Jamaica international Junior Flemmings insists he was not bothered by playing somewhat out of position for the national team during the recently concluded CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign.

Flemmings, who currently plies his trade for Phoenix Rising FC in the USL Championship, was deployed by Whitmore as a central attacking midfielder in five appearances. 

The 23-year-old, who on occasion played as a forward during his high school years, has typically been deployed as a wide player New York Red Bull, Tampa Bay and now Phoenix.  For Flemming, who had some noteworthy games in the position, it was a case of stepping up to get the job done.

 “To be honest, it was a moment of ‘Wherever the coach needs me to play, I need to go out there and give 110%,’ whether or not it was my preferred position,” Flemmings said.

“At the end of the day, I’m representing my country and you have to do whatever to get those results. It was just one of those tournaments where I had to play out of position to help the team, and I did,” he added.

The tournament marked seven appearances for the player who made his debut at the 2017 Caribbean Cup in Martinique against French Guiana.

Despite the fact that, for the first time in the competition’s history, two Caribbean teams, Haiti and Jamaica, were in the final four of the Gold Cup, no players from those nations managed to find their way into a Best XI. 

Mexico boss Tata Martino flashed a warning to the rest of CONCACAF after their Gold Cup win, insisting they can be even better with the likes of Hirving Lozano available.

A Jonathan dos Santos goal was enough to defeat defending champions the United States 1-0 in Sunday's final in Chicago, securing El Tri's eighth title.

USA created and squandered their own chances to win the match, yet Martino pointed out afterwards Mexico still have another level they can go to.

PSV ace Lozano was absent with injury, while Hector Herrera, Javier Hernandez and Jesus Manuel Corona also missed the tournament, and Carlos Vela remains out of favour with the coach.

"I keep insisting we will be even better with those who were not here due to different circumstances," Martino told a news conference.

"We were without one of the three best forwards in the Dutch league [Lozano], for example, who had a knee injury.

"Obviously there's no reason to think we can't be better with these players. We'll see which players return and which don't.

"I'm very happy with the first six months of my time in charge."

United States coach Gregg Berhalter, himself in his first year in the job, suggested the final showed how far his side still have to go.

"Over the course of 90 minutes, Mexico were the better team," he said. "Having said that, we started the game really bright. We came out, created some really good chances.

"When you talk about a step the team needs to take, we're close. We're close, but we weren't there tonight."

USA forward Jozy Altidore added: "That's what's hard about these tournaments. You play games that aren't up to scruff until the final. The final is a huge step.

"It's a faster game, just way more intense than some of the group-stage games. In that regard, it was tough but it was a good measuring stick of where we're trying to go.

"I think it's a step forward. If you look at the final here and how we started the game, I think it was terrific.

"I've been on this team a long time. To see that initiative, to see the guys eager to play forward and play out of pressure and keep the ball in a game like this, this is progress in my opinion."

Mexico claimed their eighth CONCACAF Gold Cup title with an entertaining 1-0 win over the United States in the final on Sunday.

Jonathan dos Santos was the hero with the 73rd-minute winner at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Dos Santos took his chance excellently in a game during which USA squandered theirs, with Christian Pulisic and Jozy Altidore missing early opportunities.

Jordan Morris also had a header cleared off the line before Dos Santos' winner came after a period of dominance by Gerardo Martino's men.

USA made a brilliant start and created two great chances in the opening eight minutes.

The first opportunity fell to Pulisic, who was denied in a one-on-one by Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa after being set up by Altidore.

Altidore should have opened the scoring for USA soon after, but he scuffed an effort wide after a wonderful change of direction on the edge of the area.

Mexico responded and almost took the lead through Andres Guardado, who blazed over from inside the area under heavy pressure from Paul Arriola.

In what was a frantic end-to-end first half, Arriola fired another decent chance wide for USA from inside the area.

USA continued to enjoy the better opportunities to begin the second half, with Morris' 51st-minute header from a corner cleared off the line by Guardado.

