NASHVILLE, Tennessee.- Jamaica Manager Theodore Whitmore and FW Peter-Lee Vassell spoke with the media inside Nissan Stadium in Nashville on Tuesday night, as Jamaica prepares for its match with the United States in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Semifinals on Wednesday night.
Whitmore was asked what stock he puts in Jamaica’s recent victory over the U.S., which came in a friendly less than a month ago.
“We are in a major tournament here in the Gold Cup,” the coach said. “I don’t think the friendly we played against the U.S. means anything. It’s two different ballgames. We can’t use the friendly against the U.S. to judge our performance and what we want to achieve in the game tomorrow.”
Vassell, the 21-year-old in his first season with Los Angeles FC in MLS, spoke of the meaning of playing in his first Gold Cup on a personal level.
“It’s a massive experience for me,” said Vassell. “To play for the highest level of Jamaican football, and to play against so many great players, it’s a wonderful experience for me.”
Vassell made his Gold Cup debut on a night of history for Jamaica, the first time the side ever hosted a Gold Cup match, a 3-2 victory over Honduras at the National Stadium in Kingston.
Since that first match, Jamaica has scored just one goal from open play. Whitmore spoke of what he sees as the key to getting the attack back in full effect.
“We have to be concerned with the middle of the park,” said Whitmore. “That’s our major concern in getting the attack flowing and getting that connection from defensive to middle-third to the offensive end of the field.”
The semifinal between Jamaica and the United States kicks off at 9:30 ET on Wednesday night.