"I say this with total endearment. It's a ridiculous tournament."
That was US captain Michael Bradley's response five days ago when Brian Straus asked for his feelings about the Gold Cup. One has to feel that those sentiments are probably amplified after another poor United States performance that served as the team's exit from the tournament. Jamaica, who booked their first Final appearance with a 2-1 win over USA, put together a dominant performance that stunned a US team unable to find composure.
The scoring was opened in the 30th minute with Vancouver's Darren Mattocks on the receiving end of a powerful throw-in to the box. Mattocks put his head to the ball and looped it over an outstretched Brad Guzan, off the post, and into the net.
Five minutes later, Brad Guzan would throw the ball into play from the edge of the 18-yard box. With his feet inside the lines, his arm outstretched just outside the box and referee Ricardo Montero made the rare decision to whistle a handball, to be kicked from outside the box.
Giles Barnes hovered over the free kick, lined up his steps, and blasted an incredible ball over the wall and just under the crossbar. This is Barnes' second goal of the tournament and comes after sending the Reggae Boyz through to this match with a 1-0 win over Haiti. In his ensuing celebrations, he has murdered two corner flags.
Michael Bradley would get one back early in the second half but, despite frantic and desperate attempts, the United States could never find an equalizer. This is the first match they have lost since their 2011 group stage defeat to Panama, 2-1.
The United States will now play the Third Place match on July 25th (3:00PM CDT) from PPL Park - home of Philadelphia Union. The Gold Cup Final, featuring Jamaica, will be Sunday, July 26th at 6:30PM live from the home of NFL's Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.