Mexico were much-improved after that chance, enjoying a good period that included Jesus Gallardo directing a 25-yard volley straight at USA goalkeeper Zack Steffen in the 68th minute.

And they capitalised on their period of dominance with the opener just five minutes later through Dos Santos' third international goal.

A fine move down the right led to Raul Jimenez back-heeling a pass into the path of Dos Santos, whose excellent left-footed effort went in via the underside of the crossbar from just inside the area.

That would prove to be enough for Mexico as they saw out the closing stages to secure the title.

What does it mean? Mexico pull clear

While USA had the better of the chances, Mexico's win marked their eighth Gold Cup crown. That moved them two titles clear of USA, who have won six.

Martino delivers for Mexico

Mexico impressed after Martino took charge in January, although their performances in the knockout stage of the Gold Cup never reached any great heights. Still, the Argentinian helped deliver the title for Mexico.

USA left to rue missed chances

The hosts dominated long periods without capitalising and they were made to pay. Pulisic and Altidore missed good chances and Morris had another cleared off the line, while Mexico saw their period of dominance capped off with Dos Santos' winner.

What's next?

USA are looking ahead to the CONCACAF Nations League in October, while Mexico will face Argentina in a friendly in September.

Mexico head coach Gerardo Martino said United States star Christian Pulisic is "one of the most unsettling players" he has seen ahead of Sunday's CONCACAF Gold Cup final.

All eyes will be on Pulisic when defending champions USA and rivals Mexico meet in the tournament decider at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Pulisic – set to link up with Premier League giants Chelsea after agreeing a €64million transfer from Borussia Dortmund in January – scored twice against Jamaica to send USA through to the final.

And Mexico boss Martino singled out Pulisic pre-game, praising the in-form 20-year-old attacker by telling reporters: "I think Christian Pulisic is one of the greatest emerging players in world football in this era, without doubt.

"He's one of the most unsettling players I've seen in recent times. And I believe that if tomorrow we don't give him special attention, above all when we are attacking, then we won't do well.

"He's a player we have to give a lot of attention because he can decide a game on his own."

Pulisic has scored three goals and registered as many assists during the Gold Cup and USA coach Gregg Berhalter added: "When I think about this month for him it’s been a lot of personal development in terms of him blossoming with his personality within the group, his importance to the team on the field.

"The skills haven't changed from a month ago, but in terms of his role, what he's comfortable with, how he's embracing his role within the team, and his role on and off the field, I think it's been really nice to see.

"The most important thing we've focused on is giving Christian flexibility, putting him in position where he could affect the game in a number of different ways. We wanted to play him central, but also get him wide. When you think about him being central, arriving in the penalty box, the two goals [against Jamaica] were a result of him being in good positions to be able to finish off plays that end up in front of goal. 

"When you think about some of the assists he’s had they've come in wide areas, notably against Curacao. With Christian we know he's a top talent and we want to get him into position to affect the game. We know he can affect the game on an individual level, and he's shown that so far in the tournament." 

Jamaica Head Coach Theodore Whitmore had nothing but respect for both the United States and Jamaica after a wild night at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.  

Megan Rapinoe warmed up for Sunday's Women's World Cup final by blasting FIFA over this weekend's scheduling and the growing gender gap in prize money.

The 34-year-old will bid to claim her second World Cup winners' medal when USA face Netherlands in Lyon, on the same day the Copa America and Gold Cup finals also take place.

That has irked Rapinoe, who also took aim at FIFA over the gulf in prize money available for the women's and men's World Cups.

While FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Friday announced plans to double prize money for the 2023 Women's World Cup from $30million to $60million, the pot for the men's tournament is increasing from $400million in 2018 to $440m at Qatar 2022, meaning the disparity will actually grow by a further $10m.

"It certainly is not fair," said Rapinoe.

"We should double [the women's prize money] now and then use that number to double it or quadruple it for the next time. That's what I mean when I talk about, 'Do we feel respected'.

"A quote came out that I said, 'FIFA doesn't care about the women's game'. That's what I mean. If you really care about each game in the same way, are you letting the gap grow?

