USA coach Gregg Berhalter has asked the referee of Sunday’s Gold Cup final against Mexico to ensure that it is a fair game.
Mexico adopted an aggressive approach in their semi-final victory over Canada, as they have done for much of their campaign so far, and Berhalter is hoping that they will not be allowed to do so in Nevada on Sunday.
“We want it to be a physical game,” Berhalter said in his pre-match press conference.
“We want it to be a tough, contested game, the same way as Mexico. They want the same thing.
“But we also want it to be fair and that’s the referee’s role in this game, to manage the game in a fair way.
“I’ve seen numerous times when the players from Mexico are grabbing players’ necks and facial areas, and that has no place in the game.
“We can’t have that in the game.”
The USA are looking to follow up their victory in the Nations League final over Mexico on June 7 with a Gold Cup triumph.
However, they face a tough task, as they are unable to call upon the likes of Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Gio Reyna, all of whom were given a rest for the summer after demanding club seasons.