MIAMI, Florida - ussoccer.com has compiled a comprehensive look at the matchup against Jamaica in the first game of semifinal round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. From stats and scores, to highlights and notes, ussoccer.com is the best place to find info as the USA's qualifying campaign kicks off from the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica on Wednesday, Aug. 18 at 7 p.m. ET live on ESPN2.
BY THE NUMBERS: Want to know how many times the U.S. and Jamaica have squared off all-time, and who has the upper hand? Know which U.S. player has tallied the most goals against the Reggae Boyz (hint: he recently played in the MLS Celebration Game during All-Star weekend, and is GM of the newest franchise in the MISL)? Can you name the two U.S. players who scored against Jamaica in the last meeting, each netting their second career goal for the MNT? For the complete statistical breakdown of the U.S.-Jamaica series, click here.
THE SEMIFINAL ROUND SETUP: The semifinal round will consist of three four-team groups playing a six-game round robin competition, with the top two finishers from each group moving onto the final round of qualifying in 2005. Taking place from Aug.18-Nov.17, the U.S. and Jamaica are joined in Group 1 by El Salvador and Panama. Group 2 consists of Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras, while Group 3 is made up of Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In this round, any player who receives two yellow card cautions will receive an automatic one-game suspension. Yellow cards picked up in the second round of qualifying will carry over into this stage. For a complete look at all the standings and schedules for CONCACAF qualifying, click here.
A LOOK BACK AT (MORE) HISTORY MADE IN MASS.: The last time these two teams stepped on the field in qualifying was a day U.S. Soccer fans will never forget: October 7, 2001 at Foxboro Stadium. With the U.S. having suffered three straight qualifying losses prior to that day, the seemingly easy road to the 2002 World Cup was now in jeopardy, and only an improbable set of circumstances could see the U.S. through to Korea on that brisk afternoon. As a solemn nation watched, the U.S. turned in a shining performance led by a pair of goals by New England favorite Joe-Max Moore, and the improbable turned into the undeniable as a Trinidad and Tobago road victory against Honduras sealed the USA's ticket to Korea. For a full recap of that glorious day, click here.
ARENA TO HIT THE BIG 5-0: With a victory against Jamaica this Wednesday, U.S. Manager Bruce Arena would record his 50th career win for the United States. During a six-year run that began in 1998, Arena has already established several records, including most victories (49), highest winning percentage (.644), and longest tenure, while leading the U.S. to it's historic quarterfinal finish in the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
CLUB CROSSOVER: Many of the U.S. and Jamaican players will turn from friend to foe as they trade in their club colors for the national team badge for three days' time. In addition to several players in MLS, the players will be quite familiar with each other from their exploits overseas, as nearly 20 players in the Jamaican player pool currently ply their trade in the top three divisions in England. Here s a list of the U.S. and Jamaican players that wear the same jersey in their club careers:
Chicago Fire Los Angeles Galaxy Kansas City Wizards MetroStars Preston North End (ENG)
Chris Armas Cobi Jones Josh Wolff Eddie Pope Eddie Lewis
Andy Williams Jovan Kirovski Kerry Zavagnin Jonny Walker Ricardo Fuller
Damani Ralph Tyrone Marshall Tony Meola Eddie Gaven Claude Davis
Chris Klein Craig Ziadie
Shavar Thomas Fabian Taylor
LAZARONI GETS SECOND STINT AS JAMAICA HEAD COACH: The Reggae Boyz will begin the semifinal round of FIFA World Cup qualifying under new management, as Brazilian native Sabastio Lazaroni takes his second turn leading Jamaica. Lazaroni’s coaching career spans seven countries in three continents. He has coached clubs in Brazil, China, Italy, Mexico, Turkey, Japan and the United Arab Emirates. Taking the helm of the Brazilian national team in 1989, he is credited with introducing the five-man midfield formation, leading the squad to that year’s Copa America championship and securing qualification for the 1990 World Cup. During his previous term at the helm of the Reggae Boyz, Lazaroni amassed a record of four losses and one draw in five international friendlies, ending Jamaica’s six-year unbeaten streak. Lazaroni stepped down as head coach after two months with the team. He replaces Carl Brown, who helped Jamaica advance to the semifinal round with a 4-1 aggregate victory against Haiti.
The U.S. has never won an away qualifying match against Jamaica. All three previous meetings in qualifying at the National Stadium in Kingston resulted in 0-0 draws
* The U.S. has recorded eight shutouts against the Reggae Boyz, their best mark against any country except Mexico.
* DaMarcus Beasley leads the U.S. in goal scoring in 2004 with four tallies, including three in the second round qualifying series against Grenada. He recorded his first multiple-goal game in the June 13 qualifier in Columbus. Beasley also leads the team in games played (9) and minutes played (720).
* Beasley kicked off his Dutch league debut in fine fashion, scoring his first goal in a PSV kit in his side's 5-2 opening day victory against Roosendaal. The former Chicago Fire midfielder put the moves on three defenders before netting PSV's fifth tally of the afternoon.
