The U.S. Men’s National Team used Jordan Morris’ 59th minute strike to defeat regional rivals Jamaica 1-0 on Friday night at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn. The win marked the first victory of Bruce Arena’s second tenure in charge of the MNT.
Fan support was strong as the game drew a crowd of 17,903. With its first trip to Eastern Tennessee, the MNT found a thriving soccer market. NPSL side Chattanooga FC reached the league championship in 2015, where a crowd of 18,277 set a record for attendance at an amateur game in the United States. A little more than a week later, the U.S. WNT played in front of a sold-out crowd on the artificial turf at Finley Stadium and won 7-2 against Costa Rica.
The U.S. found its first chance of the game in the seventh minute when Benny Feilhaber hit a picture-perfect corner kick from the left to find Dax McCarty rise outside the six-yard box where he nodded a shot just over the crossbar. Twelve minutes later, Sebastian Lletget broke free up the left flank where he powered past two Jamaica defenders to center a pass for Juan Agudelo, but the striker’s first-time effort scraped just wide of the near post.
A close call on Romario Williams’ 34th minute rebound was followed up by two more U.S. chances. In the 38thminute, Jordan Morris broke free into the box, but Jamaica ‘keeper Andre Blake turned his effort out for a corner kick. On the ensuing take, Feilhaber played a short corner into the box for McCarty who settled for Lletget, before the LA Galaxy midfielder’s measured effort curled inches past the left post.
The MNT would find the go-ahead goal just before the hour mark when a clever combination between Feilhaber and Morris saw the latter beat substitute goalkeeper Ryan Thompson to record his second international goal in the 59th minute. Lletget nearly doubled the lead 10 minutes later, but placed his headed effort straight at Thompson before the U.S. closed out the 1-0 victory.
Next on the Schedule: The U.S. MNT reconvenes for two crucial World Cup Qualifying matches on March 24 vs. Honduras in San Jose (10:30 p.m. ET; FS1, UniMas, UDN) and March 28 at Panama (Kickoff TBD; beIN Sports).
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Jordan Morris (Benny Feilhaber), 59th minute: The U.S. finally found the back of the net through a well-worked goal just before the hour mark. Dax McCarty played a penetrating pass for Benny Feilhaber who took the ball on a turn before dishing to Jordan Morris. The two played a quick combination to get into the box before Feilhaber laid for Morris on the right where the Seattle Sounders FC striker finished past Jamaica goalkeeper Ryan Thompson. USA 1, JAM 0
- With the result, the U.S. moves to 14-2-8 all-time vs. Jamaica
- Bruce Arena earned the first win of his second tenure as U.S. MNT head coach, improving to 72-30-30 all-time and 5-0-5 vs. Jamaica
- The U.S. MNT has held opponents scoreless through 180 minutes in 2017
- Jordan Morris recorded his second international goal in the 59th minute. Morris opened his international account on April 15, 2015 vs. Mexico
- Benny Feilhaber tallied his second assist and first since 2007 on Morris’ strike
- Graham Zusi captained the MNT for the first time in his second-straight appearance at right back
- Hailing from nearby Lawrenceville, Ga., Walker Zimmerman earned his U.S. MNT debut, going the full 90 minutes in the win
- Along with Zimmerman, defender Jorge Villafaña and midfielders Chris Pontius and Sebastian Lletget made their first starts for the MNT after earning their first caps in Sunday’s 0-0 draw vs. Serbia
- Both making their third international appearances, Luis Robles and David Bingham combined for the clean sheet
- Dax McCarty made his first MNT appearance since a 1-1 draw with Chile on Jan. 22, 2011
- Feilhaber made his first start for the MNT since a 1-0 win vs. Venezuela on Jan. 21, 2012
- Center back Steve Birnbaum was the only player to feature in all 180 minutes of the MNT’s pair of January Camp friendlies
- With his substitute appearance, Michael Bradley moved past Marcelo Balboa into sole possession of fifth all-time on the MNT all-time caps list
- Veteran defender DaMarcus Beasley entered for Villafaña in the 86th minute to make his 124th career international appearance
- Arena utilized a 4-1-3-2 formation, lining up Walker Zimmerman and Steve Birnbaum as central defenders with Graham Zusi and Jorge Villafaña on the right and left sides, respectively
- In midfield, Dax McCarty set up in the holding role, while Chris Pontius, Benny Feilhaber and Sebastian Lletget deployed from right to left
- Up top, Jordan Morris partnered with Juan Agudelo
– U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica
Date: Feb. 3, 2017
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Finley Stadium; Chattanooga, Tenn.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 38 degrees; mostly clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
JAM 0 0 0
USA – Jordan Morris (Benny Feilhaber) 58th minute
USA: 12-Luis Robles (22-David Bingham, 46); 19-Graham Zusi (capt.) (3-Brad Evans, 68), 15-Steve Birnbaum,21-Walker Zimmerman, 14-Jorge Villafaña (7-DaMarcus Beasley, 86); 20-Dax McCarty (6-Darlington Nagbe, 63); 23-Chris Pontius (11-Alejandro Bedoya, 74), 10-Benny Feilhaber (4-Michael Bradley, 62), 18-Sebastian Lletget; 8-Jordan Morris, 9-Juan Agudelo
Subs not used: 1-Nick Rimando, 2-Greg Garza, 5-Chad Marshall, 17-Jozy Altidore
Head coach: Bruce Arena
JAM: 1-Andre Blake (23-Ryan Thompson, 46); 3-Damion Lowe, 5-Alvas Powell, 6-Sergio Campbell (4-Ladale Richie, 61), 8-Oniel Fisher, 9-Ewan Grandison, (2-Rosario Harriott, 78), 10-Romario Williams (16-Jourdain Fletcher, 83), 11-Cory Burke (14-Shamar Nicholson, 83), 12-Michael Binns, 15-Je-Vaughn Watson, 18-Owayne Gordon (7-Omar Holness, 56)
Subs not used: 17-Kevon Lambert, 19-Dwayne Ambusley
Head coach: Theodore Whitmore
Stats Summary: USA / JAM
Shots: 10 / 4
Shots on Goal: 3 / 0
Saves: 0 / 2
Corner Kicks: 7 / 3
Fouls: 17 / 14
Offside: 2 / 0
JAM – Ewan Grandison (caution) 10th minute
Referee: Jafeth Perea (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Williamson (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Alejandro Camarena (PAN)
4th Official: Jose Kellys (PAN)
Budweiser Man of the Match: Jordan Morris
– ussoccer.com –