U.S. ready for a tough test against Jamaica in Gold Cup semis

The U.S. National Team is one match away from playing in the final of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and Wednesday’s semifinal opponent, Jamaica, is not to be overlooked in what has been a great run to the semifinal round.

And while Jamaica has been impressive in going 3-0-1 thus far in the tournament, the U.S. is a confident squad that’s looking to reach the final for the fifth consecutive time in the Gold Cup.

“They’re a really athletic team.  They have a lot of skill.  They can score, they can defend,” U.S. and Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman said.  “It’s going to take our best game to get a win.  We’re looking to keep improving.  If we do that, hopefully we can come out on top.”

Jamaica opened the tournament by surprising 2014 FIFA World Cup quarterfinalists Costa Rica with a 2-2 draw in the first match of the Group Stage.  It followed with wins over Canada and El Salvador to win the group before ousting Haiti in the quarterfinal round.

In the tournament, Jamaica has gotten two goals from Reading winger Garath McCleary while also getting goals from midfielders Rodolph Austin and Jobi McAnuf and Houston Dynamo forward Giles Barnes.  On the defensive side, the Reggae Boyz have earned shutouts in all three vicotries.

Meanwhile the U.S. National Team has seen six goals from forward Clint Dempsey.  The U.S., like Jamaica, is 3-0-1 in the tournament, highlighted by a 6-0 quarterfinal win over Cuba.

Even with those results, the U.S. knows it has a big test ahead.

“The main thing is that we’ll keep our focus.  We’ll look at some video and see where we can improve, see the good things we did and see if we can work on it in training,” Beckerman said.  “I think everyone has a good mindset knowing that the games are going to get tougher from here on out.  We’re looking forward to it.”

The semifinal match kicks off at 4 p.m. MT from Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.  The other semifinal between Mexico and Panama starts at 7 p.m. MT.  

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