It was an eventful and challenging journey leading up to the Reggae Boyz trip to Austria. In the weeks leading up to their international friendly against the United States, the Jamaica Football Federation and the Reggae Boyz have dealt with somewhat public salary negotiations, a canceled training camp and two positive COVID-19 results among the delegation.
So it came as no surprise on Thursday when the better-prepared and more advanced United States team defeated the Jamaica senior team.
Playing at the Teddybären and Plüsch-Stadion just south of the country’s capital Vienna, Jamaica found themselves down 1-0 at the half through a strike from Barcelona’s Sergiño Dest just past the half-hour mark.
Brenden Aaronson doubled the lead for the Americans minutes after the resumption and even though Jamal Lowe’s 70th-minute goal halved the advantage, Sebastian Lletget struck twice in eight minutes, in the end, to put the game to bed.
The 26-year-old Lowe, who played for the likes of Portsmouth and Wigan Athletic before signing a three-year contract last August with Swansea, had celebrated his international debut with a well-executed finish.
Despite having new British recruits like Kasey Palmer and Liam Moore, the reggae boyz lost to USA 4 to 1.
But even with the loss, Coach of the Reggae Boyz, Theodore Whitmore was convinced it was not a wasted trip. Whitmore said there were several positives to take from the game.
“I think we were okay up to 60, 65 minutes. We created chances,” head coach Theodore Whitmore told the Jamaica Observer afterwards.
“[However] you could see that the chemistry wasn’t there, the cohesiveness [was lacking], [there were] a lot of turnovers. But again, a team with only two games together, I thought they did well.”
The result improves the United States’ all-time record against Jamaica to 17 wins, eight draws, and three losses.
Both teams are preparing for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which starts in July, and the delayed start of the World Cup qualifying from August 30 to September 8.