USA Men’s Soccer has caught fire, right on time to gear up for next year’s World Cup tournament. The Stars and Stripes have marched their way into the championship game of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup in a moment when the entire world is teeming with soccer fever.
The tournament began with French Guiana, Honduras, USA, Martinique, Curacao, Jamaica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico composing the field.
Now the last two nations remaining are the Reggae Boyz of Jamaica and the USA Yanks.
Along the path, the Americans tied Panama 1-1, edged Martinique 3-2, crushed Nicaragua 3-0, and blanked El Salvador 2-0 en route to a semi-final face-off against Costa Rica.
The Ticos fended off the American arsenal up until minute 72 when midfielder Clint Dempsey found forward Jozy Altedore on a flash through the defense where Altedore toe-tapped the ball over the goalkeeper for the go-ahead 1-0 score.
Dempsey added the 2-0 finisher in minute 82 when he splashed a free kick into the back of the net as Arlington Stadium erupted with eight minutes to go before the final whistle.
Jamaica opened up competition with a 2-0 show-out over Curacao, and then tied Mexico 0-0 and El Salvador 1-1. Following a 2-1 win over Canada, Jamaica had one more hurdle in a semifinal rematch versus Mexico.
At a 0-0 standstill, the game appeared to be heading into extra time when in minute 88 Kemar Lawrence nailed a kick from the top of the box that wound over Mexico’s wall of defenders and back under the top crossbar for the 1-0 heart-breaker.
The stage is now set for Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, California, at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 26 when USA and Jamaica test wits to determine the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Champion.