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June 7, 2013
USA poised to take advantage of struggling Jamaican side in WCQ tonight

Clint Dempsey scored twice on Sunday against Germany.
Clint Dempsey scored twice on Sunday against Germany.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
With the Reggae Boyz's backs to the World Cup qualifying wall, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann knows Jamaica will be one desperate side when his team meets the Caribbean side on in Kingston on Friday night.

Coming off a 1-0 home loss to Mexico, the Jamaicans find themselves in the CONCACAF hexagonal cellar with a 0-2-2 mark and only two points. The Americans enter the game at The Office in third place with a 1-1-1 record and four points.

"They have to do something really badly on Friday night [against the U.S.], which leaves us with a huge opportunity," Klinsmann said. "It might be more dangerous because they have their backs against the wall. Or they might be vulnerable [as] things are not going their way.

"It is about us – what we are going to do, how we want to execute our game plan.”

The last time these two teams met at The Office -- Jamaica's home ground -- the Reggae Boyz overcame a first-minute goal by Clint Dempsey and rallied for a 2-1 win over the U.S. in the semifinal round last September.

In fact, the Americans have had huge problems winning on Jamaican soil with a 2-1-5 overall record and winless in qualifying matches at 0-1-4.

The U.S. arrived in Kingston some three days prior to the game, a day earlier than usual for an American away qualifier. It allowed Klinsmann and his staff to watch and scout the Jamaicans.

“Some people said, ‘Well, [the weather] is kind of the same as D.C. I say, ‘No, it is not. You are on an island.’ You can’t compare one country with another country, no matter if it is kind of the same temperature and kind of the same humidity. It also puts us in the right state of mind. . . . Being here already, adjusting to a bumpy training field, the way this place works, it can only help you.”

The U.S. enters the game buoyed by a 4-3 victory over Germany on Sunday as Dempsey struck for a pair of second-half goals.

“It gives you confidence," he said. "Any time you have confidence from a win it puts more wind in your sails. You feel by getting a result against a team like this that you can go down and get the job done in these games in CONCACAF.”

The Americans will have two more opportunities to get the job done in CONCACAF. Atter Jamaica, the U.S. will host a pair of Central American sides at home -- vs. Panama in Seattle on June 11 and against Honduras in Sandy, Utah on July 18

Dempsey said Americans don't plan to leave anything to chance in those encounters.

“They’re going to be tough games but we prepared by playing two top teams," he said. "We’re going to make sure we get as many points in these next three games as possible and put ourselves in a good position in the table.”

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