The second semifinal clash of the 2019 Gold Cup will see Jamaica taking on the reigning champions USA at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, Wednesday night. This will be the rematch of the 2017 Gold Cup Final when the USMNT outlasted Reggae Boyz 2-1. The reigning champs are firm favorites to reach another final, but Jamaica will be keen to get a payoff.
Jamaica vs. USA
Three-way: 1: Jamaica +600; X: +275 Draw; 2: USA -189
Spread +1: Jamaica -114; USA -102
Total 2 Goals: Over -140; Under +110
Both Teams to Score: Yes +125; No -175
Reggae Boyz upset the odds in the quarterfinal, defeating Panama 1-0 as +210 underdogs. It was a tight battle with just a few decent scoring opportunities on both sides, and Darren Mattocks decided the winner, converting the penalty kick late in the second half. Jamaica held the ball in possession for 39.0% of the time, but their defense looked very good. In the group phase, Reggae Boyz recorded one win and a couple of draws with a 4:3 goal difference.
Forward Dever Orgill (14 caps, 2 goals) is leading the way for Reggae Boyz with two goals at this tournament, but Darren Mattocks (47 caps, 18 goals) is a go-to-guy at the front even though he’s scored just one goal so far. Winger Leon Bailey (3 caps) is still looking for his first goal or assist in the national team, but Bayer Leverkusen star is certainly the best player in this Jamaica team.
- Jamaica lost two of its last seven games along with three wins and a pair of draws
- Both teams scored in three of Jamaica’s last ten outings
- Six of Jamaica’s last seven games saw two or fewer goals in the total
The USMNT barely outlasted Curacao 1-0 in the quarterfinal, although they were listed as massive -880 favorites and many expected a comfortable victory. The defending champions took the lead in the 25th minute of the first half, but they had a poor game in general and had to defend late in the second half. However, the USMNT’s net is still intact after four games at the 2017 Gold Cup, while they scored 12 goals and won all four contests.
Christian Pulisic (29 caps. 11 goals) is leading the way for the Yanks, scoring one goal and making three assists so far, and the 20-year old playmaker is undoubtedly the best player in this USA team. Forward Gyasi Zardes (49 caps, 10 goals) scored three goals at this tournament, while winger Paul Arriola added two goals and an assist. The 20-year old midfielder Weston McKennie (12 caps, 2 goals) is another bright talent in this team, and he scored the winner against Curacao.
- USA won seven of its last ten games along with one draw and two losses
- Both teams scored once in the USA’s previous 12 outings
- Six of the USA’s last nine games saw two or fewer goals in the total
Considering what we saw from Jamaica and the USA in the quarterfinals, this one should be a low-scoring affair. However, the bookies set the odds on the under 2.5 goals at -164 which doesn’t look like an attractive offer. Six of the last ten H2H duels saw two or fewer goals in the total, while the USMNT won five of its previous seven meetings with Jamaica along with a couple of losses.
I expect the USA to keep the ball in possession and Jamaica to defend and launch counter-attacks whenever it’s possible. I was pretty disappointed with the USMNT’s performance against Curacao, and Jamaica will be a tough rival to beat even though I expect a much better display by the reigning champs. Therefore, I would take the USA to cover.
Jamaica could make some damage through counter-attacks and from set pieces, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Reggae Boyz find the net, as well as they did two years ago in the final. Although the betting trends are suggesting the under, I’m backing the over on the totals.
The Pick: USA AH -1 (-102)
Additional Pick: Over 2 Goals (-140)