SANTA CLARA, California -- The blue and gold signage outside and throughout Levi's Stadium reminds fans that the CONCACAF Gold Cup final will be held here on Wednesday night.
For Jamaica head coach Theodore Whitmore, the decider against the United States is about much more than just lifting a trophy. His Reggae Boyz, under then head coach Winfried Schafer, were eliminated earlier than expected from qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. As a result, the Gold Cup represents the validation of a purpose.
"This is our World Cup, so we have to give it our best shot," Whitmore said. "This is a World Cup final for us."
Jamaica progressed to the final for the second consecutive time as it vies to be the first Caribbean nation to win the Gold Cup.
"What they want to do is rewrite history, not only making it to the final, but to actually win the final,” stressed Whitmore. “They know the task at hand. They're up for it.
"We're rebuilding at the moment. It would mean a lot for us as a country and for football going forward."
Don't expect the undefeated Jamaicans to deviate from the strategy deployed throughout the tournament. They will continue to play with a tight defense and use their speed on counterattacks.
"Defense wins championships," defender/midfielder Sergio Campbell concluded. "So we just have to beat them as best as possible. Hopefully, we make use of our chances when we get them. Defense is the most important thing for us right now."
Jamaica, anchored by standout goalkeeper Andre Blake, has conceded only two goals in five games during the Gold Cup.