"I'm not saying the prize money is $450million [for the women] this time or next time around. [I] understand that, for a lot of different reasons, the men's game financially is far advanced than the women's game.

"[But] If we really care about letting the gap grow, are you scheduling three finals on the same day? No, you're not. Are you letting federations have their teams play two games in the four years between each tournament? No, you're not. That's what I mean about the level of care.

"We need attention and detail and the best minds that we can possibly have in the women's game helping it grow every single day. It's a very complex problem, complex thing to be a part of.

"But the resources are there, and I think the willingness and the brain power is all there – people wanting to work in the women's game and make it as good as it can. It's all there, it's just a matter of wanting to do it and caring enough about it to make it happen.

"We're making a World Cup in Qatar happen, that shows you the amount of care they have about the men's World Cup, considering all of the issues that are happening there."

Rapinoe, like many of her American team-mates, has used her platform to speak out about inequality in numerous areas of society, and once again reiterated she has no plans to attend the White House should Jill Ellis' team retain their trophy.

She is also annoyed that the Women's World Cup final will be one of three showpiece events happening on Sunday.

The World Cup date had been in the calendar since September 2017, long before CONCACAF revealed the date for the Gold Cup final and CONMEBOL announced plans for the Copa America showpiece.

"It's terrible scheduling for everyone," said Rapinoe, who expects to be fit to face Netherlands despite missing the semi-final win over England with a hamstring strain.

"That's a terrible idea to put everything on the same day. In every way. There's two other finals going on but this is the World Cup final, this is like cancel-everything day.

"The World Cup final is set so far in advance. It's actually unbelievable. So, no, I don't think that we feel the same level of respect, certainly that FIFA has for the men and just in general."

A FIFA spokesperson said the global governing body and the different confederations had discussed the schedule "in general to minimise any potential timing clashes".

FIFA's statement said: "The scheduling of the different events has gone through a comprehensive consultancy process that has involved all key stakeholders and taken into account different aspects of both the women’s and men’s international match calendars."

Defending champions the United States set up a blockbuster CONCACAF Gold Cup final against rivals Mexico after beating Jamaica 3-1.

Goals from Weston McKennie and Christian Pulisic sent USA through to Sunday's decider following a weather-interrupted semi-final in Nashville.

After McKennie's early opener, Wednesday's game was stopped for one-and-a-half hours due to lightning, but USA were not to be denied when the clash resumed in the 16th minute, with Pulisic doubling the lead seven minutes into the second half.

USA did concede their first goal of the tournament as Jamaica substitute Shamar Nicholson set up a nervy finale with 21 minutes remaining but Pulisic capitalised on another rebound to make sure of the result in the 87th minute.

It was a rematch of the 2017 final won by a Bruce Arena-led USA and the hosts burst out of the blocks and were relentless in attack, with Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake preventing a certain goal by somehow denying Paul Arriola from point-blank range in the fourth minute.

But USA were not to be denied five minutes later as Bradley picked out Reggie Cannon before Jozy Altidore laid the ball onto the oncoming McKennie, who fired past Blake.

However, USA's momentum was abruptly halted by a lengthy delay due to serve weather in 16th minute and the temporary suspension aided Jamaica.

Jamaica emerged from the delay with renewed energy and looked far more threatening, while the United States were disjoined and lacked rhythm.

The half-time interval provided USA with the chance to regroup and the Americans did just that as they moved 2-0 ahead through Chelsea-bound Pulisic in the 52nd minute.

Morris latched onto a McKennie pass and managed to get a shot off, with Blake only parried the ball straight into the path of Pulisic, who tucked away the rebound.

After Gyasi Zardes wasted a great chance for USA, Jamaica's Nicholson headed a Leon Bailey cross into the net to pull a goal back for the 2015 and 2017 runners-up, only for Pulisic to pounce on another rebound with three minutes remaining.

 

Another final for USA

After the pain of missing the 2018 World Cup, USA's rebuild under Berhalter continues to gather pace. Mexico stand in the way of back-to-back Gold Cup triumphs in the first final showdown between the nations since 2011.

