KANSAS CITY, Kansas — Head coach Winfried Schafer says in the face of defeat he has taken heart in the revelation of the US MLS pair of Je-Vaughn Watson and Deshorn Brown.
In Friday's World Cup qualifier against the USA where the Reggae Boyz had a late meltdown to concede two goalslosing 2-0, the German thought both players were key in the portion of the match where Jamaica were matching the hosts stride for stride. It is even believed that the visitors had the larger share of possession for "up to 65 minutes" of the match.
"We lost the game, but I was happy and I was sad. I was happy because I got to see some players for the first time, like Deshorn Brown and (Je-Vaughn) Watson, and he is one of the best midfielders and I had to ask why I didn't see him before.
"Maybe we have a lot of players in the United States, but I must go the clubs to watch the players... I think we can build a new team," Schafer said after the game, which moved the USA to 19 points and winners of the World Cup qualifying play-offs.
Jamaica are at the bottom with four points from nine matches.
Schafer said while the players are "down" after losing the game, he impressed upon them that they played a good game and they have nothing to be ashamed of.
"The first goal was a lucky goal... after the match a coach of the United States team said they were lucky. Right now everybody is a little bit down because they played so well and lost the game. But I talked to the players about the game and the next game coming and I told them we are going to need more discipline and power," he said as he addressed Jamaican journalists after the game.
Jamaica were hoping for a victory on Friday night, and were keeping fingers crossed at the same time that Mexico and Panama drew their game at the Azteca. But Mexico edged the visitors 2-1 to move to 11 points and comfortable in fourth.
Elsewhere, Honduras clipped already-qualified Costa Rica (15 points) 1-0 in San Pedro Sula.
Meanwhile, the USA all-time leading scorer Landon Donovan conceded that Jamaica's first-half display was a source of frustration for him and the rest of the team.
"It definitely wasn't our best half. It certainly wasn't my best half. I think it was frustrating for all of us, but in the end it's about finding a way to win games. A lot of the time you play poorly and lose and we still found a way to win even though we didn't play great. So it was still important to win that game.
"It's important to win the group and this time's a little different than in the past. It takes a lot more points generally to win the group, but this time it has been more closely contested. So for us it's important again, as far as FIFA rankings go. It's important and there is an outside chance we can get seeded and we want to take that in to Panama," said the La Galaxy striker, who was substituted at half-time.
In front of a capacity crowd of 18,400 at the newly built Sporting Park, substitute Graham Zusi opened the scoring for the USA in the 77th minute, while bustling striker Jozy Altidore wrapped up the game on a day when US Soccer was celebrating 100 years.
In Friday's match, the USA had their first threatening moment in the 17th minute when Brown gave up possession deep into his own area, but ball snatcher DeMarcus Beasley's shot deflected off a Jamaican for a corner.
In the 25th minute, Jamaica put some eye-catching passing moves together as they drove the Americans back into their half of the field, but Jobi McAnuff could not beat goalkeeper Tim Howard, who got his body behind the ball to avert danger.
Jamaica again came forward in the 52nd minute, and looked dangerous when Watson gently fed the ball into space for Brown to run on to, but the rookie was forced wide and his resulting shot didn't bother the USA goalkeeper.
USA — Tim Howard-1, Matt Besler-5, Brad Evans-6, DeMarcus Beasley-7 (Edgar Catillo-2 66th), Mix Diskerud-8, Aron Johannsson-9 (Sacha Kljestan-16 73rd), Landon Donovan-10 (Graham Zusi-19 46th), Alejandro Bedoya-11, Jermaine Jones-13, Jozy Altidore-17 and Geoff Cameron-20.
Subs not used: Michael Orozco-3, Brad Guzan-12, Terrence Boyd-14, Kyle Beckerman-23
Booked: Kljestan (91th)
Jamaica — Duwayne Kerr-1, Adrian Mariappa-19, Wes Morgan-7, Demar Phillips-12, Lloyd Doyley-3, Rodolph Austin-17, Je-Vaughn Watson-15 (Theo Robinson-14 73rd), Jobi McAnuff-10, Ryan Johnson-9 ( Jermaine Anderson-21 85th), Deshorn Brown-22 and Darren Mattocks-11.
Subs not used: Richard McCallum-13, Gariece McPherson-23, Marvin Elliott-4, Kemar Lawrence-20, Alvas Powell-5, Romario Campbell-6, Jermaine Johnson-8, Jermaine Taylor-16, Shaun Cummings-18, Daniel Gordon-2.
Booked: Anderson (92nd)
Boyz trail of results in final round
• Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Mexico 0, Jamaica 0
• Friday, March 22, 2013
Jamaica 1, Panama 1
• Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Costa Rica 2, Jamaica 0
•Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Jamaica 0, Mexico 1
• Friday, June 7, 2013
Jamaica 1, USA 2
• Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Honduras 2, Jamaica 0
• Friday, September 6, 2013
Panama 0, Jamaica 0
• Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Jamaica 1, Costa Rica 1
• Friday, October 11, 2013
USA 2, Jamaica 0