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U.S. loss should serve as warning sign

Despite being heavy Gold Cup favorites entering the knockout stage, the USMNT failed to reach the finals.
Despite being heavy Gold Cup favorites entering the knockout stage, the USMNT failed to reach the finals.

Less than two months removed from a pair of impressive friendly wins over Germany and the Netherlands, the United States took a step backward on Wednesday night with a 2-1 loss to heavy underdog Jamaica in the Gold Cup semifinals -- the worst loss of manager Jurgen Klinsmann's four-year tenure. The mission of winning the tournament was clearly stated, and while the U.S. outshot and outplayed Jamaica for much of the match, the team failed to accomplish its ultimate goal.

This negative result will be thoroughly evaluated as the U.S. heads into 2018 World Cup qualifying this fall, as it is important to understand whether the loss to Jamaica was an aberration that can quickly be forgotten or instead a warning sign about deeper issues of inconsistency and lack of depth at key positions.

Were the goals the U.S. allowed largely a result of bad luck/calls or were they highly preventable? Was the U.S. attack, which outshot Jamaica 20-10 and had several near misses, simply unlucky or instead lacking in crucial areas? 

Here is a look at why the U.S. loss to Jamaica is not simply an aberration but rather a warning sign about larger issues within the team, based on its lapses of concentration along the back line and lack of creativity and effectiveness in the attack.

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