Jordan Morris scored in the 59th minute, and the United States beat Jamaica 1-0 to give Bruce Arena the first win of his second stint as national team coach
Jordan Morris scored in the 59th minute, and the United States beat Jamaica 1-0 on Friday night to give Bruce Arena the first win of his second stint as national team coach.
With the US scoreless streak at 280 minutes, Benny Feilhaber set up the 22-year-old forward, last seasons Major League Soccer Rookie of the Year, who took a touch and beat goalkeeper Ryan Thompson at the near post from eight yards out. It was the second international goal for Morris, who also scored against Mexico in an April 2015 friendly.
After losing their first two games, the US resume the final round of Concacaf World Cup qualifying on 24 March against Honduras in California, then play four days later at Panama.
Before a crowd of 17,903 at Finley Stadium and playing a rare match on artificial turf, the Americans got their second straight shutout under Arena, who said a priority will be tightening the US defense. Arena changed nine starters from his return as USA manager, a 0-0 tie against Serbia last weekend.
Goalkeepers Luis Robles and David Bingham split halves and combined to shut out the Jamaicans. Central defender Walker Zimmerman made his international debut, and three players who made their debuts last weekend got their first starts: left back Jorge Villafana and midfielders Chris Pontius and Sebastian Lletget.
Right back Graham Zusi and central defender Steve Birnbaum were the only holdovers in the starting line-up against the Reggae Boyz, who knocked out the Americans in the semifinals of the 2015 Concacaf Gold Cup. Midfielder Dax McCarty made his first appearance in six years and forward Juan Agudelo made his first start since June 2015.
Captain Michael Bradley replaced Feilhaber in the 62nd minute, his first appearance off the bench since October 2011. McCarty sent a header just over the crossbar in the seventh minute and Lletget sent a 19th-minute cross to Agudelo, who shot wide.
Jamaica nearly went ahead in the 34th minute after Cory Burke outsprinted Zusi down the flank and crossed. Robles got a hand on the ball and it deflected to Romario Williams, but the ball went off his left knee and wide.
Morris broke into space alone in the 38th to chase a headed pass from Agudelo, and goalkeeper Andre Blake made a sliding save.