Jamaica (pictured) has appeared in two previous CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals, both against Mexico. (Photo: Mexsport)
ATLANTA -- Jamaica enters its the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal against the United States confident of progressing to the final despite posting only one win in 22 all-time meetings between the sides (1W-8D-13L).
The Reggae Boyz (2015 Gold Cup record: 3W-1D-0L), who are coming off a 1-0 quarterfinal triumph over Haiti, want to make history at the Georgia Dome on Wednesday.
"We are definitely looking forward to create an upset," defender Kemar Lawrence said. "We know that everyone is looking forward to the United States to come out and put us away. It's not going to be like that on this day. It's going to be a tough match right to the last whistle and my teammates are prepared to do anything right now to get to the next round.”
The lone Jamaica victory over the Americans came in qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, when it rallied at home for a 2-1 win in 2012.
"It's going to be an unbelievable game," remarked Lawrence. "We just want to create history. Jamaica has never won the Gold Cup before. That's what's on everyone's mind right now -- winning the Gold Cup."
While the Jamaicans are upbeat, they realize that the task ahead won’t be easy. The U.S. (2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup record: 3W-1D-0) advanced to the final four after defeating Cuba, 6-0. Forward Clint Dempsey netted a hat-trick in that encounter and has a tournament-leading six goals.
"They're a good team. You can't say anything bad about them," said forward Giles Barnes. "Deuce [Dempsey] has been on fire. They're solid in the back and they're moving the ball well. That's what you exactly expect from a Jurgen Klinsmann team. So they'll be a tough test, but we're confident and more than capable of coming away with the result."
If the Caribbean champion do just that, it will be one of the most significant achievements in Jamaica soccer history. The No. 1 accomplishment, of course, was reaching the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
"It's going to put us on the map even more," Barnes finished. “It has been a slow progress over the last few years, but now we've got a group and we're showing everyone what we're capable of."
- This will be Jamaica’s third appearance in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals. It lost to Mexico on both previous occasions (1993: 6-1 in Mexico City; 1998: 1-0 aet in Los Angeles, California).