United States’ Women’s National Team made predictably light work of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship Group Stage and would confirm their qualification for the 2019 soccer World Cup with victory over Jamaica on Sunday (8PM ET, live on FS1 / UDN).
The US are the dominant power in women’s soccer in North and Central America and remain the strong favorites with the sportsbooks that Americans can join to win their eighth CONCACAF Women’s Championship after progressing through the group stage with three victories, 18 goals scored and none conceded.
Jill Ellis’ side swatted Mexico aside 6-0 in their opener before then putting five past Panama and seven past Trinidad and Tobago. In doing so, they extended their perfect record in CONCACAF Women’s Championship matches on US soil to 16 wins from 16 matches.
While the team will obviously be keen to make it through to the final and have an opportunity to lift the trophy again, the biggest prize on offer is a place at next year’s World Cup in France. That would be sealed with a win on Sunday, but even if Jamaica do somehow cause an upset, the USWNT would still have two opportunities to secure qualification: the third-place playoff and failing that, a two-legged playoff against Argentina.
In truth, Team USA’s participation at France 2019 is not in any great doubt. Moreover, their performances and results over the last 15 months have been good enough to suggest that the World Cup holders will again be serious contenders for the trophy. They are now undefeated in 24 matches, made up of 21 victories and three draws.
The offensive power of the team has again been evident at this tournament and is something that has even been visible against stronger opposition, notably in 4-2 and 4-1 wins over Japan and Brazil respectively a few months back. Alex Morgan has been in particularly impressive form, with 14 goals this year and 21 in her last 22 matches with the U.S. national team.
While there have been a few times in their current unbeaten run in which the team’s midfield balance hasn’t looked quite right, the USWNT generally look to be on the right path towards enjoying a good World Cup. Jamaica are unlikely to prove too awkward a roadblock.
Despite both being in the same confederation, these teams have only actually met on two occasions, with a 10-0 win for the US in 1994 followed by a 6-0 triumph when they last faced off in 2008. That is mostly because the history of Jamaica’s women’s national team has been a patchy and largely unsuccessful one. The program was shut down completely between 2008 and 2014.
Performances during this CONCACAF Women’s Championship have, however, been highly encouraging. After a credible 0-2 defeat to Canada in their opener, Jamaica secured a key 1-0 victory over Costa Rica in their second match and then progressed to the final four in second place by virtue of a 9-0 win over group whipping girls Cuba.
That was a significant achievement given Costa Rica were viewed as the second strongest team in the group. Jamaica have already matched their best-ever performance at the CONCACAF Women’s Championship. Now they have three shots at qualifying for the soccer World Cup for the first time in their history. While they are unlikely to defeat the US, they would fancy their chances in a possible third-place playoff against Panama.
The Jamaican squad features a few familiar faces for followers of collegiate soccer in the United States, alongside one still in high school. Jody Brown turned 16 in April, and after representing her country at Under-15, Under-17 and Under-20 level, she has performed superbly since stepping up to the senior squad. She scored a hat-trick in the win over Cuba.
The future looks bright for Jamaica, but the United States are still the clear favorites to win out in the Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas on Sunday and so qualify for the World Cup. Jamaica have defended well and so the margin of victory may not be quite as high as in their group-stage matches, but this should nevertheless be a comfortable triumph for the USWNT.
Our Preview’s U.S. Women vs. Jamaica Picks & Predictions Verdict
When it comes to our USWNT vs Jamaica predictions, this preview suggests (when the sportsbooks publish their odds on the game) the following betting picks:
- Bet on United States -3 or -3.5 goals on the spread.