The United States Men’s National Team looked uninspired, were sloppy in possession, and were utterly outplayed. Canada beat the Yanks 2-0 for its first win over the U.S. since 1985 tonight at BMO Field in Toronto. Alphonso Davies was the best player on the field and scored in the 63rd minute. Lucas Cavallini finished the U.S. off in 91st minute, as Canada thoroughly deserved its win.
USMNT Head Coach Gregg Berhalter made four changes from the Yanks’ 7-0 demolition of Cuba last week. Zack Steffen started in goal, as was expected. Aaron Long and DeAndre Yedlin slotted in on the back line, and Michael Bradley started in the middle. Surprisingly, Bradley was not captain. Instead, Tim Ream wore the armband.
Home or abroad, we wear these colors with pride. ⚽️— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) October 15, 2019
Your #USMNT starting XI to face in tonight’s @CNationsLeague match in Toronto.
LINEUP NOTES>> https://t.co/GkIvqEnjfg#CANvUSA | #TheFutureIsUS pic.twitter.com/qDcQ80F1jj
A few names should stick out to Orlando City fans in Canada’s starting XI. Kamal Miller and former Lion Richie Laryea each started as fullbacks for Canada on the left and right, respectively. Both players played the full 90 minutes.
The first half was all Canada. More specifically, it was all Alphonso Davies. The 18-year-old was the best player on the field, and the U.S. had no answers to slow him down. Davies started on the right wing, lining up across from Daniel Lovitz. After Canada’s Mark-Anthony Kaye was forced out of the match with a hamstring injury in the ninth minute, Davies moved more centrally.
Davies was in all alone in the 14th minute. He beat the offside trap, but the Yanks got lucky as the assistant referee called it offside. Davies was clearly onside, and the U.S. was fortunate that there was no VAR in this match.
Two minutes later, Cristian Roldan looked as if he tried to assist Jonathan David. Roldan’s awful back pass attempt was easily picked off by the 19-year-old. Luckily for the Yanks, Steffen stood up strong, cut down the angle, and made the one-on-one save.
For the U.S., there was little action going forward. Christian Pulisic was very poor and continuously turned the ball over, not that he was alone in that. Laryea did excellent in slowing down the winger, but the U.S. also had no players going forward with him.
Canada finished the half with more shots (4-3) and shots on target (3-0). The U.S. only held 48% possession and had a passing accuracy of 80%. The game got chippy, and tensions start to flare. There were 15 fouls and two yellow cards. However, there easily could have been another four yellows in the first half alone.
Both teams had a chance at the beginning of the half. David missed just a few inches wide after a good run and cross from Laryea.
The Yanks got straight down the field. Jordan Morris did well to get the ball into the box and then passed to a wide-open Pulisic. He took a first-time shot, but it was straight at Milan Borjan. That was the Yanks’ first shot on target in the match. The Chelsea player finished the game with just 11 completed passes and was subbed out in the 60th minute.
The breakthrough happened in the 63rd minute. Bradley first turned the ball over in the midfield, which started a counter. The U.S. defended the attack at first, but Ream couldn’t clear it to a teammate. The Canadians got the ball out wide, Scott Arfield sent a cross in, and Davies sent a shot that trickled just over the line.
Nothing in the U.S. play changed even after going down a goal. In possession, the team was sloppy, and there were no clear chances for the rest of the match.
Canada still tried to kill off the Yanks, and the Canadians did so in stoppage time. Jonathan Osorio used a simple ball over the top that baffled the Yanks back line. Cavallini looked up at the goal, took a beautiful shot on the half volley, and Steffen was beaten for the second time on the night.
Statistically, the U.S. improved in the second half, but it was still not pretty. The Yanks finished with 56% possession, but that only resulted in seven shots, three on target. Meanwhile, Canada put up nine shots, five on target. The U.S. had more corners (5-1) but did not threaten on any of them.
With the loss, the Yanks remain in second place in Group A of the Concacaf Nations League behind Canada with Cuba in last. The U.S. also failed to qualify for the Gold Cup. The two teams will meet again on Nov. 15 in Orlando. That will be Canada’s last group game while the U.S. will still play Cuba once more. The USMNT will play Cuba in the Cayman Islands on Nov. 19.