It was billed to be a Los Angeles Football Club vs. Los Angeles Football Club match-up, but with Tyler Miller and Walker Zimmerman not seeing the field for the U.S. Men’s National Team, Peter-Lee Vassell flew the black-and-gold flag in Jamaica’s 1-0 win over the U.S. at Audi Field on Wednesday in a friendly.
Vassell lined up in the No. 10 role for Jamaica, and was active from kickoff. In the early minutes, he attempted to score on a long, long-range shot from way out after U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen was well off his line. But the shot went wide.
Jamaica had the better run of play in the first half, with Vassell interchanging in the middle and out wide to make back-post runs and make pinpoint passes to break through the USMNT defense. At the break, Jamaica held an 8-2 advantage in shots taken, two on target to the Americans’ zero.
Vassell had another great chance just before the hour mark, as his diagonal curler went not far wide of target.
At the hour mark, Shamar Nicholson scored his first career international goal, taking the ball on a counter chance and unleashing a shot from distance with no pressure on him outside the box, to give Jamaica a 1-0 lead.
Vassell exited the game in the 77th minute, putting in a terrific shift for Jamaica. From the looks of it, he’s going to the Gold Cup, and is a likely starter.
What does this mean for Zimmerman and Miller and their Gold Cup hopes? That they didn’t play but the U.S. lost might be good for them. It sure sounds like Steffen is the No. 1 in goal, but Miller could still be a backup for the tournament. Zimmerman, meanwhile, is a mystery, as Berhalter either doesn’t like him very much, or he likes him a lot and doesn’t need to see him in friendlies. We’ll see!
Jamaica have no more friendlies before the Gold Cup starts, while the USMNT will play Venezuela in Cincinnati on Sunday.
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