USA take on Jamaica in Gold Cup Semi Final with history on their side

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Terence, the second century BC playwright, once said "Fortune favors the brave" and this is a quote the coach of the Jamaican team, German Winfred Schaefer, must be repeating constantly in the ears of his players as they prepare to take on tournament favourites, the USA, coached by another German, Jurgen Klinsmann.

When Jamaica had their third-place finish in 1993, which marks their best performance at the Gold Cup, Captain, Rodolph Austin, was a seven-year-old kid playing football on the streets of May Pen in Clarendon.

Fast forward to 2015, the former Leeds United captain has been given the charge to lead the Caribbean champions out to face the defending Gold Cup champions USA in a semi final match up at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Wednesday.

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The beautiful sport has seen some shocking scorelines, including Ruban Kazan 2-1 victory over Barcelona, North Korea 1-0 win over Italy and Cameroon 1-0 victory over Argentina.

Jamaica, the dark horse of the Gold Cup is hoping to replicate the 2-1 shocker they pulled off at the National Stadium in 2012 to move one step closer in an effort to claim their first ever Gold Cup triumph.

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Jamaica have been playing well throughout the tournament and have managed to keep clean sheets in their last three games. However they've also failed to score more than a single goal in each of those encounters.

Dangerous oppponent

The three times Gold Cup champions USA is by far one of the strongest opposition the Reggae Boyz will face in the competition, so, if they are to break down the American wall on Wednesday, Schafer's men will need to play what they will consider the perfect match.

Keeping the tournament's leading goal scorer Clint Dempsey at bay and mustering a charge on the counter will be priority. The Seattle Sounders midfielder hit a hat-trick against Cuba in the USA 6-0 quarterfinal rout on Saturday.

Jamaica will welcome back Darren Mattocks who sat out his one match ban and is ready to lead the charge with the Houston Dynamo's Giles Barnes. His trickery and pace can create a bit a of surprise for the American defense. The midfield will be boosted with the return of Je- Vaughn Watson who will pair with their leading talisman Gareth McCleary.

Jamaica's defense also welcome the return of the towering Jermaine Taylor who was out their last match due to injury. The Reggae Boyz will be tested against the feverish American offense as Jurgen Klinsmann's squad prepare themselves to enter the final and win a second consecutive Gold Cup.

History against Jamaica

These two teams have gone head to head in 22 encounters with USA run away winners with 13 victories, eight draw games and only one loss. Jamaica's worst defeat against USA was a 5-0 rout in 1988 and their best is a 2-1 win at the 'Office' in 2012, ironically the current captain, Austin was among the scorers on that day.

The U.S. is no stranger to success at the Gold Cup. They are the defending champions having defeated Panama in 2013. Brad Guzan will be starting in net once again, there is no doubt the U.S. has the superior offense, but can they penetrate that elite Jamaica defense?

If the U.S. can score the first goal, it may be all but over as Jamaica doesn't score in bunches. Team captain Michael Bradley leads a solid group of midfielders, but the U.S. does have a penetrable defense.

How to win

Jamaica convincingly won Group B. They have never won this tournament before, but this looks to be their best opportunity ever as they did win the Caribbean Cup just last year with this same group of players.

Jamaica must score the first goal to dethrone the U.S. as Jamaica is not a very good "come from behind" team. Jobi McAnuff was voted Jamaica's MVP against Haiti in the quarterfinals and he may play yet another key role for the underdogs.

This will prove to be a feisty encounter with the best attack versus the best defense. The winner of the tournament might just come from the winner of this match up.

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