NASHVILLE, Tennessee.- United States Manager Gregg Berhalter has plenty of respect for his team’s opposition in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Semifinals. It was none other than Jamaica who beat the U.S. 1-0 in a pre-tournament friendly in Washington D.C. back on June 5.
“We’ve been watching them and it’s a good team,” Berhalter said. “We see similarities in the way they played in Washington to the way they’ve been playing in this tournament.”
Berhalter broke down some of his studies on the Jamaica team.
“We know they’re not afraid to play for second balls,” said the coach. “They’ve got wingers coming inside to win second balls. They’ve got some good physicality and quality up top, with attacking midfielders who support the play.”
“They’ve got good counter-attacking quality, good speed up front, and a robust backline,” Berhalter continued. “We’ve been really looking at how we can break them down and do it efficiently.”
The U.S. and Jamaica have matched up in the semifinals or the final in the last two editions of the tournament, a 2-1 win for Jamaica in the 2015 Semifinal in Atlanta and a 2-1 win for the U.S. in the 2017 Final in Santa Clara, California.
Jozy Altidore, who scored one of the great Gold Cup goals in that 2017 Final, has played just once in this 2019 tournament. Berhalter was asked about Altidore’s status going into the semifinal.
“Jozy’s exactly where we need him to be,” Berhalter said.
When asked if that meant he was ready to play on Wednesday, Berhalter replied, “He’s been ready to play.”
Berhalter then concluded by saying that he already has his mind made up as far as his starting eleven against Jamaica is concerned.
The semifinal between the U.S. and Jamaica kicks off at 9:30 ET on Wednesday night at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.