Bradley, McKennie impress

It was a fine team display by USA. Not short of critics, veteran midfielder Bradley was cool and calm in possession with his passing a clear highlight. Schalke's McKennie, meanwhile, showed why he is so highly rated with a goal and a couple of defence-splitting balls.

Jamaica can hold heads high

For much of the game, Jamaica were outclassed. But the Reggae Boyz, despite limited resources compared to their USA counterparts, made it tough for the six-time champions just like they did in the 2017 final.

What's next?

USA will look to retain their crown again Mexico in Chicago on Sunday, while Jamaica can look ahead to the CONCACAF Nations League – starting against Antigua and Barbuda on September 6.

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.

The United States will take on Jamaica at Nissan Stadium in Nashville on Wednesday night for a spot in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Final. 

Mexico's journey to the Gold Cup final has been fuelled by "screaming, encouraging" supporters whose numbers have surprised the players, according to technical director Jorge Theiler.

It took a Raul Jimenez penalty in extra-time to clinch Mexico's place in the final at Haiti's expense, and Theiler – in control of the team in the absence of suspended coach Gerardo Martino – said the Wolves striker was indebted to El Tri's fans for driving him on.

Mexico will face either the United States or Jamaica in the final in Chicago on Sunday, and Theiler said Martino will demand another high-intensity performance from his players.

"The people of Mexico in all stadiums is admirable. We draw attention because the amount of people who fill the stadiums and the fervour they give to the games," Theiler told reporters.

"This gives the players extra incentive; Raul seemed tired for a moment, but he reinvented himself and was still running at the end and that is what the fans who are supporting, screaming and encouraging want us to do.

"It has been a nice surprise, and it does not happen in all parts of the world - it happens in the United States and Mexico."

Jimenez's goal was the 15th in five Gold Cup matches for Mexico, who have seen off the challenge of Cuba, Canada, Martinique and Costa Rica as well as Haiti.

Martino will take the reins in Sunday's final, where Mexico hope to lift the Gold Cup for a record 11th time but will first have to overcome either holders USA or 2017 runners-up Jamaica.

"From here to Sunday's game there will be a lot of rest," said Theiler.

"We have five days to limit the amount of wear and tear that comes with training, so there will be many videos, talks and correcting the things we have done wrong today and strengthening all the good things we did.

"The intention is for the boys to arrive well for Sunday's final. The intensity of the matches is great, because Gerardo Martino's style is constant pressure and attack and that is why the players are worn out.

"The objective is to arrive in good condition on Sunday, so that the team can perform at their best."

Mexico needed a contentious penalty from Raul Jimenez to edge past Haiti 1-0 after extra time in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals.

With suspended coach Gerardo Martino watching on from the stands at State Farm Stadium, Mexico were frustrated by the minnows on Tuesday.

They were unable to create much of note through 90 minutes, but found a breakthrough early in extra time through a Jimenez penalty.

After a soft spot-kick was awarded, Jimenez stepped up to send 10-time champions Mexico into the decider.

Mexico struggled to create clear-cut chances throughout the first half as Haiti defended desperately.

Roberto Alvarado fired a decent opportunity wide in the 10th minute before Jimenez put an effort over the crossbar from close range.

Haiti were well-organised and frustrated Mexico, who struggled to put shots on target in the opening 45 minutes.

Jesus Gallardo and Jonathan dos Santos missed the target with efforts, while Jimenez forced a relatively comfortable save from Johny Placide with a 35th-minute header.

Haiti also had their moments, threatening early in the second half as Frantzdy Pierrot fired wide on the turn in the 49th minute.

Andres Guardado was the next to threaten for Mexico, his curling 20-yard free-kick tipped over by Placide, whose last-ditch tackle later denied substitute Uriel Antuna.

Forced to extra time, Mexico finally found their breakthrough in somewhat controversial fashion through Jimenez.

The forward went down in the area under the slightest contact, before stepping up to convert from the penalty spot.

Haiti's brave effort went to the end as they almost stunningly equalised in the 119th minute, Mikael Cantave's 20-yard strike hitting the crossbar with Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa beaten, while Luis Montes missed an open goal at the other end.

