Jurgen Klinsmann can end the visitors' chances of reaching Brazil, though anything but a draw between Mexico-Panama would also eliminate Winfried Schafer's side
The hosts currently top the six-team Concacaf qualifying group with 16 points from eight games, but Jamaica are languishing at the bottom with four points to their name and still searching for a first win of the final phase.
Jamaica can reach a play-off against New Zealand theoretically but they need to win both their remaining matches and need Panama and Mexico to draw their meeting on Friday then both lose their final game.
Winfried Schafer's team will need to significantly overcome the form book if they are to defeat USA, who have won each of their last 10 games on home soil while Jamaica have not scored on their travels October 2012 against Guatemala.
Jamaican hopes may be pinned on veteran striker Jermaine Anderson, who kept his side's qualification dream alive with a 92nd-minute equaliser against Costa Rica in Kingston last month.
That goal was just the 34-year-old's second for his country, his first coming in a friendly win over India back in 2003.
He will be especially important with Jamaican record goalscorer Shelton and Sheffield United's Marlon King, who has 12 goals in just 23 internationals, ruled out. First-choice goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts is also unavailable due to a broken finger.
Klinsmann has almost a full-strength squad to choose from, but has had to draft Michael Orozco in to boost his defensive numbers after Omar Gonzalez was sidelined by a hip injury, while captain Clint Dempsey misses out with a hamstring problem.
Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones is included, despite being suspended by his club and reportedly requiring knee surgery.
Star player Landon Donovan will come into the game in good spirits after equalling the all-time MLS goalscoring record over the weekend. He now sits level with Jeff Cunningham on 134 regular-season goals.