CONCACAF 2014 World Cup qualifying: Panama can solidify place while U.S. go to Kingston

Mitchell Layton

Jamaica are in dire straits after dropping points at home yet again on Tuesday, while Panama will find themselves in an excellent position going forward if they can steal points from Mexico.

Heading into Friday's set of CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, only one team is in a desperate situation. After dropping points at home against Mexico on Tuesday, Jamaica sits in last place in the Hexagonal. A large gap could potentially open up between them and third place -- the final automatic qualifying spot -- if they lose to the United States.

The U.S. and Mexico are both in good position after tough starts, but could find themselves out of the top three after their tough road games. El Tri goes away to Panama, who currently sit in second place. In the other game, Costa Rica host Honduras.

Jamaica vs. United States - 9:30 p.m. ET

The last time the United States headed to Kingston, they turned in arguably their worst performance of the Jürgen Klinsmann era in a 2-1 loss. The U.S. has improved as a team since then, but Jamaica has added reinforcements of the way of British-born players with Jamaican heritage who waited until they had a realistic chance to make a World Cup to qualify. Expect the U.S. to trot out the same team as they did against Germany on Sunday, while Jamaica could make some changes to the team that fell to Mexico.

Costa Rica vs. Honduras - 10 p.m. ET

On a neutral site, it would be tough to pick a winner in a match between these two sides, but both enjoy a massive home-field advantage in CONCACAF. Both have looked excellent on home and shaky on the road in their first three CONCACAF matches, and there's no reason to see that trend reversing. Honduras can make the World Cup without getting points in Costa Rica and shouldn't be dismayed by a loss.

Panama vs. Mexico - 10 p.m. ET

Panama arguably entered the hexagonal looking like the least likely team to make a run to the World Cup, but they've managed to take a point away to Jamaica and defeat Honduras 2-0 at home. Their 2-2 draw with Costa Rica in their first match suggests that their home pitch is hardly a fortress, however, and they're underdogs against Mexico. The El Tri attack looked mostly anemic in the Jamaica game though, and an upset wouldn't be too shocking.

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