The U.S. side finally managed to relax in a short break amid intense ties with the Gold Cup. The U.S. beat Cuba 6-0 quite comfortably in the quarterfinals on Saturday. But Jamaica as an opponent in Wednesday’s semifinals are no pushovers. The U.S., hot favorites to clinch the title, can’t afford to relax at Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
German coach Winfried Schaefer is trying to make the most out of the Reggae boys’ underdog status. The Jamaicans are so far undefeated in the tournament. In Copa America last month in Chile, Jamaica exited from the “group of death,” losing all three games to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay by a solitary goal. His U.S. counterpart, former ace German striker Jurgen Klinsmann, is working on the tactics to guide his team to the sixth straight Gold Cup finals.
Klinsmann faces a challenge as he has been criticized for not driving the national team in the right direction. So the golden boot winner of the 1990 World Cup will be desperately eying the trophy.
The U.S. so far hasn’t displayed the best of the forms in beating Honduras and Haiti, and ending in a stalemate against Panama in the group phase. Finally, it managed to register a thumping 6-0 win over Cuba on Saturday. The Cubans were thrashed by Mexico by the same margin in their tournament opener.
“We wanted them to take it really seriously,” Klinsmann said afterwards. “We didn’t want to waste anything. We didn’t want to fool around and kind of show off or anything like that. I made it very clear, if there’s somebody on the field that takes it lightly, we’re going to take him off after 10 minutes.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m ET.