Jamaica and USA set to serve up a mouthwatering treat for fans in Nation League Semis

Can Jamaica clear this hurdle?

Jamaica Men’s National Team will take on USA Men’s National Team in the Nation League semifinals at the AT&T Stadium, in Dallas Texas, on March 21,2024. The USA is seeking a record third straight Nation League title but must get pass the Reggae Boyz first, in what might prove to be a daunting task. Jamaica is no stranger to playing semifinals against USA, but it is the first time they have ever gotten this far in this competition.   

Coverage of USA-Jamaica from AT&T Field in Dallas begins at 6:00 p.m. ET on FS1 and Univision, with kickoff set for 8:00 p.m. ET. 

The USMNT and Jamaica have clashed thirty-two times, trashing Jamaica 5-1, during their first meeting in 1988. But this is the first time they are going to tussle up against each other in the Nation League competition. However, the nations’ last few matchups have been tightly contested affairs. The last time Jamaica beat USMNT team in any competition was that 2-1 victory in the semifinals of the Gold Cup 2015.  

Both teams have a lot at stake and plenty of football to play this year. USA will be participating in the Olympics in Paris, the Copa America, Nation League, and World Cup Qualifiers. Meanwhile, Jamaica will be participating in Nation League, Copa America, and World Cup Qualifiers.  

USA has lost their opening game for the 2024 calendar year, in a 1-0 against Slovenia in an international friendly at San Antonio. The players featured for the USA in that game were some first timers along with four senior players Infront of a sold-out crowd at Toyota Field. Coach Gregg Berhalter was trying to give young upcoming talents some minutes, most of whom will be sent to the Olympics.  

Three players to watch for the United States in the match up with Jamaica is Haji Wright of Coventry in the Championship Division in England. Wright is a dynamic striker who uses both feet and would suit Berhalter’s 4-3-2-1 system. He plays well with his back towards goal, is very useful in hold up play and has the skill to get by two or three defenders in quick succession. He has so far scored 10 goals and five assist from 29 games for Coventon and from his 7 senior caps for the USA he scored 2 goals.  

Ricardo Pepi has been a live wire ever since scoring the winning goal in a 4-1 victory over Honduras on his debut. He has so far scored 10 goals from 22 caps for ‘The Stars and Stripes’. Pepi is the secret weapon in PSV Eindhoven’s team. Among his 5 goals from 17 games, Pepi scored in his last game against FC Volendam and he also grabbed one against Sevilla in the Champions League. Pepi has pace, guile and trickery and will light up the Nation League and Copa America.  

Josh Sargent is the final player to keep your eyes on this summer for the USA. The Missouri native made his debut for the USMNT against Bolivia in a friendly and became the fourth-youngest player to score for the United States, until Timothy Weah two days younger than Sargent, scored his first goal minutes later.  

The twinkle toes winger who has made several marauding runs down either flank to torment fullbacks for club and country has become the only American player ever to appear in an under-17, under-20, and senior camp in the same calendar year. He also held the record in Germany for scoring the fastest goal as a debutant. He has so far scored 8 goals and 1 assist from 12 games for Norwich in the EFL Championship.

He has been a regular scorer for the country too, scoring 5 goals from 23 appearances. It will be a tough decision for Berhalter who has a very talented pool to choose from with the likes of Christian Pulisic, Ricardo Pepi and Folarin Balogun as forward and wide players, but if given the nod will leave fans tongue-wagging after the tournament.  

Jamaica who has a lot to prove under the tutelage of Heimir Hallgrimsson will hoping Shamar Nicholson, Leon Bailey and Bobby Reid shines in the semifinal. 

 Shemar Nicholas is the tournament's top goal scorer with 5 goals and is expected to add to his tally due to his rich vein of form for Ligue 1 outfit Clermont Foot as a loanee from Spartak Moscow. He has so far scored 4 from 19 games in France and has scored 16 goals from 44 appearances for Jamaica. Two of those goals came in their final game against Canada in Cananda to book a spot in the Nation League semifinal and a spot in this year's Copa America. The predominant right footed striker has 89% shot attempts and a 49% goal conversion which makes him very lethal.  

Nicholson was spotted and nurtured by Boys Town footballing genius and coach Andrew Price. He started out in the Boys' Town youth system and made the transition to the first team in 2015–16. Nicholson played 75 matches for the team, scoring 28 goals, before moving to Domzale. Nicholson will be beaming in confidence knowing his first senior goal for Jamaica came from a sublime strike against United States on 5 June 2019 in a friendly.  

Bobby Reid is another player who has a lot to offer, and the fans are expecting to deliver. Reid joined the Reggae Boyz in 2019 and scored on his debut in a 6-0 win over Antigua and Barmuda. Reid has proven to be a vital piece of Marco Silva’s puzzle since he took over Fulham. Reid won the championship with Silva and helped them gain promotion to the topflight in England. So far this season he has scored 5 goals and 1 assist from 22 games for Fulham. His returns as just as good for Jamica where he scored 6 goals from 27 outings. With the absence of Demarai Gray who is out on suspension Reid needs to come up chumps for his Gaffer.  

Another amazing talent the fans of the Reggae Boyz should look out for is Leon ‘Chippy’ Bailey. Bailey has found a new life at Aston Villa under new coach Unai Emry. He recently inked a new deal after impressing Emry, he has scored 7 goals 6 assist from 22 caps for Villa, with an average of 1.4 key passes per game and 1.4 successful dribbles per game, making him the best dribbler in the team right now. On the international scene Bailey wasn't matching the fans' expectations, which made them frustrated after a dismal showing in the Gold Cup 2019.  

He, however, scores his first goal in a 6-0 demolition of Antigua and Barmuda on September 6, 2019. Since then, he has announced himself as the ‘rabbit in the magician's hat’. Bailey has scored 5 goals in 30 appearances; much more is expected but he has not lost a game on the road since 2019 while he is playing. With his mesmerizing runs and that purple patch of form he is in the English Premier League currently, he is unmatched on his day.