Having stunned Mexico, the Reggae Boyz will need to pull off an even greater shock in order to deny the Americans the trophy
The United States can win the Gold Cup for the sixth time by beating Jamaica at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Wednesday evening.
The Americans were probably expecting to face their old rivals Mexico at this stage of the competition, but they were stunned by Jamaica in the semi-finals.
Instead, the Reggae Boyz will attempt to keep a third consecutive clean sheet in the knockout stage and pull off another shock by toppling Bruce Arena’s side, who defeated Costa Rica to reach the final.
|Game||USA vs Jamaica|
|Date||Wednesday, July 26|
|Time||18:30 local, 21:30 ET|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In the U.S., the match will be available to watch live on television on FS1 and by stream via Fox Sports Go. It can also be watched in Spanish on Univision.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|FS1 / Univision||Fox Sports Go|
In the UK, the match will not be broadcast live on television.
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Goalkeepers||Howard, Hamid, Gonzalez|
|Defenders||Villafana, Gonzalez, Miazga, Besler, Lichaj, Morrow, Zusi, Hedges|
|Midfielders||Nagbe, Pontius, Corona, Bradley, McCarty, Zardes, Arriola, Acosta|
|Forwards||Morris, Dempsey, Altidore, Agudelo|
Arena has continued to chop and change his starting XI and it is difficult to predict exactly what he will do in the final.
The coach’s biggest decision will be whether or not to start Clint Dempsey, who made a game-changing appearance from the bench against Costa Rica but could be held back as a super-sub once again.
Potential starting XI: Howard; Zusi, Gonzalez, Besler, Villafana; Arriola, Acosta, Bradley, Nagbe; Altidore, Morris.
|Goalkeepers||Blake, Miller, Hyatt|
|Defenders||Harriott, Lowe, Richie, Powell, Campbell, Fisher, Lawrence, Taylor|
|Midfielders||Grandison, Binns, Watson, Lambert, Gordon, Morris|
|Forwards||Francis, Mattocks, Burke, Nicholson, Johnson, Williams|
Jamaica’s only change between their quarter-final against Canada and their semi-final against Mexico was to replace the suspended Kevon Lambert with Ladale Richie.
Lambert has served his ban for yellow-card accumulation and could be reinserted into central midfield for the final.
Potential starting XI: Blake; Powell, Lowe, Taylor, Lawrence; Gordon, Lambert, Watson, Francis; Williams, Mattocks.
BETTING & GAME ODDS
USA are 8/15 favourites to beat Jamaica and win the Gold Cup, according to dabblebet, with the Caribbean side rated at 5/1 and the draw available at 14/5.
With just Jamaica now standing between them and the Gold Cup, the USA’s run at this tournament, on paper, looks fairly forgiving.
It has been up until this point; Costa Rica did not play especially well at any stage of their run and had sent a few key men back to their clubs by the time they faced the Americans. Panama provided a decent test to open the competition, but lack top-tier talent.
Jamaica, though they were also finalists in 2015, were not exactly highly fancied on day one either.
In a way, though, the Reggae Boyz may make for more uncomfortable opposition for the USA than Mexico. El Tri, with their squad substantially under-strength, were never at their best before being knocked out but just winning was not enough; they are expected to do it with style.
That could have left them vulnerable against a USA team that produced a confidence-boosting semi-final performance, but Jamaica will have no hesitation in shutting up shop as they did against the Mexicans, giving nothing to their opponents easily.
With Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey all hitting form against Costa Rica, though, it will take a shock of even greater proportions for the Toronto FC captain not to be the first man to get his hands on the trophy on Wednesday night.