USMNT slumps to Jamaica defeat during Gold Cup preparations
Patrick McDermott / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Washington - The United States' preparations for the defence of their Gold Cup crown suffered a setback on Wednesday as coach Gregg Berhalter's side crashed to a 1-0 defeat against Jamaica at Audi Field.

A thunderous long-range strike from Jamaica substitute Shamar Nicholson handed the Reggae Boyz revenge of sorts following their 2-1 loss to the United States in the 2017 Gold Cup final.

It was the only the time Jamaica have beaten the USA in 26 games stretching back to 1988.

The win was no less than the Jamaicans deserved as Berhalter's experimental line-up struggled to make any sort of impression. The defeat marked the first loss since Berhalter's reign began at the turn of the year.

The Americans left the field to loud boos after a lacklustre display which raised more questions than answers for Berhalter as he prepares to finalise his 23-man squad for the Gold Cup.

A poor first-half display from the hosts saw Jamaica on top, registering eight shots to just two from the US, neither of which were on target.

With Jamaica pressuring early in the first half, US goalkeeper Zack Steffen was pressed into action, saving smartly from Kevon Lambert's long-range attempt.

But there was nothing Steffen could do about Nicholson's winning strike in the 60th minute.

After Cristian Roldan sloppily gave away possession near halfway, Nicholson pounced, wrongfooting Wil Trapp and uncorking a sumptuous 25-yard effort which flew over Steffen into the top corner.

The USA, missing first-choice regulars such as Michael Bradley, Christian Pulisic, Jozy Altidore and Weston McKennie, rallied to try and get back in the game but their best chance of an equaliser saw Josh Sargent scoop Duane Holmes' cutback wide on 71 minutes.

Sargent was also denied by a superb diving save from Andre Blake, the Jamaican goalkeeper leaping low and to his right to to claw a shot around the post.

The United States face Venezuela in Cincinnati on Sunday in their final friendly before the Gold Cup kicks off on June 15.

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USMNT slumps to Jamaica defeat during Gold Cup preparations
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