While the U.S. Men’s National Team created plenty of chances in Friday’s 1-0 win against Jamaica, it was one moment of magic between Benny Feilhaber and Jordan Morris that defined the game and capped off January Camp the right way.
Making his first MNT start since January 2012, Feilhaber broke the 59th minute goal down following the match.
“Dax [McCarty] got the ball with a little bit of space -- I could tell he was looking at me and kind of wanted me to move into space where I could find the ball,” he told ussoccer.com. “I was kind of hidden a little bit behind their defensive midfielder, and so I was trying to open up space for him.”
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McCarty hit a penetrating pass through the middle for Feilhaber, who had a good read on Morris’ positioning and cleverly flicked a first-time pass to the Seattle Sounders FC striker.
“Even before Dax played me the ball I saw that Jordan was kind of off my shoulder. Dax played me a great ball and I was able to just one-time it to Jordan.”
Morris quickly returned the ball to Feilhaber, which proved to be a crucial pass in the play’s development according to the Sporting KC midfielder.
“I think the best pass of that sequence - which is a little bit understated - is Jordan’s back to me which puts their left back [Damion Lowe] in a position where he can’t do anything – he can’t come to me, he can’t come to Jordan – it makes it easy for me to play it back to Jordan and then he does the rest.”
The goal was the second international strike for Morris, while Feilhaber’s assist was also his second helper, and after being out of the U.S. MNT picture for two years provided a fitting end to the veteran midfielder’s return.
“It felt amazing,” Feilhaber said. “I think it was a wonderful crowd. I think our team put in a good performance in a much-needed victory and it was exciting to be a part of it: to be a part of the goal, be a part of the starting XI, and it was something that I’ve dreamed of for a long time.”
As he returns to his club to begin preseason training, for his part Feilhaber is optimistic about returning to camp when the MNT convenes ahead of crucial World Cup Qualifying matches against Honduras (March 24) and Panama (March 28).
“Hopefully it leads to a good start of the M.L.S. season with Sporting Kansas City, and I‘d love to be back here in March with the National Team.”