The USA has beaten Jamaica in the CONCACAF tournament and is taking home the Gold Cup, thanks to Jordan Morris’s winning goal at 88 minutes. Wednesday night’s victory at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California gave the USA men’s team two wins to Jamaica’s one win, earning them their sixth CONCACAF Gold Cup. It’s their first since 2013.
Both teams struggled early in the game due to poor field conditions. SB Nation noted that large pieces of the turf were easily pulled up, causing players to have to replace divots while play was stopped. In time, both teams adjusted, with the USA’s Jozy Altidore nearly scoring from 30 yards away in the 19th minute. Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake, believed by many to be the strongest player in the Gold Cup competition, stopped the ball but was injured by Kellyn Acosta. As Acosta went for a follow-up goal, he collided with Blake and accidentally kicked his hand. In great pain and obviously upset, Blake was pulled out of the game and replaced by Dwayne Miller. While Miller performed very well, a shot did get past him before the half when Jozy Altidore made a free shot, also made from 30 yards away. The USA was up by a goal at the end of the first half.
Five minutes into the second half, however, Jamaica evened things up when Watson beat Jordan Morris to the ball after a corner kick by Kemar Lawrence and kicked it past the USA’s Tim Howard.
The winning goal came from Morris in the 88th minute when a cross from Gyasi Zardes went off Clint Dempsey and into Jordan’s path.
The USA’s Gold Cup win also marks the men’s soccer team 14th consecutive win since Bruce Arena took over as coach late last year, replacing Jürgen Klinsmann.
USA Today reports that Morris left college in his junior year at Stanford University to play soccer professionally. Since then, in addition to the Gold Cup, he has won the 2015 NCAA title and the 2016 MLS championship (with the Seattle team). At 22-years-old, the goal that won the USA men’s soccer team a victory over Jamaica was Jordan’s fifth international goal. That game winner also gave Morris three goals in the tournament, tying him with 16-year-old Canadian Alphonso Davies for the spot for most goals in the tournament.
The win also made Bruce Arena the first coach to win three Gold Cup titles.
The USA men’s soccer team will face Costa Rica on September 1 in a rematch of the Gold Cup semifinal. That game will be played at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. On September 5, they will play in the Honduras followed by a game against Panama on October 6 in Orlando and before playing in Trinidad and Tobago four days later.
[Featured Image by Mike Carlson/Getty Images]