In a first half in which the Americans outshot Jamaica, 8-3, Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Tajay Griffiths stopped shots by Blaine Ferri and Akinola – and Andrew Carleton's 22nd-minute penalty kick.
The USA finally beat Griffiths in the 53rd minute when Chris Durkin headed George Acosta's in-swinging corner kick into the net from six yards.
Timothy Weah, a 65th minute sub, made it 2-0 by tapping in an Akinola pass in the 77th minute. Weah had fed Akinola, who juked Shane Ricketts before delivering the return pass.
The final three goals came within seven minutes, beginning with Josh Sargent, who stretched his leg to poke the ball Kendall Edwards was trying to shield past stranded Griffiths in the 87th minute.
Sargent set up Akinola’s first goal, a low drive inside the near post, in the 88th minute. Two minutes into stoppage time, Akinola hammered home a low half-volley from 22 yards.
The USA faces Mexico, a 6-0 winner over El Salvador, on Wednesday in its second of three Group C games. The top two group finishers advance to the second round, which will determine the region’s four World Cup qualifiers.
April 23 in Panama City
USA 5 Jamaica 0.
Goals: Durkin (Acosta) 53, Weah (Akinola) 77, Sargent (Lindsey) 87, Akinola (Sargent) 88, Akinola 92+.
USA -- Garces; Lindsey, Gloster, Sands, Vasquez; Durkin, Ferri (Vassilev, 88), Acosta (Goslin, 76); Akinola, Sargent, Carleton (Weah, 65).
Jamaica -- Griffiths; Osei, Topey (Edwards, 63), Mullings (Thompson, 61), Gibbons, Ricketts; Verley, Atkinson, Lyons; Parris, Senior (McIntosh, 46).
Referee: Adrian Skeete (Barbados)
Shots on target: 10/4
Corner Kicks: 10/1
Yellow cards: USA -- A.J. Vasquez 47+; Gibbons 83.