The top spot in Group A is up for grabs as the Americans take the short trip south to take on Jamaica. With the matchup odds posted at a few shops, who has the favorable line, and what's the right side to be on with our soccer picks?
The lines for the match haven't been made public at many
sportsbooks, but Bookmaker is one of the few outlets to have already made their soccer odds available.
Currently the Americans are favored at -117 to win, while
Jamaica is listed at +225 to get the win at home. A draw is reasonable priced
Group A features the USA, Jamaica and then Guatemala and
Antigua and Barbuda. The latter two are tied at one point apiece, while the
Americans and Jamaicans each have four points through two matches.
The Jamaicans opened qualifying with a 2-1 win at home over
Guatemala. Goals were scored by Ryan Johnson and Demar Phillips.
Things didn't go as well four days later as they were held
to a 0-0 stalemate by Antigua and Barbuda.
In warming up for this next round of group matches, Jamaica
had set up an international friendly with El Salvador, a match they ended up
winning 2-0. Luton Shelton was on target for both goals in the victory.
This Jamaica team has some names you may recognize. There's
Dane Richards and Darren Mattocks, who both ply their trade for the Vancouver
Whitecaps in the MLS, and Omar Cummings of the Colorado Rapids.
Richards is an attacking midfielder who played for New York
earlier this season before heading to Canada, while Mattocks is an exciting
young talent who's burst on to the scene and scored seven times in 16
appearances for the Whitecaps.
Thanks to a superior goal differential, the Americans are
atop Group A after a 3-1 win over Antigua and Barbuda and a 1-1 draw with
Last month USA beat Mexico in the Aztec Stadium for the first
time in history. Though only a friendly, the winner came from Michael Orozco
and should give Jurgen Klinsmann's team some confidence heading into this
At least, that's what Klinsmann hopes. He'll need others to
step up considering both Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley are hurt and will
not be available for selection.
Fortunately, Clint Dempsey should be ready to go, while
Herculez Gomez, Jermaine Jones, Maurice Edu, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo
and Tim Howard are there for the picking too.
Dempsey just wrapped up his transfer to Tottenham but hasn't
played a competitive match since June. Will he be match fit? Dempsey is crucial
to the cause – he scored in each of the the USA's first two qualifying matches.
The Jamaicans are very quick, making them extremely
dangerous on the counter. The Americans will need to be fully focused in
transition and have to make sure they keep their defensive shape at all times.
Going forward, it may be tricky for the USA without two of
their best players in Donovan and Bradley.
It seems likely that Dempsey will be paired alongside Gomez
up top, but missing those two talented and experienced attacking midfielders to
link up play could be an issue. Donovan has been a driving force for this team
when healthy and Bradley has really come into his own over the last couple of
Still, there's enough talent on this USA squad to get at
least a draw out of Friday's match. All of Klinsmann's top defenders are good
to go and that should keep the visitors solid in the back.
It will be a party-like atmosphere in Jamaica, but we're
thinking the best selection with your soccer picks is on a draw at +215.
Jamaica 1 USA 1