USA…..2017 Gold Cup Champions

The U.S. Men’s National Team utilized goals from Jozy Altidore and Jordan Morris to defeat Jamaica 2-1 and claim the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup in front of 63,032 fans at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. The victory marks the USA’s sixth all-time confederation championship and makes Bruce Arena the first head coach to win the competition on three occasions.

Jamaica had upset Mexico 1-0 in the semifinals to reach the Gold Cup championship game for the second consecutive time.  It was Jamaica that knocked the USA out of the 2015 Gold Cup in the semifinal round, only to lose that final to Mexico.

In another match where the U.S. managed most of the possession, the game’s first chance also served as a pivotal moment. In the 19th minute, Altidore picked up a loose ball and blasted an effort from distance that saw Jamaica ‘keeper Andre Blake sprawl out to make the save. Kellyn Acosta followed up the rebound, but Blake got enough of a touch to slow his effort down before Damion Lowe cleared it off the line. While the danger subsided, Jamaica suffered a serious blow as Blake injured his hand on the play and was replaced by Dwayne Miller in the 23rd minute.

Just before halftime, captain Michael Bradley was fouled 30 yards from goal following a nice build-up through midfield. On the ensuing free kick, Altidore stepped up and curled a brilliant effort over the Jamaica wall before it squeezed past Miller and inside the upper left corner to send the U.S. into the locker room with a 1-0 lead.

While the goal could have been back-breaking, Jamaica came out of the locker room still inspired and pulled level in the 50th minute when Kemar Lawrence’s corner kick from the right picked out Je-Vaughn Watson in stride before the midfielder volleyed home his effort at the back post. Ironically, it was Morris, who would score the late game-winner who was beaten by Watson on that goal.

The match opened up after Jamaica’s leveler with both teams carving out goal-scoring opportunities only to be denied by excellent goalkeeping at both ends.

However, the USA’s relentless pressure finally told in the 88th minute when substitute Gyasi Zardes sent a cross into the Reggae Boyz’ six-yard box. The resulting clearance was knocked down by Clint Dempsey into the path of Morris, who rifled a shot into the top right corner for the game winner.

The victory marks the sixth time the U.S. has lifted the Gold Cup, having previously done so in 1991, 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2013. Having guided the U.S. to confederation titles in 2002 and 2005, the victory also makes Bruce Arena the first head coach to win three Gold Cups.

Next on the Schedule: 
The U.S. MNT shifts its focus back to booking its ticket to Russia when it faces Costa Rica on Matchday 7 of the Final Round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying on Friday, Sept. 1. Kickoff from Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. is set for 6:30 p.m. ET and the match can be seen live on ESPN and Univision Networks.

Goal Scoring Rundown: 
USA – Jozy Altidore, 45th minute: 
The U.S. broke through just before the break when a nice build up through the midfield saw Michael Bradley fouled about 30 yards from goal. Jozy Altidore and Kellyn Acosta stood over the dead ball before Altidore stepped up and curled a right footed effort over the wall and inside the top left post. USA 1, JAM 0 

JAM – Je-Vaughn Watson (Kemar Lawrence), 50th minute: Jamaica charged out of the halftime break and like they have throughout the tournament, took advantage of a dead ball situation after earning a corner kick. On the take, Kemar Lawrence drove a perfect ball to the back post that met Je-Vaughn Watson sneaking in volley home the equalizer. USA 1, JAM 1

USA – Jordan Morris (Clint Dempsey), 88th minute: As extra time loomed, the USA poured on the pressure and carved out the match-winning moment when Gyasi Zardes drove down the right touchline before crossing into the heart of the Jamaica box where the ball was only partially cleared. Clint Dempsey was able to knock the ball down into the path of an onrushing Morris who blasted a shot through a crowd of Jamaica players and into the top right corner, sealing the dramatic title win for the MNT. USA 2, JAM 1 FINAL

NOTES:

