USMNT draw Jamaica in CONCACAF Gold Cup opener: what it means for USA

The United States men’s national team drew 1-1 against Jamaica in the first game of the CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage on Saturday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Damion Lowe scored Jamaica’s only goal in the 13th minute.
  • Brandon Vazquez scored the equalizer in the 88th minute. It was his second career goal for the United States
  • The American men outscored Jamaica 13-6 winning the battle for possession. USMNT had 68% possession while Jamaica was 32%.
  • The USMNT’s next game is against St. Kitts and Nevis on Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET.

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What this means for the United States

Vazquez’s goal saved a 1-1 draw and what would have been only the second time the United States had lost in the Gold Cup group stage. (The first and only time was in 2011 in Panama.) The draw leaves the United States in a good position to exit the group stage, as the top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stages. final, and the United States will be favored in their next two games against St. Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago.

After Saturday’s draw, goal differential will likely factor into the standings, so the United States will need to score as many goals as possible on Wednesday night against a St. Kitts and Nevis team against whom they are big favourites. — Tenorio

What is the outcome of this draw?

It wasn’t pretty, but it would be hard to argue that Vazquez’s goal wasn’t a justified equalizer for the USMNT. The United States were facing a decidedly different team from the team that lifted the Nations League trophy last week in Las Vegas. Goalkeeper Matt Turner, who saved a penalty to keep the game within a goal, was the only remnant of the starting line-up, and the lack of firepower from the attacking side was evident, as was a huge difference in the way the United States was able to push the game through his midfield. While Jamaica had several Premier League players in their roster, the United States fielded a squad made up of North American national players based in MLS or Liga MX.

The United States had a few dangerous moments, but never really looked smooth or dangerous like they did with their best players on the court against Mexico and Canada in Las Vegas. Players like Aidan Morris and Alan Soñora struggled, the United States gave up a goal from a defensive free kick and Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake made several important saves to thwart the Americans. It looked like Jamaica was going to take the win, but the United States had so much control of the ball and had Jamaica on the back foot for much of the second half. Eventually, Vazquez found the goal when Jamaica failed to clear Jesús Ferreira’s cross and saved the result.

There won’t be a ton of positives to take from this one. The United States should be more decisive in games like this, even with the obvious talent of the Jamaican roster, and they will need to play better to advance to the knockout stages. — Tenorio


The United States entered the CONCACAF Gold Cup in style after winning the CONCACAF Nations League on 18 June. USMNT beat Canada 2-0 with Chris Richards and Folarin Balogun scoring the goals. It was the second USMNT Nations League title in program history.

The USMNT is the defending CONCACAF Gold Cup champion. In 2021, the team defeated Mexico 1-0 in the final, winning the country’s seventh Gold Cup title.

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(Photo: Jon Durr/USA Today)

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