U.S. gives fans reason to worry 

September, 7, 2012

KINGSTON, Jamaica -- The Yanks were already without injured starters Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan, so when news arrived about an hour before kickoff that veteran defenders Steve Cherundolo and Carlos Bocanegra wouldn't be in Jurgen Klinsmann's starting lineup against the Reggae Boyz, U.S. fans began to fear the worst.

Those fears proved to be justified, and so was the 2-1 loss to Jamaica before a jubilant home crowd at Independence Park.

The four absentees cost the Americans 403 combined games of experience, plenty of them in tough road venues just like The Office, which became a wall of noise when Rudolph Austin sent a 25-yard free kick off Kyle Beckerman's leg and past U.S. keeper Tim Howard 23 minutes in.

From that point on, Jamaica was firing on all cylinders, both on the field and in the stands.

Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.