In the final game before the US players head back to their MLS teams for the preseason, the United States men’s national team defeated Jamaica 1-0. One current and one recently-former New York Red Bulls players got the start on Friday night, after Bruce Arena changed nine players from the Serbia starting XI.
Luis Robles earned his third cap for the senior team and is still undefeated in his tenure (2-0-1) since 2009. The 32-year old goalkeeper earned his call-up after tying the Red Bulls’ (and his own) season shutouts record with 11. He was also the runner up for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2016 after winning it in 2015 and earning the Save of the Year for his double save on Clint Dempsey in 2014.
Dax McCarty, also beginning his senior international career in 2009, earned his sixth cap, but first since 2011. And guess what... Since Dax hasn't appeared for the Chicago Fire yet, he is still a Red Bull in my heart. So this post will be about him as well.
Robles didn’t have too much action on his end of the field while the US controlled 73% of the ball in the first half. He successfully distributed three pass backs balls played to him by the defenders. He also had one cross caught in the 22nd minute. Jamaica’s best opportunity of the half came in the 34th minute, where Robles punched away a low cross. The rebound deflected of a Jamaican striker’s knee for a goal kick.
Robles was substituted for at halftime by San Jose Earthquakes keeper David Bingham. He and Bingham combined for a clean sheet.
McCarty started and played 62 minutes himself. McCarty was almost involved in an early goal. In the 6th minute, the US’ first corner of the match was taken by Benny Feilhaber which found Dax crashing at the net. He headed it hard, but it sailed over the bar. His best defensive effort came in the 12th minute when Jamaica had a half-decent open run of play. He stood up the Jamaican striker dead in his tracks and won the ball at the top of the 18.
The only goal of the game was begun by McCarty in the 59th minute. He played a solid ball into Zone 14, catching Feilhaber with his back to goal. With a quick give-and-go (and give again) Feilhaber and Jordan Morris combined for an open shot on goal that Morris buried.
McCarty had a fairly solid game, substituting off in the 62nd minute for Portland Timbers winger Darlington Nagbe.
The match was the final one before the US men are back in action with Honduras on March 24th for World Cup qualifying in San Jose. Congratulations to Luis and Dax on another win with the national team.