide. Dangerous though. Jones mucked that up, he needed to do a lot better.
17' Great move! Poor Cherundolo cross. And then HEY SCREW YOU LOVEL PALMER, WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?! Damn right it's a yellow card!
18' Herc just hit Dwayne Miller at face-level from a free kick that was basically a corner. Dangerous deliveries all over the place.
21' DWAYNE MILLER WOW. Great reaction save and then...wait come on...JOHNSON....deflected....ANOTHER HUGE SAVE FROM MILLER. Where the hell is my drink
22' Bocanegra does a half-ballet jump half-horse kick half-I don't know what and misses everything in the box. No goal.
24' Man this is a lot to juggle. Zusi chance, managing the live blog, drinking the whiskey...I'm bad at multi-tasking
25' This midfield moves the ball so much better than the one on Friday. Danny Williams looks much better as a holding mid, and Torres' passing has been good enough to at least pique my interest
27' Yanks are playing their share of terrible passes, but man Jamaica can't hold onto the ball at all
28' There's something in my drink. I can't tell if it's a bug or a bit of pepper from the Montreal steak seasoning I put on my turkey burger. Whatever, it's all flavor. Meanwhile, scary corner kick from Jamaica, and now a counter from the US....checks back
30' DANNY F#$%@#$#% WILLIAMS WHAT A FREAKING STRIKE. God, the US can't BUY a bucket right now! Man, the replays hurt even worse! How is it physically possible for the ball to bounce out like that?!
34' Gomez offside, great work from Johnson, still no goal. So much pressure, still nothing. Doesn't lack for excitement, though
36' Taylor Twellman reminds me of a hockey coach. "PUT THE PUCK ON NET, GOOD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN YOU PUT THE PUCK ON NET!!!!!"
37' Oh cute little dummy there by Zusi, oh man. He and Cherundolo are on FIRE. Torres almost scores, good strike kid.
40' Chirping. Clint Demspey just made a ridiculous face. That's a GIF waiting to happen. Dempsey starting s@#t with Ryan Johnson, love to see that. I'd be happy to see fisticuffs, why not.
44' So we know Guatemala won. USA really needs the win, then.
45+2' Johnson crosses to no one in particular. I can't wait for halftime when I can freshen up my drink.
Dolo and Johnson have been good, the midfielders have been really good. Williams and Zusi in particular have been good.
Best Soccer Show really does a very good with their live coverage pregame, halftime, and postgame. Currently listening to Jason and Jared take calls at halftime. Agree or disagree with them, they present solid opinions that aren't far-fetched or baseless, and they get people involved. I like it. Chat function could be better, but now I'm just nit-picking.
48' Shelton with a one-man counterattack. Just diced up Cameron like it was nothing. That was frightening. Started with a Dempsey giveaway. Deuce really hasn't been himself so far. Not to say he's been bad, but...not himself.
52' 91% passing accuracy from the US tonight. Wow. Am I playing FIFA right now? Did I miss something?
54' FK chance for the US in a dangerous spot, Torres and Gomez look to be arguing over it. I'd love to see a goal here.
55' GOMEZ GOAL!!!! GOAL!!!! HERC GOMEZ OFF THE FREE KICK, MILLER GETS HIS HAND TO IT BUT CAN'T KEEP IT OUT THERE IT IS!!!!!
56' Looking at the replays, Dwayne Miller was a pretender in the first half. That should have been saved.
59' OH MY GOD JAMAICA SC - ok they didn't. Seriously, Cummings just had a ball saved into the side netting, scared the crap out of me.
61' Whooaaaaah. WhoOOAAAoohhh. WHOOAAAOOAAAOOOAAOOOHHH! NEW ENGLA - oh wait.
62' Yellow for Zusi. I didn't see it. I'm terrible at this.
67' Shea in for Torres. People still mixed on Torres. I'm no longer paying attention, discussing the merits of RWU Law's intramural soccer team with my roommate. Is that unprofessional? I forgot what that means.
70' Ryan Johnson almost scored. Oh man. That was frightening.
72' Bad giveaways. STOP IT. JUST...STOP IT.
73' BREK! STOP THINKING! JUST DO! GO@#$@%IT!
75' Debating with my roommate on who would win: Scotland or Jamaica. I think Jamaica has the win 4/10 times, with 3/10 draws, and 3/10 wins for Scotland. He disagrees. I just think Scotland's bad.
76' Wait, Edu came in for Zusi? Why Zusi off? I liked him in this game! Pull Jones!
80' Altidore on for Gomez. I just realized Dane Richards came on for Jamaica...at some point. And Austin from range! Good save Timmy. More booze time.
84' Wait, Edu is on...oh. I knew that.
90+1' How do you let the goalkeeper come out and take the ball off of you?! Jones, you had Williams wide right, man. That should have been the dagger goal.
90+2' SO MANY SHIRTLESS DUDES. Is this Newcastle?
90+3' DO IT. DO IT. DAGGER. SCORE THE LAST GOAL....Ok game over. AND A WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I started drinking now I don't want to stop. Does that mean I have a problem?
Good win for the US. I would have liked to see more goals though. Seriously, Jamaica looked anemic in attack...bang'em in, guys. I can't help but feel like that's the knock on Klinsmann's USA: they can't just overtly dominate teams on the scoreboard. Under Bradley, there were 8-goal games and such against inferior opponents. I don't think that will ever happen with Klinsmann. That said...good performance. Guys getting it done. I liked it.