Will Parchman (Twitter), folks.
I am at a buddy’s house and I have a beer in my hand and I look toward the television and Juan Arango is half-yelling into a blue microphone and sweating. Badly.
Phil Schoen looks vaguely concerned, as though Arango’s sweat is carrying with it all the fears of failed qualification. Welcome to Jamaica, home of pungent clouds of smoke in massive pockets and oppressive bricks of heat that fall on your forehead like sweaty towels made of Kyle Beckerman’s inner-most dreadlocks. And then soak those in fear.
Tony Meola and Cobi Jones are in studio and it’s hard to believe they put up the graphic that Cobi is our most-capped player. Wait, I meant the exact opposite of that. It’s like BeInSport is a little kid at a USMNT practice and WHOA HEY CLINT DEMPSEY CAN YOU SIGN MY GOOCH BECAUSE YOU ARE MY LITERAL DEITY.
Defense numbers are whatever. DaMarcus Beasley has 101 caps now and Clarence Goodson has 36 and WHO honestly expects that to mean anything at all. Goodson is a blind, deaf, frightened baby giraffe who is forced to spend his entire existence walking over vast fields of sentient marbles. So many damned marbles. Marbles with eyeballs.
US lineup: Howard; Beasley, Besler, Gonzalez, Evans; F. Johnson, Bradley, Jones, Zusi; Dempsey, Altidore #usmnt
This is, if I’m not mistaken, the first time Klinsmann has ever repeated a lineup. I’m almost scared by sameness now thanks to Klinsicakes. If things are the same I get strobing flashbacks to a Vietnam War I was not in. I can’t handle stability. SOMEBODY GIVE ME PARKHURST AND PUT BRAD GUZAN AT STRIKER OR I’M GOING TO PUNCH THIS NUN OVER HERE.
I’m not going to look at the Jamaica lineup. I’m not going to do it. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. This game should be 3-0. I JUST LOOKED.
Jamaica: Ricketts; Powell, Mariappa, Gordon, Woodbine; McCleary, Austin, Elliott, Hue; J. Johnson, R. Johnson.
Donovan Ricketts (or, based on Andres Cantor’s broadcast on Tuesday, “DONUHBAHN RAQUETS!!!”) is either a wall or a stiff breeze. Here’s hoping the trade winds are blowing gently across Kingston tonight. The rest is whatever. It’s fun and strangely comforting in its regularity to watch Jamaican attacks end in abject failure and utter, unbelievably vivid self-loathing. Jamaica in the final third is me if I saw a feral dinosaur running at me. WHADUHFRIX GO AWAY.
There was a moment against Mexico on Tuesday, in the 91st minute, when the Jamaicans earned a throw-in in Mexico’s final third. Like, even with the six-yard box. AND THEY TIME-WASTED THEMSELVES. The idiot asked for another ball. “Oi bruh, toss me dat ball ovah deyre. I GOT NUTHA TA DO.” This game will not be a walkover. But holy funky buttloving, you guys, make good on your chances and you win by three goals.
Dreds. Caribbean. Twerking. Jerk. Major Lazer. Boomayaye. Game time.
‘1 – I was just struck by the fact that we are without the Taylor Twellman pocket square. It’s not the same. It’s just not.
‘2 – OOOOH POST BRADLEY YOU ARE A BALDHEADED GANDHI. Gandhi was bald, wasn’t he? Sorry guys. So damn close.
‘3 – Ricketts is down. Ricketts is down. Wait what is Klinsmann wearing? Was that a heather half-button down breast pocket T-shirt with stars on a blue field? Dude. What.
‘4 – Fabian Johnson just did three step-overs as he cut into the box and rifled in a boring shot. He’s already better than every left winger in US history. Combined.
‘6 – Jamaica looks awful early. Like, awful. Guys falling over. Vuvuzelas are even flat. But they are blowing like a wind that breaks open your eardrums.
‘9 – Cobi Jones.
’11 – Jozy is too deep, and he doesn’t need to be. This is how crap attacking games start. He falls too far back (unless he’s like 15 yards offside) and tries to build and recycle too deep. You can already see the kernel of good attacking is there for the U.S. boys, it just requires patience. Mexico from Tuesday says “Josimer, relax and stay high. You’ll get there. Patience my dude.”
’16 – Phil Schoen makes a “Johnson, Johnson and Johnson” joke and a friend hates. Angrily.
’17 – Hay BeInSport! Thanks for cutting to another game IN-GAME while Jamaica has their best chance. Love it. Thank you. I’m clapping with my Dorito-stained forearms /Patton Oswalt
’21 – This game is obnoxiously physical. Almost entirely on Jamaica’s side. In the absence of fitness (after Tuesday) and touch (after being Jamaican soccer players) they’ve taken to kicking and smashing. JERMAINE JONES ROBO FIST ACTIVATE.
