One week after winning its second straight Concacaf Nations League trophy, the USMNT began its pursuit of a second consecutive Concacaf Gold Cup title with a dramatic 1-1 tie with Jamaica.
Second-half substitute Brandon Vazquez’s 88th minute goal Saturday night leveled the game in front of 36,666 fans at Soldier Field. Dating back to the 2021 Gold Cup title run, the USA has scored the winning or tying goal after the 83rd minute in four straight Gold Cup matches.
USA 1 Jamaica 1
With only five players remaining from the CNL team, head coach B.J. Callaghan’s side saw six players make their debuts in official competition in starters Aidan Morris, Alan Soñora, and John Tolkin, and substitutes Cade Cowell, Jalen Neal and Vazquez. Morris, Soñora, Cowell and Vazquez are now cap-tied to the USA.
The U.S. had its first solid chance after eight minutes of play that started with a cleared chance on the defensive end by Tolkin, who got the ball back from Alex Zendejas before sending a long ball forward to Jesús Ferreira. The World Cup veteran paused outside the box and fed Soñora a nice ball into the box, but Soñora’s left-footed attempt was saved by goalkeeper Andre Blake falling to his left.
Jamaica then took the lead in the 13th minute when Damion Lowe finished a free kick with a diving header from eight yards out.
The Reggae Boyz nearly doubled the lead in the 27th minute, but U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner – wearing the captain’s armband for the first time, and on his 29th birthday – made a diving save of Leon Bailey’s penalty kick after Kevon Lambert was fouled in the box by Morris. Bailey pushed the ensuing rebound wide.
The U.S. nearly tied the game in stoppage time of the first half, but Blake made a fantastic save on Jordan Morris’s attempt after a quick-pass build up from Soñora and Ferreira left him open in the box.
The U.S. maintained the balance of possession throughout the second half and the team pressed high in search of the equalizer. It finally came five minutes after Vazquez entered the match as he found himself just outside the six when a loose ball fell at his feet and he seized the opportunity finishing past Blake for his second career goal.
The USA now travels to St. Louis for its second match of the Group Stage, taking on St. Kitts and Nevis on Wednesday, June 28 at CITYPARK (10pm ET, FS1 and UniMás).
1-Matt Turner; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 4-Matt Miazga, 3-Aaron Long (20-Jalen Neal, 46), 21-John Tolkin (19-Brandon Vazquez, 82); 16-Aidan Morris, 8-James Sands, 7-Alan Soñora (14-Djordje Mihailovic, 66); 17-Alex Zendejas (10-Cristian Roldan, 66), 9-Jesús Ferreira, 13-Jordan Morris (11-Cade Cowell, 55)
Substitutes not used: 18-Sean Johnson, 23-Gaga Slonina, 5-Bryan Reynolds, 6-Gianluca Busio, 12-Miles Robinson, 15-DeJuan Jones
Not Dressed: 22-Julian Gressel
Head Coach: B.J. Callaghan
: 1-Andre Blake; 2-Dexter Lembikisa, 17-Damion Lowe, 19-Adrian Mariappa, 4-Amari’i Bell (20-Kemar Lawrence, 65); 10-Bobby Reid, 3-Kevon Lambert, 15-Joel Latibeaudiere, 12-Demarai Gray (8-Daniel Johnson, 90); 7-Leon Bailey (11-Shamar Nicholson 90), 18-Michail Antonio (9-Cory Burke, 75)
Substitutes not used: 13-Coniah Boyce-Clarke, 23-Jahmali Waite, 6-Di’Shon Bernard, 14-Dujuan Richards, 16-Kaheem Parris, 21-Javain Brown, 22-Jon Russell
Head Coach: Heimir Hallgrímsson