The U.S. men’s national is beginning to sweat and we’re only two games into World Cup qualifying. Meanwhile, Canada can breathe a little easier after the two teams played to a 1-1 draw in Nashville.
Memories of the slow start to qualifying that ultimately cost the USA a spot in the 2018 World Cup will begin to resurface in the minds of fans after a second straight draw (the USMNT suffered two consecutive losses to start 2018 World Cup qualifying). Yet it looked for a moment like the USA was on its way to a home win after Brenden Aaronson found the back of the net in the 55th minute. Right after that goal, the Americans had Canada on the ropes and then the visitors responded.
Canadian star Alphonso Davies led a breakaway in the 62nd minute and he served the ball on a platter for teammate Cyle Larin, who tapped home to equalize just seven minutes after his team went down. And then Canada looked like the most likely to score a second goal with the help of a series of subs, including Jonathan David and Tajon Buchanan, who nearly scored the go-ahead goal on a dangerous run.
Canada head coach John Herdman and defender Sam Adekugbe are both disappointed with the result. They thought all three points were there for the taking.
I’m sure that’ll make USMNT fans feel better.
— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) September 6, 2021
Canada, which also has two points after two matches, will now go back home to host El Salvador in a match Les Rouges will be expected to win. The U.S. team’s third match will not be any easier as the Americans travel to face Honduras on Wednesday.
Christian Pulisic captained the USMNT against Canada in his return from a layoff due to COVID-19. He went 90 minutes and was one of the brighter U.S. players on the night. But the team missed Weston McKennie, who was suspended for violating team COVID protocols. And that came after news that Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen would miss the rest of camp due to a positive COVID-19 test. Star attacker Gio Reyna missed the match due to a right hamstring strain that will also keep him out of the Honduras match.
Eight teams are involved in CONCACAF regional qualifying. The top three teams in the CONCACAF octagonal will advance to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The fourth-place team will play in an intercontinental playoff with a ticket to Qatar on the line.
USMNT vs. Canada final score
USA – Brenden Aaronson (Antonee Robinson) — 55th min.
CAN – Cyle Larin (Alphonso Davies) — 62nd min.
(All times Eastern)
Final: USA 1, Canada 1
Cyle Larin postgame: “We’re a top team in CONCACAF. I believe it and this team believes it.”
— Michael Singh (@MichaelSingh94) September 6, 2021
92nd min.: Diving head by Miles Robinson on a corner kick and the ball goes high. There’s not much time left.
90th min.: Three minutes of stoppage time!
88th min.: Canada chance! Yet another ball that crosses the face of the goal on Richie Laryea’s cross. What a dramatic few minutes we have in store.
85th min.: Josh Sargent wins a free kick 25 yards from goal. Christian Pulisic is on the ball and his shot goes just over the bar.
83rd min.: SUBS – Triple substitution for the USA: Konrad de la Fuente, Cristian Roldan and Josh Sargent on for Brenden Aaronson, Sebastian Lletget and Jordan Pefok, respectively.
80th min.: Tajon Buchanan goes down in the box on a challenge by Tyler Adams, but there’s no penalty called. Reminder that there’s no VAR in CONCACAF qualifying.
78th min.: What a chance for Canada! Tajon Buchanan with a great run that burns U.S. defender John Brooks, but his ball across the face of goal doesn’t find a teammate.
76th min.: SUB – Davies comes off and Jonathan Osorio takes his place. Atiba Hutchinson is also coming on for Mark-Anthony Kaye, who’s on a yellow card.
75th min.: Davies is staying in the game for now as play resumes.
73rd min.: Oh no! Alphonso Davies goes down after a great play down the left. He’s asking for the sub.
70th min.: Yellow card for Tyler Adams who clashes with Mark-Anthony Kaye off the ball and the foul stops a promising USMNT counterattack.
69th min.: Yellow card for Mark-Anthony Kaye, who clips U.S. captain Christian Pulisic.
64th min.: SUBS – This is how deep Canada is. The Canadians score and then bring on Tajon Buchanan and Jonathan David. Canada is going for the win.
