DaMarcus Beasley provided the offense and the United States moved within two wins of taking its third Gold Cup.
The speedy midfielder scored two goals and added an assist to lead the United States over Jamaica, 3-1, yesterday in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in Foxboro, Mass.
"We played well today. This was our best game of the tournament," U.S. Coach Bruce Arena said. "I thought we were sloppy in the second half with dealing with the game, but at the end of the day a 3-1 win is an excellent result."
The United States will play Honduras on Thursday in East Rutherford, N.J., in the semifinals of the tournament, the championship of soccer's North and Central American and Caribbean region. Honduras beat Costa Rica, 3-2, in the opener of the doubleheader.
The U.S. team last won the Gold Cup in 2002 and also won it in 1991, the first year the tournament was played.
In today's quarterfinals in Houston, defending champion Mexico will play Colombia and Panama will meet South Africa. Colombia and South Africa were invited to the tournament as guests.
Josh Wolff gave the Americans a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute, deflecting Beasley's shot into the net for his first goal of the tournament.
In the 42nd minute. Landon Donovan split the defense with a pass to Beasley, who broke behind two defenders and beat goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts from inside the six-yard box. Beasley added a goal in the 83rd minute.
Ricardo Fuller cut the U.S. lead to 3-1 in the 88th minute, and Donovan missed a late penalty kick.
Jamaica had a penalty kick in the eighth minute, but goalkeeper Kasey Keller made a diving save on Andy Williams's attempt.
Ben Olsen (D.C. United) received a red card in the 58th minute for pulling down Fuller in front of the U.S. net and is suspended for the semifinal.
Jamaica's Jermaine Taylor was given a red card for taking out Beasley with a wild tackle in the 66th minute.
Taylor Twellman scored three goals, including a pair in the final five minutes, as the New England Revolution came back to defeat visiting FC Dallas, 3-2, in a matchup of the league's top teams.
After tying the game in the 90th minute by pushing in Clint Dempsey's header, Twellman headed in Shalrie Joseph's pass from eight yards to lift New England (10-2-5). Arturo Alvarez and Ronnie O'Brien scored for Dallas (10-3-4).
* METROSTARS 1, RAPIDS 1: Ante Razov put New York/New Jersey (6-4-7) in front, but Jeff Cunningham tied it with his league-leading ninth goal for visiting Colorado (5-10-3).
* WIZARDS 3, REAL SALT LAKE 2: Rookie Scott Sealy scored twice as host Kansas City (7-4-7) handled Salt Lake (3-11-4).
* FIRE 1, CREW 1: Justin Mapp scored on a free kick in the 62nd minute, rescuing Chicago (11-6-3) against last-place Columbus (4-10-3).
* GALAXY 2, CHIVAS USA 0: In Carson, Calif., Herculez Gomez scored in the 64th and 93rd minutes as Los Angeles (8-6-4) topped Chivas USA (2-14-3).
In Chicago, Jose Maria Gutierrez scored the tiebreaking goal in the 88th minute and Roberto Soldado added a score during injury time to lead nine-time European club champion Real Madrid to a 3-1 victory over Mexican power Chivas of Guadalajara.