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USA vs. Jamaica CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying 2013: Hex Match Preview

The Yanks are at The Office in Kingston tonight to take on Jamaica in a crucial match in the CONCACAF Hexagonal round of World Cup 2014 Qualifying.


The United States didn't have a very good match in Jamaica the last time they went down that way for a World Cup Qualifier. In fact, they lost to the Reggae Boyzz 2-1. The hope is that this time, the Nats can go to the Caribbean and take care of business. Jamaica is sitting at the bottom of the hex right now, and the U.S. actually has a game in hand on them. This will be a good opportunity to separate from the pack and climb back into one of the automatic qualifying places.

With home matches coming up against Panama and Honduras, a win in Jamaica would set the table for a meteoric rise in the qualifying table. Panama currently sits ahead of the Yanks in the table with Honduras tied on points but a spot below based on tie-breakers. Taking those two countries down would put the States in the driver's seat, but only if they take care of business in Jamaica first. Four points from four games - which is where a loss to Jamaica would put the Yanks - is unacceptable.

Offensively, the keys are easy for the States. Keep Jozy Altidore as involved as he was against Germany, and keep Clint Dempsey hot. The latter kind of happens on its own; the former will be much tougher, and could be a barometer for the entire qualifying campaign going forward. It does help that Michael Bradley is back to settle the midfield behind the two.

Defensively, it's about coping with speed. The back lines that were run out against Germany and Belgium never really looked confident and solid. Omar Gonzalez has been poor, Geoff Cameron wasn't good against Belgium, and Brad Evans isn't a natural full-back. It'll be a true test of the readiness of this young/inexperienced defensive unit to see if they can deal with the lightning-fast attack of Jamaica's forward players, because it's going to be more about being smart than being physically better.

Here are some previews from other publications to get you ready for the match:

Here's the always-amazing The Shin Guardian preview: Don't Fear the Reefer.

Yanks Abroad is a place that always does good work. Check out their preview.

And then there's the blog for tomorrow's opponents! Black and Red United always have an excellent Scouting Report.

Finally, it would be wrong not to include the preview from SBN's own Stars and Stripes FC.