Thanks to Jordan Morris, the Americans are Gold Cup champions. Morris scored a game-winning goal in the dying minutes to break a 1-1 tie and give the Americans their first Gold Cup title since 2013. Scroll down for full match highlights:
USA – 1 – 1 2
Jamaica – 0 – 1 1
GGGGOOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLL: Morris 89′
Dempsey hits the post!
GOAL: Watson (50′)
GOAL: Altidore (45′)
A pair of 2-0 victories have the Americans confident heading into this year’s final, but Jamaica are reminders of what being overconfident can do. Jamaica eliminated the Americans at the 2015 Gold Cup, en route to their first final in tournament history. It was the beginning of the end of a rough stretch for USMNT, a period that culminated with the termination of manager Jurgen Klinsmann.
The Jamaicans are back in the final, thanks largely to the play of Philadelphia Union keeper Andre Blake. Blake was sensational in the semifinal against Mexico, making multiple diving saves during his team’s 1-0 victory. Jamaica and manager Theodore Whitmore were content with letting Mexico dictate possession in both meetings during this tournament, but it is unclear if those same tactics will be employed against the Americans. Jamaica is the faster team on the wings, and will look to counter and capitalize on mistakes in a shuffled USMNT defense.
The Americans are now 13 games unbeaten under Bruce Arena, who won two Gold Cups in 2003 and 2005. Arena has been praised for bringing in additional veterans during the tournament, but his lineup decisions were a big point of contempt during his first run as American manager. He’s done some good things; namely bringing Clint Dempsey on late against Costa Rica in the semifinal. But the defense is where USA is most vulnerable, and that’s where Arena’s decisions will be most scrutinized.