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.  

Jamaica have continued their strong showing at the NACAC Under-18 and Usnder-23 National Championships in Mexico as day two’s morning session came to an end on Saturday. 

Jamaica won 19 medals on Friday’s opening day of the 2019 NACAC U18 and U23 Championships in Mexico.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Andwuelle Wright set a new national record on his way to the gold medal on Friday’s opening day of the NACAC Under 18 and U23 Championships in Queretaro, Mexico.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's brace helped LA Galaxy to a 2-0 win over Toronto in MLS on Thursday.

Ibrahimovic, with his name misspelled on his shirt, scored twice in the second half at Dignity Health Sports Park, moving on to 13 MLS goals this season.

The Swedish striker opened the scoring with 15 minutes to go, brilliantly heading in an Efrain Alvarez cross.

Ibrahimovic sealed the win in the 89th minute, taking a cross from Emil Cuello before finishing to wrap up Galaxy's victory on Independence Day in the United States.

The win consolidated Galaxy's spot in second in the Western Conference, six points behind rivals Los Angeles FC and five clear of third-placed Dallas.

Dallas climbed into third courtesy of a 2-0 win over DC United, who had substitute Luciano Acosta sent off for a stamp on Paxton Pomykal at Toyota Stadium.

Wayne Rooney earlier had a red card downgraded to a booking on review after he caught Dallas' Michael Barrios with a high challenge.

The day's other game, between the Colorado Rapids and New England Revolution in Denver, was delayed numerous times due to lightning before the Revolution wrapped up a 2-1 win over their 10-man hosts, the encounter finishing after 00:00 local time (06:00 GMT).

Soon to be retired Windies star Chris Gayle is confident the future of the region’s cricket is in safe hands having made his final appearance at an ICC World Cup on Thursday.

It was not the perfect swansong the veteran batsman might have envisioned heading into the tournament.  The Windies earmarked by few as dark horses won a mere two games and finished second to last.

The typically prolific batsman also showed signs that perhaps time was finally catching up, as he struggled to get going at the crease.  In nine matches the Windies talisman could only manage 242 runs.  In the final match against Afghanistan, Gayle was dismissed for seven, his third single-figure score of the tournament.  The result means the batsman remained second on West Indies' all-time list of ODI run-scorers, 10 behind Brian Lara.

“The future looks bright, with (Shimron) Hetmyer, (Shai) Hope, (Nicholas) Pooran… Those guys will carry the flag and make sure West Indies cricket is back to where it belongs,” Gayle said following the match.

“They have a young captain in Jason Holder as well. They have to rally around,” he added.

“We also have Andre Russell who is around. I like Pooran and Hetmyer, as those guys can be devastating as batsmen. They need to get a bit more mature quickly. We know what they’re all capable of.”

 

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.

High-flying Los Angeles FC eased past Sporting Kansas City 5-1 in MLS, while Chicago Fire routed 10-man Atlanta United on Wednesday.

There were no surprises in Kansas City, where Supporters' Shield leaders LAFC scored four second-half goals to complete a crushing victory midweek.

LAFC led 1-0 at half-time through Christian Ramirez's 28th-minute opener and the visitors put Sporting KC to the sword after the break at Children's Mercy Park.

Diego Rossi doubled the lead five minutes into the second half before Carlos Vela made it 3-0 in the 63rd minute, with Rodolfo Zelaya restoring LAFC's three-goal advantage after Yohan Croizet pulled one back for the hosts – who had an 82nd-minute penalty saved by Pablo Sisniega.

LAFC – nine points clear in the Western Conference – added some gloss to the scoreline via Mohamed El Monir in stoppage time as Bob Bradley's side made it nine wins in 10 games.

MLS champions Atlanta were humbled 5-1 by Chicago after playing the remaining 79 minutes with 10 men.

Leandro Gonzalez Pirez was sent off for a handball in the 11th minute as Atlanta already trailed the Fire 2-0 in Chicago.

And Frank de Boer's men were no match for the Fire, who added another three goals before half-time via Nicolas Gaitan, Charles Sapong and Fabian Herbers.

Brandon Vazquez converted a penalty approaching the hour mark to pull a goal back for Atlanta, who are fourth in the Eastern Conference, while the Fire are eighth and a point adrift of the play-off places.

Elsewhere, New York City extended their unbeaten streak to 14 games in all competitions by beating Seattle Sounders 3-0, Houston Dynamo snapped their losing run with a 4-0 drubbing of New York Red Bulls, Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union were 3-1 winners over Orlando City, Minnesota United trumped San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 and Real Salt Lake edged Columbus Crew 1-0.

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.

Jamaica’s National U-17 male team departs the island on Thursday, July 4, for Trinidad and Tobago where they will participate in the CWI Regional U-17 Championship from July  6 – 14.

Chairman of Jamaica’s Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel Kent Pantry has been appointed as an arbitrator of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Pantry’s appointment is with immediate effect and is for a term of four years.

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."

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