  • The U.S. claimed its sixth Gold Cup crown in its 10th appearance in the championship match.
  • U.S. MNT head coach Bruce Arena is now the only head coach to claim the Gold Cup on three occasions, previously guiding the USA to crowns in 2002 and 2005.
  • Forward Jozy Altidore tallied his 39th career international goal, fourth all-time in the Gold Cup and third against Jamaica.
  • The USA has won its last nine matches in which Altidore has scored.
  • For the first time since returning as U.S. MNT head coach, Arena utilized the same starting XI from the team’s previous match, Saturday’s 2-0 Semifinal win vs. Costa Rica.
  • With an average age of 25 years, 280 days, this was the U.S. MNT’s third youngest lineup to start a Gold Cup Final, behind 1991 (23 years, 188 days) and 2007 (25 years, 254 days).
  • Clint Dempsey wins his third CONCACAF Gold Cup title, while Tim Howard, Michael Bradley, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler Joe Corona and Bill Hamid all claim their second.
  • While Bradley was part of the 2007 Gold Cup championship, this is the first Final he’s played in and won with the U.S. MNT.
  • Tim Howard made two saves to earn his 61st career win.
  • Earning his third start of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Jordan Morris is the only U.S. player to appear in all six matches in the tournament.
  • Full backs Graham Zusi and Jorge Villafaña made their team-leading 11th appearances of 2017.
  • Kellyn Acosta and Michael Bradley paired in central midfield for the third time this year, previously partnering in the USA’s 1-1 World Cup Qualifying draw at Mexico on June 11 and Saturday’s 2-0 Semifinal win vs. Costa Rica.
  • Besler and Gonzalez paired in central defense for the third time at this year’s Gold Cup; also working together in the USA’s 1-1 draw vs. Panama on July 8 and Saturday’s 2-0 Semifinal win vs. Costa Rica.
  • Jordan Morris and Jozy Altidore also partnered up front for the third time overall. The duo first worked together in a 1-0 friendly win against Canada on Feb. 5, 2016 and again in Saturday’s 2-0 Semifinal win vs. Costa Rica.
  • The U.S. finished with 13 goals scored by nine different players over the course of its six tournament matches. Jozy Altidore and Omar Gonzalez tallied twice, while Jordan Morris led the U.S. with three goals.
  • The USA is 15-2-8 all-time vs. Jamaica and 12-1-3 on U.S. soil.
  • The U.S. holds a 4-1-0 edge vs. the Reggae Boyz in Gold Cup play.
  • U.S. MNT head coach Bruce Arena holds a 6-0-5 all-time record against Jamaica
  • Having gone 9-0-5 since Arena returned as head coach, the team’s current 13-match unbeaten streak is the longest to start a U.S. MNT head coaching tenure.

– U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report –

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Costa Rica
Date: July 22, 2017
Competition: 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup; Semifinals
Venue: AT&T Stadium; Dallas, Texas
Kickoff: 9:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 63,032
Weather: 72 degrees; sunny

Scoring Summary:      1          2          F                                                          
USA                             1          1          2
JAM                             0          1          1

USA – Jozy Altidore                                          45th minute
JAM – Je-Vaughn Watson (Kemar Lawrence)     50
USA – Jordan Morris (Clint Dempsey)                88

Lineups:
USA:­ 24-Tim Howard; 19-Graham Zusi, 3-Omar González, 5-Matt Besler, 2-Jorge Villafaña; 20-Paul Arriola (9-Gyasi Zardes, 76), 23-Kellyn Acosta (28-Clint Dempsey, 55), 26-Michael Bradley (capt.), 25-Darlington Nagbe (13-Dax McCarty, 90+2); 8-Jordan Morris, 27-Jozy Altidore
Subs not used: 12-Bill Hamid, 4-Matt Miazga, 7-Chris Pontius, 10-Joe Corona, 15-Eric Lichaj, 16-Justin Morrow, 18-Juan Agudelo, 21-Matt Hedges, 29-Jesse González
Head coach: Bruce Arena

JAM: 1-Andre Blake (13-Dwayne Miller, 23); 2-Kemar Lawrence, 21-Jermaine Taylor, 4-Ladale Richie (17-Kevon Lambert, 87), 3-Damion Lowe, 5-Alvas Powell; 8-Oniel Fischer, 15-Je-Vaughn Watson, 18-Owayne Gordon; 22-Romario Williams, 10-Darren Mattocks (11-Cory Burke, 90)
Subs not used: 23-Damion Hyatt, 6-Segio Campbell, 7-Shaun Francis, 2-Rosario Harriott, 12-Michael Binns, 9-Ewan Grandison, 19-Ricardo Morris, 16-Jermaine Johnson, 14-Shamar Nicholson
Head Coach: Theodore Whitmore

Stats Summary: USA / JAM
Shots: 13 / 6
Shots on Goal: 8 / 3
Saves: 2 / 6
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 13 / 20
Offside: 1 / 5

Misconduct Summary:
JAM – Darren Mattocks (caution)                 31st minute
USA – Kellyn Acosta (caution)                     37
JAM – Ladale Richie (caution)                     57
USA – Graham Zusi (caution)                      76
USA – Tim Howard (caution)                       90+2

Officials: 
Referee: Walter López (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Gerson López (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Hermenerito Leal (GUA)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Montero (CRC)

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