 

What does it mean? Mexico's struggles continue

Martino's men looked in fine form leading into the tournament and again to open the Gold Cup. However, they have battled to wins over Martinique, Costa Rica and Haiti in recent matches.

Jimenez delivering for Mexico

The forward was the most threatening for Mexico and won and converted the match-winning penalty for his fifth goal of the tournament. Jimenez has now scored in three straight games for Mexico.

Haiti almost cause a shock

This was quite the performance by Haiti. The minnows, who stunned Canada in the quarter-finals, sat relatively deep and frustrated Mexico for long periods, only to be undone by the extra-time penalty.

What's next?

Mexico will face either the United States or Jamaica in the final in Chicago on Sunday, while Haiti look ahead to the CONCACAF Nations League starting in September.

Experienced campaigner Darren Mattocks held his nerve from the penalty spot to book Jamaica’s place in the semi-final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup as they triumphed 1-0 over Panama in a battle of attrition at the Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.

In a game that saw few quality chances created by either side, Mattocks came off the bench to first win the spot kick and then convert it in the 75th minute, sending Jamaica through to the final four for a third consecutive tournament.  Only minutes after on to the field Mattocks headed a hopeful long ball into the area off the outstretched arm of defender Michael Murillo.

After a brief dispute over who would take the spot kick, the forward wrested the ball away before placing it on the spot and firing past Panama goalkeeper Luis Mejia.  The goal was Mattock’s fifth overall in the competition.  With defenders dominating the play for most of the afternoon, Panama had missed a golden opportunity to take the lead when  Abdiel Arroyo broke through on goal but blasted a shot into the side netting at the near post from close range in the 26th minute.

The result will mean the Jamaicans will face the United States in the next round after the defending champions narrowly got by Curacao 1-0 in the day’s other game.

The United States edged into the CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals with a 1-0 win over Curacao in Philadelphia on Sunday.

Weston McKennie's first-half header lifted USA past the minnows in their quarter-final clash at Lincoln Financial Field.

The defending champions were comfortable for long periods, with McKennie getting on the end of a Christian Pulisic cross for the game's only goal.

The result saw USA reach the semi-finals of the tournament for the 10th straight time.

USA started well as Pulisic went close twice in the opening four minutes.

The attacker fired wide after a driving run before then being denied by Curacao goalkeeper Eloy Room, who made a superb save to tip over a Pulisic effort from close range after Paul Arriola's cross from the left.

Curacao managed to settle after the early scares, but USA found a deserved opener through McKennie's second international goal.

Pulisic cut in from the left before clipping a cross to the back post, where McKennie headed in.

While USA appeared to be in control, Curacao threatened at different times, with defender Darryl Lachman heading a corner over three minutes before half-time.

USA made a slow start to the second half before Pulisic almost doubled their lead, shooting just wide from the edge of the area.

However, Curacao looked the more dangerous of the two teams throughout the second half, while Gyasi Zardes blazed over the crossbar for USA in the 79th minute.

Curacao continued to enjoy periods in possession late on, with Leandro Bacuna almost scoring a stunning equaliser in the 84th minute, his 25-yard effort wonderfully saved by Zack Steffen.

 

What does it mean? Repeat of 2017 decider set

Jamaica have been runners-up at the past two editions of the CONCACAF Gold Cup and shape as a threat to USA in the last four. Jordan Morris scored a late winner in the 2017 final between the nations.

Pulisic shines in home state

The Chelsea attacker was bright from the outset in his home state of Pennsylvania. Pulisic set up McKennie's goal and was a constant threat for USA, going close on numerous occasions.

USA continue to stand up defensively

USA's defensive work could be what makes them CONCACAF Gold Cup favourites, given Mexico's struggles in the past two games. USA are yet to concede in four games at the tournament while scoring 12 times.

What's next?

USA will face Jamaica in a semi-final in Nashville on Wednesday, while Curacao can look forward to the CONCACAF Nations League starting in September.

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