NASHVILLE, Tennessee -- United States Manager Gregg Berhalter spoke of a “relentless spirit” in his side after the U.S. defeated Jamaica 3-1 in Nashville to progress to the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Final.
Following the match, U.S. MF and scorer of the game’s opening goal, Weston McKennie, was quoted as saying, “I want Mexico. We want Mexico.”
McKennie was referencing Sunday’s Final at Soldier Field in Chicago, a marquee match-up of two regional powers and age-old rivals.
“We’ve all been together for over a month,” Berhalter said of this U.S. squad. “From the beginning, we’ve talked about our goals and objectives. One of the main objectives was to win the Gold Cup. We’re in a position to do that now.”
Wednesday’s semifinal was anything but routine, a lightning delay halting the match for 88 minutes after just 15 minutes had been played.
The U.S. had all the momentum in the match when the lightning struck, with McKennie netting the opener in the ninth minute.
“Regarding that weather delay,” Berhalter said, “it’s part of soccer. The guys dealt with it in a really good way. It gave us some time to look at what they were doing and to give the guys some encouragement. I think the guys had the right mentality, not letting it faze them. We showed a relentless spirit tonight.”
As for Sunday’s Final, Berhalter expressed admiration and a desire to win.
“Mexico’s a good team,” said the manager. “Quality players. Quality coaching. And a good team concept with a lot of intensity. They can hurt teams.”
“Having said that, they’re also vulnerable. We’ll plan to be able to hurt them as well.”