Gold Cup Final: Can USA’s unstoppable force beat Jamaica’s immovable object?

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The final of the Gold Cup is set! USA beat Costa Rica 2-0 in dominating fashion. Jamaica stunned Mexico, beating them 1-0. These teams have taken very different positions in this tournament. USA has tried to dominate matches, using possession and passing to break down opponents. Jamaica has sat back, and defended to create counter attacks. This match will be the unstoppable force vs the immoveable object. Which side will prevail?

USA’s Unstoppable force:

USA made it through the group stage and was shaky, then the reinforcements came. Micheal Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, and Tim Howard have been difference makers in the knockout rounds. Altidore has a goal, Bradley has an assist, Dempsey has a goal and two assists, and Howard has made saves to keep the US’s sheet clean. Them, plus the up-and-coming US players have done well keeping possession and starting attacks. USA has a great attack, and when they are allowed to keep possession for long amounts of time, they find chances on goal. That is the American strength, their weakness is defending on transitions.

There have been times all throughout this tournament where the US has been caught with too many men forward. They lose possession and are scrambling to defend fast breaks. This is how they let Martinique score twice on them  in the group stage. If Jamaica has any chance of beating USA tonight it’s by hitting them on the break.

Jamaica’s immovable object:

Jamaica has only conceded two goals this whole tournament. They have been committed to defending by any means necessary, and have an amazing security blanket behind them should they fail to stop opposition. Andre Blake has been the keeper of the tournament. He has the ability to make the dramatic, important saves when needed! He has shown that he is able to keep Jamaica in games when they look like they shouldn’t be in them. This plus their ability to produce good attack on transitions make them a threat to the US. Their weakness though, is an obvious one.

Jamaica let their opponents have way too much of the ball. That coupled with bad defensive positioning from time to time, could spell trouble for Jamaica. Jamaica will need to be able to stop Bradley and Dempsey from passing and getting others into dangerous positions.

Who’ll win the Gold Cup Final:

This is an interesting matchup, USA should be able to beat this Jamaican side, but that was also true of Mexico in the semi-final. This game has the makings of one where the underdog defies all odds and wins a trophy while beating the two previous winners of the Gold Cup in back to back games. Andre Blake will be like superman for Jamaica, and they will get one goal past Howard in transition. Jamaica will win the Gold Cup final. As an American it’s hard for me to write that, but there’s just something about this team and them momentum they have that makes me think they’ll be victorious.

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Follow me on twitter @TGing21 for Soccer Twitter fun! Coming soon: A look back at who won the Gold Cup final, a look at who the Union could get in the later stages of the summer transfer window and A look  at if the Union were able to save their playoff hopes Until then, Peace out!

 

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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