USMNT seeks first win in Arena Era (Part II) against Jamaica

Colombia

The first game of the second Bruce Arena era for the U.S. Men’s National Team was a disappointment to say the least. Arena’s MLS-heavy roster struggled for most of the afternoon against Serbia, leaving plenty of questions still needing to be answered as CONCACAF World Cup qualifying looms in March.

One of the key issues that Arena must address is the goalkeeping situation. The U.S. boss went with Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando against Serbia, with the veteran performing very solid for most of the game and ultimately coming away with a shutout. Arena has opted to start New York Red Bulls keeper Luis Robles in goal against Jamaica, giving the former MLS Goalkeeper of the Year a crack at impressing the second-term manager.

Additionally, Arena will have to cope with the departures of Red Bulls attacker Sasha Kljestan and LA Galaxy midfielder Jermaine Jones. Kljestan will return home to accompany his wife as they expect to welcome a child this week, while Jones will meet up with his new teammates for preseason.

The USMNT is 13-2-8 all-time against Jamaica, including a 10-1-3 home record against the Reggae Boyz. The team’s lone defeat to the island nation came in the semifinals of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. While early-year friendlies can’t hold too much weight, the U.S. must improve its form against Jamaica in order to give the squad a moral lift heading into WCQ.

Prediction:

USA 3-0 JAM (Goalscorers: Altidore, Morris, Nagbe)

Photo Credit: Chris Mendez/ Metro Soccer Nation