’26 – NOTHING. WASTELAND. SHRUB OTHER CORMAC MCCARTHY THINGS.
’28 – My guess is this game completely devolves in the second half. Heat and sweat and the like. Four goals. 3-1 USA. I’m also drinking beer so hashtag optimism.
’30 – JOSMER J. ALTINGTON MCTWEEEDY ALTIDORE. Header. Zusi is ON FIYAHHHHHH. Great ball in, and Zusi has now provided Jozy with his second goal on his second assist in as many games. My word. 1-0. Burn Jamaica. Burn.
’32 – BeIn Sport was minutes away from cutting away from Altidore’s goal with highlights from Modesto Johnny’s U6 youth game. Klinsmann’s shirt. Saw it again. It is awful. Like, 50-year-old-Abercrombie-model-who-can’t-let-go-of-the-dream awful.
’39 – JAMAICA POST. Holy lucky, Batman. Good thing Jamaica is like me trying to finish on FIFA 13. With China. On all manual controls. Against Spain. This back line is so mortal. Very mortal.
’44 – Jozy scored that goal and apparently he’s rewatching the Red Wedding right now. He’s had zero role since. Tim Howard is meanwhile hugging his left post while cooing to it.
’45 – GET US TO HALFTIME BATMAN BECAUSE FAIL EVANS HAS FORGOTTEN HIS FEET.
HALFTIME: This hasn’t been nearly easy enough. 1-0. CONCACAF. ‘Mon. More beer.
’46 – BeIn Sport cuts in with a Magic Mesh commercial 20 minutes into the second half. Jozy will score from 55 yards with a bounce off Bradley’s head, a carom off a wayward vuvuzela in row 20 and then an angry stare. You will miss it.
’50 – Jamaica is a blunt instrument currently droning away into the bedrock of the flaky US back line. I am not confident. Besler-Gonzalez is only as good as I can throw them, and my arms are literal toothpicks.
’53 – Does it look to anyone else that Fabian Johnson barely has feet? A Jamaican 20 yards off his pace just ran him down in .46 seconds.
’56 – THEY HURT OUR JERMAINE. Who will punish Jamaica for punishing our punisher? A Jamaican just went down 40 yards away? Is that to mitigate the damage? That will not save you from an injured Jones spearing all 11 Jamaicans at once with an angry thought. FROM THE LOCKER ROOM. Cameron comes on. Negative move is negative.
’60 – Jermaine Jones will get a yellow somehow from the locker room. Cameron is in. I understand he used to be a midfielder. But whatev. This is a shut-up-shop move. I hate negative moves. If I had a crappy team I’d lose 43-0 every game because I’d open it up down 20. “LOOSEN UP AND ATTACK YOU CRAB PEOPLE.” Jurgen Klopp is my dad.
’67 – Exercising my right to be both right and wrong at the same time by being impressed with Cameron’s ability to probe forward and retain his defensive shape. Muscle memory runs deep, I guess. KLINSMANN FOILS ME AGAIN.
’70 – When Brad Evans crosses, forty seven angels die of emphysema.
’74 – Edgar Castillo walking to the fourth official is me grasping at a broken watch sat on by an obese Albanian helplessly falling over the side of a drifting, rudderless cruse ship.
’76 – Second half is EYE-GOUGING FAILURE PILES.
’79 – So Cameron is in the midfield. And Castillo is at left mid. Style points are being murdered by whatever Justin Beiber was wearing in that Miami Heat game.
’82 – Geoff Cameron at center mid. I’m serious. He’s looked awesome. Compact, quick-minded, sharp on possession, good passes. Everything Stoke has tried to beat out of him through those ritualistic practice whippings when you do something attractive. Impressed.
’84 – EDDIE JOHNSON GROWN ASS MANNING ALL OF OUR ASSES.
’86 – Almost there, you monkeys. This game is just awful in a bottle at this point. Thursday night rec league with drunk dudes awful. Good thing there’s OH WAIT there are four people at this game. All four are blowing trumpets and drinking past-due beer out of sloppy coolers. Jah Love.
’89 – GOAL JAMAICA. THIS IS WHY YOU CAN’T DICK AROUND.
’90 – Four minutes. I AM PUNCHING EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW. MOVE WIFE.
’91 – Disaster. This is all a disaster. Botch everything. Quit Brazil. Quit soccer. Go kick a ball at your sister.
’92 – I’M FREAKING OUT. GOAL BRAD EVANS. FORGET EVERYTHING I SAID. LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. LET’S ALL HOP TOGETHER THROUGH A FIELD OF FLOWERS. HOLD THOSE HANDS!!!!!!
’94 – Schoen: “This is the goal that may well define Jurgen Klinsmann’s career.” IN WHAT UNIVERSE.
FINAL: 2-1 USA. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT
You wipe this one clean. I’m just going to sit down for a minute. What. I’m already sitting down? I’m gonna sit down harder.