Beckford's World Cup dream dead as Jamaica crash out Stateside

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Reggae Boyz were hanging on by a thread heading into their World Cup Qualifier against the United States Men's National Team on Friday night in Kansas City, Kansas. at Sporting Kansas City's Sporting Park, which is pretty redundant when put that way. In the first eight games of the Hex qualification group, Jamaica had been winless, taking just four points and occupying the bottom of the group. They needed to win out in this pair of matches in order to hold onto an outside chance of making the play-off game for the last CONCACAF World Cup spot.

New Jamaica boss Winfried Schafer made a number of changes to the Jamaica side, leaving out a number of regulars like Donovan Ricketts (through injury), Luton Shelton, Marlon King, Chris Humphrey, Garath McCleary, and Jermaine Beckford. The manager instead went with a number of US-based players to try to capitalize on their knowledge of the opes, bringing in Duwaye Kerr, Deshorn Brown, and Je-Vaughn Watson, among a few other international players. As a result, Jermaine Beckford would miss out.

The Bolton striker had not made much of an impact for Jamaica, appearing just five times for the Reggae Boyz, scoring once (against the United States). He would not have a chance to do it again.

For 70 minutes, Jamaica frustrated the United States before Jurgen Klinsmann made some key changes to the side. Then, on 77 minutes, Graham Zusi broke the deadlock in his home stadium. Then, four minutes later, Jozy Altidore scored in his sixth-straight international match to put the game beyond reach for the Jamaicans.

Through nine games, the Jamaicans are winless and their match on Tuesday night against Honduras at The Office will mean just about nothing. Honduras have secured a spot in at least the play-offs. Honduras sit three points above Mexico, who currently occupy the play-off spot. Panama would need to beat the United States with Mexico losing at Costa Rica in order to keep Honduras out of the play-off and in third place.

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