62nd min.: Cyle Larin scores for Canada! Alphonso Davies has been the catalyst for Canada, he gets in behind and serves up the ball on a platter. In the toughest moment for Canada, the stars come up with the big play for Les Rouges.
60th min.: Another U.S. chance! Canada’s Doneil Henry with the headed clearance near the goal line and then Borjan needs to make a stop in the box moments later. Canada is on the ropes.
58th min.: SUB – Kamal Miller comes on for Scott Kennedy, who leaves the field after the misplay. Unclear whether he was injured on the play.
55th min.: Goal USA! The USMNT drive right down Canada’s throat after a Scott Kennedy giveaway. Antonee Robinson’s cross was put home by Aaronson who was crashing the box.
52nd min.: Doneil Henry needs treatment after a tackle on Jordan Pefok. He’s fine and coming back into the game.
50th min.: Canada starting strong again. Junior Hoilett with a cross from the right that goes across the face of the U.S. goal but no one’s there to put it home. Cyle Larin chews at his jersey. He knows that was a big chance.
46th min.: The second half is underway. No additional subs.
Halftime: USA 0, Canada 0
Halftime: Canada had the best looks to start the game and should have taken advantage. Then the USMNT came on strong and eventually hit the post with Christian Pulisic. When he was on the ball for the USA, good things happened. It also helped to have Sebastian Lletget pushing up near the box. Alongside Pulisic, he has the clearest ideas of anyone on the U.S. attack. But the USMNT back line is vulnerable and Canada will get its chances in the second half.
45th min.: US chance! A cross from the left is cleared to Lletget, who again is near the top of the box and his volley is just off the mark.
44th min.: SUB – Yedlin comes on for Sergino Dest. It’s not been a memorable September qualifying run for the FC Barcelona man.
42nd min.: U.S. right back Sergino Dest is getting treatment. It seems like an issue with the right ankle. DeAndre Yedlin looks like he’s getting ready to come in.
40th min.: USMNT hits the post! A ball into Lletget at the top of the box and he feeds Aaronson, who crosses into the box and Pulisic sends it off the post!
36th min.: First real appearance by U.S. forward Jordan Pefok in the box and he sends the ball across the face of the Canada goal, but no teammates are there to convert.
33rd min.: USMNT defender John Brooks also goes in the book after chopping down Alphonso Davies who was breaking toward goal on a dangerous run. Brooks had no choice.
29th min.: Things are getting chippy. Players coming together after Richie Laryea just shoves Christian Pulisic in the back. Laryea goes into the book and so does USMNT forward Jordan Pefok after the incident.
26th min.: A U.S. cross from the right by Brenden Aaronson is deflected by defender Scott Kennedy toward the Canada goal and Borjan needs to make a diving save to prevent the U.S. goal.
23rd min.: A weak Borjan distribution nearly leads to a chance for the USA, but Canada’s Doneil Henry saves the day, stopping Brenden Aaronson in the Canada box.
21st min.: Borjan continues in the game and USA’s Antonee Robinson tests him right away with a shot that Borjan saves. But the Canada ‘keeper still appears to be experiencing some discomfort.
19th min.: Stoppage in play. Canada starting ‘keeper Milan Borjan goes down and he’s motioning like it’s a groin issue. The trainers are out on the field.
14th min.: What a chance for Canada! Sergino Dest misjudges a long ball and Alphonso Davies wins it and serves teammate Cyle Larin in the box, but his shot is saved for a corner! U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner nabs the corner.
11th min.: First shot on goal belongs to Canada. Weak shot by Cyle Larin and it’s an easy save for U.S. ‘keeper Matt Turner. Errant pass by John Brooks led to the chance.
7th min.: Now it’s Canada’s turn for a free kick in the vicinity of the USMNT area after Junior Hoilett was brought down. Nothing comes of it.
3rd min.: A Richie Laryea giveaway in his own half allows USA’s Christian Pulisic to run at goal and he was brought down. USMNT gets the free kick and then a corner kick, but it amounts to nothing. Meanwhile, an interesting tidbit below:
1st min.: We’re off. Big, big game for both teams.
