By: Alex Al-Kazzaz
The United States Men's National Team has successfully retained their CONCACAF Nations League title courtesy of a 2-0 win over Canada in the final. The first meeting between the U.S. and Canada in a tournament final. In 2021, when the USA won the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League and the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the USMNT has claimed three consecutive CONCACAF titles.
Last Friday, the USA defeated their arch-rivals Mexico with a final score of 3-0 to reach the 2022-23 CONCACAF Nations League final. Their biggest win over Mexico in over 20 years and increasing their unbeaten streak against Mexico to six games. Based on their win over Mexico, the U.S. seemed more than poised to retain their Nations League title successfully, and they triumphed in a brilliant fashion.
Despite coming up short, Canada deserves credit. They played their hearts out from start to finish. Unfortunately, two bad moments put them at a disadvantage that they could not overcome. Much like the U.S., Canada's defensive efforts were respectable; 28 clearances and five saves from the goalkeeper. Canada's got undeniable talent with a strong and unique mentality.
The U.S. utilized a similar strategy against Canada that they did against Mexico; get in front on the scoreboard and quickly double the advantage. Against Canada, the U.S. was able to accomplish this quickly and was able to hold on with a strong solid defensive effort. In addition, the U.S. was able to stay firm on the attack to wear out the Canadian opposition.
Recently, United States Soccer announced that Gregg Berhalter has been re-appointed as the head coach. With the U.S. being one of the three co-hosts of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, Berhalter is expected to guide the team into the tournament. This decision comes after Berhalter had been investigated due to allegations of domestic violence. Berhalter is to begin his second stint with the national team in September.
Both the U.S. and Canada are preparing to compete in the 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The tournament begins this Saturday with the U.S. taking on Jamaica. As back-to-back CONCACAF Nations League champions, the U.S. hopes to do the same with the Gold Cup.