[JAMAICA-USA: Reaction] Dane Richards and Shavar Thomas, two MLS veterans whose roots in the United States date back to college -- and even prep school in Thomas' case -- say they weren't surprised that Jamaica beat the United States, 2-1, in World Cup qualifying. Indeed, they said it was a night to remember -- even if they did not get off the bench.
"It was a Herculean performance from the team," Thomas, who was at Hotchkiss School in Connecticut when he debuted for the Reggae Boyz, told the Jamaica Observer after practice on Sunday. After going behind 0-1 so early, it speaks volume of the team's character."
Thomas said the Reggae Boyz had a game plan and stuck with it.
"There was no second thought -- from top to bottom, from the coaches to the last man on the bench -- as to what we were about. It was an all-out good performance from everyone," he said. "If the U.S. gave a 100 percent, our players gave 110. We were first to challenges and we were first to all second balls and that helped."
Jamaica lost its last meeting to the United States, 2-0, in the Gold Cup quarterfinals.
"It didn't come as a surprise that we won, to be honest," said Thomas. "I knew it was a big game, but we knew what we had to do. When we lost to them at the RFK [Stadium] in the Gold Cup I had the confidence that next time around that we were going to beat them."
Richards said Jamaica put on an unbelievable show.
"Being on the bench I didn't feel any [negative] way because the team was creating history and it was a pleasure watching them. We pressured them in midfield, because if you give the U.S. players space they look spectacular. We closed the spaces well, apart from the lapse in the first minute. We overcame that [setback] and showed great character. I wasn't surprised [about the win] because we are normally up for the fight against them. It was a jinx, [and] we finally broke it and showed belief in ourselves. With these three points I'm happy [though I didn't play]."