8:07 p.m.: Moments away:
8:00 p.m.: Canada coach John Herdman could use a nickname:
7:57 p.m.: Reports have attendance surpassing 40,000 in Nashville. Big crowd for a big match that will set the tone for the rest of qualifying for both Canada and the USA:
7:54 p.m.: Whatever the story is here, the Phonzie vs. Dest matchup is definitely the one to watch. Dest moves to the right back spot after starting at left back vs. El Salvador:
Damn, TSN just said that Alphonso Davies faced off against Sergino Dest at BMO in Oct 2019 and cooked him
Off the top of my head, Dest didn’t commit to the US yet, and DeAndre Yedlin played in Oct
Dest actually did well vs Davies in Nov of 2019
Strange misinformation #CanMNT
— Alexandre Gangué-Ruzic (@AlexGangueRuzic) September 5, 2021
7:40 p.m.: Here’s Weston McKennie’s apology to fans for the violation that led to his suspension:
7:12 p.m.: Here’s a new report on the McKennie situation:
A #USMNT spox wouldn’t get into specifics, but reading between the lines it sounds like Weston McKennie broke Covid protocol.
— Doug McIntyre (@ByDougMcIntyre) September 5, 2021
7:03 p.m.: Big news developments in USMNT camp:
▪️Gio Reyna has been diagnosed with a right hamstring strain and has been ruled of the matches against Canada and Honduras.
▪️Weston McKennie has not been included in today’s squad following a violation of team policy.
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) September 5, 2021
USA vs. Canada starting lineups
Big news in the USMNT camp: Christian Pulisic has recovered from his bout of COVID and will start as team captain, but Gio Reyna is out with a hamstring injury, Zack Steffen is out due to COVID-19 (replaced by NYCFC’s Sean Johnson) and Weston McKennie is out of the squad entirely for violating team policy.
USMNT projected lineup (4-3-3, left to right): 1-Matt Turner-GK — 5-Antonee Robinson, 6-John Brooks, 12-Miles Robinson, 2-Sergino Dest — 23-Kellyn Acosta, 4-Tyler Adams, 17-Sebastian Lletget — 10-Christian Pulisic, 19-Jordan Pefok, 11-Brenden Aaronson
USMNT projected subs (12): Ethan Horvath-GK, Sean Johnson-GK, George Bello, 13-Tim Ream, Mark McKenzie, Walker Zimmerman, James Sands, 22-DeAndre Yedlin, Cristian Roldan, 20-Konrad de la Fuente, 9-Josh Sargent, Ricardo Pepi
As for Canada, head coach John Herdman is playing for the counterattack, fielding superstar Alphonso Davies as a left winger. Star forward Jonathan David and Jonathan Osorio start on the bench.
Canada starting lineup (3-4-3, left to right): 18-Milan Borjan-GK — 23-Scott Kennedy, 15-Doneil Henry, 2-Alistair Johnston — 3-Samuel Adekugbe, 14-Mark-Anthony Kaye, 7-Stephen Eustaquio, 22-Richie Laryea — 19-Alphonso Davies, 17-Cyle Larin, 10-Junior Hoilett
Canada subs (12): Maxime Crepeau-GK, James Pantemis-GK, Steven Vitoria, Kamal Miller, Liam Fraser, Jonathan Osorio, Atiba Hutchinson, Samuel Piette, David Wotherspoon, Tajon Buchanan, Jonathan David, Lucas Cavallini
How to watch: USA vs. Canada
- Date: Sunday, Sept. 5
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- USA TV channel: FS1
- USA Spanish-language TV: UniMas, TUDN
- USA stream: fuboTV , Fox & TUDN apps
- Canada TV (English): TSN
- Canada TV (French): RDS
The match will be broadcast in the USA on FS1 in English, and UniMas and TUDN in Spanish. All three networks can be streamed on fuboTV (free 7-day trial) . TSN and RDS will carry the match in Canada.
The event will be held at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., where more than 36,000 fans are expected.