Thursday Mexico Game Will Be A Measuring Stick For Jamaica Gold Cup Team

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July 9, 2017 - The Jamaica team group prior to the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Group C match between Curacao and Jamaica at Qualcomm Stadium on July 9, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Getty Images Sport/Matthew Ashton - AMA)

Editorial (July 11, 2017) – The Jamaica Men’s National Team kicked off the 2017 Gold Cup with a win. They capitalized on their chances to beat Curacao 2-0 on Sunday afternoon. They’ll play their second match on Thursday in Denver, CO against Mexico.

Thursday Mexico Game Will Be A Measuring Stick For Jamaica Gold Cup Team

The Reggae Boyz came into the tournament with a little less hype this year. The team made it to the final last Gold Cup, upsetting the United States in the semifinals. But they’ve already been eliminated from contention for the 2018 World Cup; they didn’t even make it to the Hexagonal.

While the performance wasn’t too convincing, they opened up the Gold Cup witn a win. They got good performances from Kemar Lawrence and Romario Williams. Andre Blake made several good saves and Darren Mattocks scored a nice goal off the bench.

They need to clean up a few things on the backline, especially since transition pelay from El Tri looked great against El Salvador. The Jamaica Gold Cup team will play them on Thursday in Denver, CO where the crowd is expected be heavily in favor of their opponents.

El Tri sent a reserve squad to Gold Cup, but got off to a hot start with a win over El Salvador. The ran circles around the defense and used their speed in open space to create danger. Jamaica should be able to match their speed, but Mexico still has the talent advantage probably. Even with a reserve squad, they’re still one of the three best teams in the Gold Cup on paper.

If Jamaica is going to do anything in this Gold Cup, they’ll have to show they can go toe-to-toe with Mexico. This match will be a measuring stick for the Reggae Boyz. They don’t necessarily need to win the match to get out of the group stage. They’ll play El Salvador on Sunday and they’re better on paper than El Salvador.

But they do need to have a performance that builds up their confidence. Maybe a 1-0 loss in which they create a bunch of chances. Or a 0-0 draw where they defend really well. Get a result and set themselves up to advance without much drama.

The talent might not be there for Jamaica the way it was in 2015. But they still perform well in this Gold Cup. This is a chance to build towards the 2022 World Cup cycle. This roster has 11 players age 25 or younger who can gain experiece in this tournament for that qualification cycle. And that starts on Thursday in their biggest game of the group stage.

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