Nightmare debut for Euell
After searching through the myriad of television channels yesterday evening I eventually found live coverage of the USA v Jamaica World Cup Qualifier and Jason Euell's long awaited debut for the Reggae Boyz. It turned out to be a nightmare for our boy who did not even get onto the field of play until the last 19 minutes and I think I counted about 8 touches of the ball as Jamaica could only draw 1-1
with USA at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Panama's defeat of El Salvador meant that they qualify with the US from their group and Jamaica are eliminated.
The United States who were already through to the next stages rested many of their higher profile players and tried out many youngsters including Chicago born Man U 18 year-old defender Jonathan Spector, who came on as a substitute.
Despite only 9,000 fans cheering on the young American side they were a technically more superior side with Jamaica relying on the occasional flash of skill from Bolton's Ricardo Gardner and a lot of huff and puff.
Up front Ricardo Fuller lacked pace and Chicago Fire
striker Damani Ralph was completely ineffective with Forest's Marlon King replacing him in the 2nd half. The US dominated the first half hour and deservedly took the lead through Ed Johnson but Jamaica's Andy Williams (also from Chicago Fire) equalised from the spot.
I watched the 2nd half just waiting for the introduction of Euell and wondered why Jamaica, with nothing to lose, did not throw everything except the kitchen sink at a US side, who for the last 17 minutes played with 10 men when defender Oguchi Onyewu was sent off for two yellows. It never happened as coach Lazaroni and his players had a look of inevitability about them as the game drew to a close despite 5 minutes of added time.
Euell will be wondering if the whole experience was worthwhile especially after the time it took to get FIFA clearance
to eventually make his debut. It will be a great shame not to see the Reggae Boyz (with an Addick contingent of course) and their fans in Germany
but they did look a very poor side.
To rub salt into the wound for Euell, who has a number of England U21 caps, for the match the USA were decked out in the team’s 1950 World Cup retro kits, commemorating the team’s 1-0 upset win over England 54 years ago. The irony probably lost on most people on the pitch and in the crowd but not our Jason.