* The other U.S. international to score on the weekend was San Jose Earthquakes forward Landon Donovan, who ignited for two goals as the 'Quakes posted a 2-0 road shutout against the league-leading Kansas City Wizards. The 2003 Chevrolet Male Athlete of the Year became the youngest player in U.S. history to reach 50 caps when he started in the USA’s victory against Grenada to open 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying in Columbus.
* The U.S. is currently enjoying a six-match unbeaten run, which included at one point four consecutive shutout victories by four different goalkeepers. Kicking off with a 1-0 win away to Poland on March 31, the streak also includes wins against Mexico (1-0), Honduras (4-0), and a 3-0 World Cup Qualifying win against Grenada. Overall the team looks to improve on its 5-1-3 record in 2004.
* Earnie Stewart is the all-time U.S. leader in World Cup qualifying appearances (29) and goals (9). Stewart became the eighth U.S. player to reach 100 caps when he appeared in the USA's 3-2 victory in Grenada on June 20 that sealed the team's advancement into the semifinal round. He followed U.S. captain Claudio into the century club, who recently achieved that milestone in the 4-0 win against Honduras on June 2 in Foxboro. Stewart played 13 times for the USA in 2003, the most appearances in one year in his 14-year international career.
* Kasey Keller is tops on the all-time win list for U.S. goalkeepers with 39 wins in 70 appearances, having surpassed Tony Meola in the USA's 3-0 win against Grenada in the first leg of second round qualifying on June 13 in Columbus. Keller’s clean sheet that day was the 34th of his career, extending his U.S. record.
* Also recording a personal milestone on that day was Greg Vanney, whose important strike in second half stoppage time marked the first goal of his U.S. career after 29 appearances.
On the field for the USA
July 11, 2004 – Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill. – Friendly
USA 1 Carlos Bocanegra 88
Poland 1 Piotr Wlodarczyk 76
USA – 13-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo (3-Chris Albright, 46), 23-Eddie Pope, 4-Carlos Bocanegra, 15-Bobby Convey; 25-Pablo Mastroeni (9-Clint Mathis, 76), 5-Kerry Zavagnin (17-Eddie Gaven, 82), 10-Landon Donovan, 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 20-Brian McBride (capt.) (11-Brian Ching, 65), 16-Josh Wolff (8-Brian Mullan, 72)
POL – 1-Artur Boruc; 2-Mariusz Mowlik, 4-Dariusz Dudka (14-Michal Stasiak, 73), 5-Pawel Kaczorowski, 17-Jaroslaw Bieniuk (3-Rafal Lasocki, 64), 6-Tomasz Jarzebowski, 16-Patryk Rachwal (13-Maciej Scherfchen, 79), 18-Marcin Burkhardt, 10-Sebastian Mila (11-Michal Golinski, 62); 9-Piotr Wlodarczyk (7-Wahan Gevorgyan 89), 8-Ireneusz Jelen.
On the field for Jamaica
June 20, 2004 – National Stadium, Kingston, Jamaica – 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Second Round, Second Leg
Jamaica 3 Marlon King 4, 14, 31
JAM – 30-Donovan Ricketts, 5-Ian Goodison, 6-Marlon King, 8-James Lawrence, 9-Andrew Williams (12-Jermaine Johnson, 85), 11-Theodore Whitmore, 15-Ricardo Gardner, 20-Damani Ralph (10-Ricardo Fuller, 80), 21-Garfield Reid, 23-Craig Ziadie, 25-Claude Davis.
HTI – 1-Gabard Fenelon, 3-Gilles Frantz (12-Marc Gracien, 46), 5-Jean Jacques Pierre, 7-Corriolan Wadson, 9-Jean-Philippe Peguero, 10-Johnny Descouines, 11-Jean-Michel Bourcicaut (8-Romulus Turlien, 65), 13-Pierre Bruny, 16-Dorcelus Temps (21-Loimera Roody, 46), 17-Sancius David, 20-Roosevelt Desir.
February 12, 2003 – National Stadium, Kingston, Jamaica – Friendly
USA 2 Carlos Bocanegra 11, Chris Klein 12
Jamaica 1 Onandi Lowe 52
USA – 18-Tim Howard; 4-Carlos Bocanegra, 3-Nick Garcia, 2-Dan Califf, 6-Steve Cherundolo; 25-Pablo Mastroeni, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (8-Richard Mulrooney, 74), 17-Chris Klein (13-Steve Ralston, 46), 15-Bobby Convey; 10-Landon Donovan (20-Jeff Cunningham, 79); 9-Clint Mathis (capt.).
JAM – 13-Aaron Lawrence; 25-Claude Davis (17-Damien Francis, 76), 5-Ian Goodison, 14-Tyrone Marshall, 16-Craig Ziadie; 24-Robert Scarlett (6-Shane Crawford, 76), 20-Omar Daley (12-Jermaine Johnson, 73), 15-Ricardo Gardner (19-Fabian Taylor, 89), 11-Theodore Whitmore; 18-Deon Burton (9-Andrew Williams, 82), 31-Onandi Lowe.