Morris leads the USMNT past Jamaica 2-1 in the Gold Cup final

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 22: Clint Dempsey
ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 22: Clint Dempsey /

Seattle’s Jordan Morris scored a goal in the 88th minute that propelled the U.S. past  Jamaica 2-1.

After a tough run through the group stage and knockout rounds, the U.S. managed to make it to the 2017 Gold Cup final. Standing in the way of the American’s sixth Gold Cup title was Jamaica, a team of tough and incredibly quick players.

The Reggae Boyz managed to upset Mexico in the semifinals to earn a shot at their first Gold Cup championship. This was also the second consecutive trip to the Gold Cup finals for Jamaica.

During the first half, the U.S. dominated possession. The Americans controlled the pace of the game and looked like the stronger side. Unfortunately, the U.S. could not get much to work up top early on.

In the 19th minute, Jozy Altidore had a great look from outside of the box. He shot it well but had it saved by Jamaican goalkeeper Andre Blake (Philadelphia). Then Kellyn Acosta hit the rebound near the face of goal, but Blake saved the shot again.

During the second save, Blake collided with Acosta, which resulted in a hand injury for the Jamaican keeper. The Reggae Boyz had to make an early substitution in the 22nd minute.

Although the U.S. found space in the midfield, the Jamaicans defended well in their area of the field. Strikers Jordan Morris and Jozy Altidore had little space to work on the opposing end.

As the half began to wind down, the U.S. earned a free kick a couple of yards from Jamaica’s goal. Altidore lined up to take the kick and he hit it well over the wall and past the goalkeeper for the goal. Then the U.S. went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.

Second Half

Despite the strong start from the U.S., the Jamaicans were able to get an equalizer only a few minutes after halftime. The goal came on a great corner kick.

Jordan Morris gave Je-Vaughn Watson too much space in the box and the Jamaican midfielder made him pay for it. He was able to get by Morris and he hit the ball past Tim Howard into the far post for the goal.

Early on in the second half, both sides had several opportunities to break the tie. The Jamaicans gave up a lot of space on the wings. This allowed players like Gyasi Zardes and Darlington Nagbe to set up passes in the box.

One of the best looks of the half came in the 75th minute. Dempsey got his head on a great pass and nearly had it go in. The header was tipped off the bar by Dwayne Miller, the backup goalkeeper for Jamaica.

With the end of regulation approaching, the U.S. pushed more men forward in the hopes of getting a late goal. Then in the 88th minute, Zardes crossed the ball into the goal and it stumble toward Morris who hit it off-balance with his right foot, past the goalkeeper for the game winning goal.



Despite the loss, Jamaica looked great throughout the tournament. They beat Mexico and outplayed practically every other team they went against. This narrow loss to the U.S. should be taken as a positive sign for the future.

The Reggae Boyz really have plenty of talented players like Andre Blake who will make this team a real threat in the CONCACAF for years to come.


With the 2018 World Cup only a year away, this tournament proved Bruce Arena is the right coach to lead the team. He was able to balance the younger, inexperienced players with the seasoned veterans he pulled into the team in the knockout rounds.

Under Arena, the U.S. team looks organized, talented and definitely a lot younger. There are several players who have raised their stock in the tournament. Arena is going to have a tough time narrowing down his roster for future games.

Next: What Could Promotion and Relegation Look Like in the US?

All in all, the 2017 Gold Cup was a major success for Arena and his team. The U.S. went undefeated in the cup and the team should have plenty of momentum heading into the last couple of qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup.