Today's rightfully an occasion for somber reflection. It's also a chance to celebrate America in a more enthusiastic manner.
The U.S. Men's National Team takes on Jamaica in Cleveland tonight in the back end of a home and home series that has major implications on our qualification for the 2014 World Cup. The Reggae Boyz slotted a pair of free kicks against the run of play on Friday in Kingston to knock off the U.S. for the first time in history, 2-1. The win gives Jamaica the lead in the four-team CONCACAF semifinal group, with the U.S. tied with Guatemala for second and Antigua & Barbuda bringing up the rear. The top two teams in the group advance to final qualifying.
A loss this evening would give the U.S. absolutely no margin for error over the remainder of this stage. Jurgen Klinsmann's team has had very good results this year in friendly matches, beating Mexico on the road, and topping Italy, but the loss to Jamaica and a desultory tie against Guatemala are decidedly subpar outcomes. The USMNT faces a great deal of pressure tonight at a venue in which they've never lost, and will be without and injured Landon Donovan (big loss) and a card-suspended Clarence Goodson (less big).
ESPN2's got the match at 8:00 this evening. I expect you to be glued to your televisions.
Because we care about what our fans think, a little equal opportunity.