LOS ANGELES – The last time the U.S. played a soccer match in Jamaica, it wilted in the heat and lost a 2-1 decision on a ragged field.
That was nine months ago. So in an effort to keep that from happening again, U.S. coach Juergen Klinsmann brought his team to Kingston three days ahead of today’s World Cup qualifier to get it acclimated to the conditions.
After three of 10 games, the U.S. is fourth in the six-team regional qualifying tournament, which runs through October. To earn a spot in next summer’s World Cup in Brazil, the U.S. must finish in the top three. And the U.S. has a great chance to move up the table during the next 11 days because after Jamaica, the U.S. plays consecutive games at home, meeting Panama in Seattle on Tuesday and Honduras a week later in Sandy, Utah.
Jamaica is the only winless team in the regional competition.