It was just over two months ago when the Yanks scored a goal with less than 10 minutes remaining to beat the Reggae Boyz 1-0 in the quarter-finals of the Gold Cup, where they would eventually win it all.
A big second half by the US in San Pedro finally put the Americans back on the right track in their bid to return to the World Cup after missing out in 2018.
Before their second half, Gregg Berhalter saw his side struggle to find a lot of openings in their first two encounters, firing only two shots on target in a 0-0 draw with El Salvador and then failing to make their possession count against the Canadians, drawing 1-1 despite having 72% of the ball.
Some smart tactical changes at half-time helped reverse their fortunes against Honduras as three of their five substitutes found the back of the net to help the US extend their unbeaten run to 12 straight games.
It was the 27th victory for Berhalter as the national team coach, moving him past their former boss Steve Sampson into fifth for wins among American managers and just three back of Bora Milutinovic, who led them to the finals when they hosted in 1994.
Berhalter, a former American international player, who was a big part of their run to the quarter-finals in the 2002 World Cup, has continued to go with a young and relatively inexperienced side for these qualifiers, with the average age of their starting 11 against Los Catrachos coming in at 23 years and 85 days, the youngest ever for a US team in a qualifying match.
While they have not always looked spectacular, the Americans have at least earned points in every qualifier thus far and put themselves in a much better position than four years ago when they dropped two of their first three qualifying fixtures.
In their last half of football, they scored more goals than in their four previous matches combined, while they have also conceded more goals in their last two qualifiers than in their eight previous games in all competitions.
The dream of a Jamaican return to the World Cup is in jeopardy, with the Reggae Boyz currently bottom of the group with only one point from their three matches.
Theodore Whitmore saw his side get dominated in their first two matches this round, collecting fewer than 40% possession in each encounter.
On the road against Costa Rica, though, they were full marks for their 1-1 draw as they played with a lot more conviction, finding an equaliser in the second half.
Despite some strong showings at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, twice finishing as the runners-up since 2015, they have not been able to parlay that success into World Cup qualifying, winning only two of their previous 22 matches played in the final qualifying round.
The Reggae Boyz have conceded the opening goal in their last six matches in all competitions, winning only one game over that span.
COVID travel restrictions have complicated things for them in this campaign, particularly for their English-based players who have had a hard time making it all this way for some of these big games.
They certainly have some talented individuals who can change the complexion of a game, but they have yet to harness that talent into a robust team system as they have looked somewhat disorganised to this point of the qualifying campaign.
Ricardo Pepi made his debut for the US senior side against Honduras, becoming the second-youngest American to appear in a qualifying match at the age of 18 and scoring his first international goal, the second-youngest US player to achieve that feat behind only Christian Pulisic.
Defender John Brooks has withdrawn his place in the squad because of back problems, Tim Ream is out due to family reasons, with Walker Zimmerman taking his spot, while Pulisic and Giovanni Reyna are both out through injury.
Kellyn Acosta has appeared in 17 consecutive matches for the Yanks, the only player to see the field in every one of their games this year, while goalkeeper Matt Turner has started in the last nine fixtures for his country, conceding only three goals over that time.
Shamar Nicholson has the only two goals for the Reggae Boyz so far in this qualifying campaign, while he was the lone goalscorer the last time they beat the US, 1-0 in a friendly at Audi Field in Washington DC in 2019.
Striker Michail Antonio is off to a good start in the Premier League, leading West Ham United with five goals so far, plus one in the Europa League, but he has yet to score for the national team.
Kemar Lawrence assisted on their equalising goal versus Costa Rica, while goalkeeper Andre Blake made his 51st appearance for the national side and Je-Vaughn Watson is their most experienced midfielder earning his 85th cap in their last fixture.
USA possible starting lineup:
Turner; McKenzie, Zimmerman, Robinson, Moore; Busio, Roldan, Acosta; Arriola, Pepi, Zardes
Jamaica possible starting lineup:
Blake; Lawrence, Lowe, Mariappa, Powell; Johnson, D. Williams, Magee; Antonio, Nicholson, Flemmings
We say: USA 1-0 Jamaica
Even without their top two attacking threats in Pulisic and Reyna, the Americans still have a lot more depth than the Reggae Boyz, and they always seem to find a way to scrape by.
The US ruined the Jamaicans' dream of winning the Gold Cup before, and they could put a severe dent in their World Cup hopes with a win this time around.
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