Jamaica (1-0-0, 3 points) has made Gold Cup history. Last weekend they became just the second team, after Costa Rica, to host a Gold Cup match outside of North America. And in doing so they successfully defended their home field (Kingston's National Stadium) in a 3-2 win over Honduras. Now they come back to the U.S. for their next game against El Salvador (1-0-0, 3 points).
The Salvadorians did just enough to take their opening match against Curacao, 1-0, who was making just their second trip to the Gold Cup. Now they have to contest with a much more experienced Jamaican team who's looking to light up the scoreboard again in the next game within Group C.
El Salvador vs. Jamaica
When: Friday, June 21 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston)
TV: FS1 and Univision
Three Things to Watch
1. The Reggae Boyz still got it
After defeating Honduras, Jamaica has now won three of their last six matches and have scored 10 goals during that stretch. Forward Dever Orgill scored two of Jamaica's goals in that game, which just happened to be the first international goals of Orgill's career. They also outshot Honduras (12-9), and didn't draw any cards compared to one yellow for the Hondurans, and this was despite losing the possession battle (54 vs. 46 percent), coughing up the ball way too many times (27 steals for Honduras), and had more fouls called on them (14-9). Jamaica has some mistakes to clean up, but otherwise, it was a good win.
2. El Salvador could be a formidable opponent
One goal was all the Salvadorians needed against Curacao as their defense did the rest. They limited Curacao to just four shots, stole the ball from them 15 times, forced them to commit 24 fouls, and practically kept pace with them in terms of possession (51 vs. 49 percent). If they can force Jamaica to commit mistakes again, they'll have a chance to pick up another three points.
3. El Salvador has their own streak of note
They've gone 2-2-1 in their last five Gold Cup matches, they've scored five goals in the process, while forward Nelson Bonilla — who scored against Curacao — has scored in three of those games (15 international goals). That competitive spirit will go a long way against Jamaica.
Both teams come into this game with energy, momentum, and something to prove. But both teams have also done a solid job on defense and the key to this game will be which defense bends first. At the very least, both teams walk away with a point.
Prediction: Jamaica 2, El Salvador 2 (Draw)
— Gabe Salgado is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He's also written for NBC, Fox, The Sporting News, The Sports Journal, The Undefeated and Complex. He's a co-host of The Rewind Sports: 60. Follow him on Twitter @GabeSalgado82.