Mexico vs. Jamaica | 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinal Preview
Mexico vs. Jamaica
2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Semifinal Round
Rose Bowl – Pasadena, Calif.
Sunday, July 23 – 9:00 pm ET
WATCH: FS1, Univision & UDN (USA)
FOX Sports GO, FOX Soccer Match Pass, univisiondeportes.com
Two years after Mexico beat Jamaica in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup final, El Tri and the Reggae Boyz will again square off in the tournament’s knockout round on Sunday, when they’ll collide in the semifinals at the Rose Bowl.
Both teams advanced out of the quarters on Thursday night. Jamaica got a standout performance from goalkeeper Andre Blake to defeat Canada 2-1, while Mexico recorded an early goal and held on to best Honduras 1-0. This will be the second meeting between the countries this tournament after Jamaica held Mexico to a scoreless draw in Denver in the group stage on July 14.
It’s been a bit of a disappointing tournament for El Tri, who entered the Gold Cup as co-favorites with the US. Manager Juan Carlos Osorio brought an experimental roster to the competition, and they’ve largely struggled to get things going offensively. After finding the back of the net three times in their opener against El Salvador, Mexico have scored just three goals in their last three Gold Cup games. With Blake looking like the best goalkeeper in the tournament, goals could again be at a premium again on Sunday.
Mexico’s run to the Gold Cup semifinals has looked a lot like the US’s: Rarely pretty, occasionally frustrating, but eventually effective.
That was certainly the case in Thursday’s 1-0 semifinal win against Honduras, a stop-start, physical affair that saw Mexico score in the fourth minute and keep Los Catrachos off the board to advance to Sunday’s semi.
They had a bit of a tougher time in their first meeting against Jamaica. The Reggae Boyz sat back and invited Mexico forward in that match, and El Tri wasn’t able to break them down. Jamaica is likely to employ the same approach on Sunday, and – with Blake playing so well and the attack looking confident after the win against Canada – they’ll no doubt like their chances of stealing a result at the Rose Bowl.
MEXICO 23-PLAYER SQUAD
Goalkeepers (3): Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul / MEX), Miguel Angel Fraga (Atlas / MEX), Moises Munoz (Puebla / MEX)
Defenders (9): Hugo Ayala (Tigres UANL / MEX), Raul Lopez (CF Pachuca / MEX), Hedgardo Marin (Chivas Guadalajara / MEX), Alejandro Mayorga (Chivas Guadalajara / MEX), Jesus Molina (CF Monterrey / MEX), Cesar Montes (CF Monterrey / MEX), Jair Pereira (Chivas Guadalajara / MEX), Luis Reyes (Club Atlas / MEX), Luis Rodriguez (Tigres UANL / MEX)
Midfielders (5): Edson Alvarez (Club America / MEX), Jesus Dueñas (Tigres UANL / MEX), Jesus Gallardo (Pumas UNAM / MEX), Jorge Hernandez (CF Pachuca / MEX), Rodolfo Pizarro (Chivas Guadalajara / MEX)
Forwards (6): Martin Barragan (Club Necaxa / MEX), Erick Gutierrez (CF Pachuca / MEX), Elias Hernandez (Club Leon / MEX), Orbelin Pineda (Chivas Guadalajara / MEX), Erick "Cubo" Torres (Houston Dynamo / USA), Angel Sepulveda (Monarcas Morelia / MEX)
Manager: Juan Carlos Osorio (Colombia); assistant Pompilio Paez in charge during match play
Blake has deservedly drawn plenty of headlines for his stellar Gold Cup performances, but another MLSer – Portland Timbers forward Darren Mattocks – merits plenty of praise for his work in the Reggae Boyz attack.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, Mattocks scored two of Jamaica’s three goals in the group stage and assisted on both of their goals on Thursday night. With his speed, power and willingness to distribute in the final third, Mattocks will be the key piece to Jamaica’s counterattack on Sunday night. He’ll likely race free for a few opportunities at the Rose Bowl – if he can convert any of them, Jamaica will have a shot at pulling the upset.
JAMAICA 23-PLAYER SQUAD
Goalkeepers (3): Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union, USA); Damion Hyatt (Arnett Gardens FC, JAM); Dwayne Miller (Valsta Syrianska IK, SWE)
Defenders (8): Sergio Campbell (Pittsburgh Riverhounds, USA); Oniel Fisher (Seattle Sounders FC , USA); Rosario Harriott (Harbour View FC, JAM); Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls, USA); Damion Lowe (Tampa Bay Rowdies, USA); Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers, USA); Ladale Richie (Montego Bay United FC, JAM); Jermaine Taylor (Minnesota United FC, USA)
Midfielders (5): Michael Binns (Portmore United FC, JAM); Ewan Grandison (Portmore United FC, JAM); Kevon Lambert (FK Vojvodina, SRB); Ricardo Morris (Portmore United FC, JAM); Je-Vaughn Watson (New England Revolution, USA)
Forwards (7): Cory Burke (Bethlehem Steel FC, USA); Owayne Gordon (Montego Bay United FC, JAM); Jermaine Johnson (Tivoli Gardens FC, JAM); Darren Mattocks (Portland Timbers, USA); Shamar Nicholson (Boys' Town FC, JAM); Dever Orgill (Wolfsberger AC, AUT); Romario Williams (Charleston Battery, USA)
Manager: Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore (Jamaica)