After the substandard performance against El Salvador three days before, the USMNT showed that if nothing else, they have consistency as they put in another similar performance against a Canadian team that they should have beaten. The game ended a goal apiece.
To say that Gregg Berhalter was outcoached would be an understatement. With superior players at his disposal who play club soccer for the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea, Olympique de Marseille and Galatasaray, the American fans were expecting, if not a goal fest, then at least netting one more goal than our northern neighbors would score.
This was not the case as the opposing team made up mostly of MLS players and others on the books of mediocre European teams followed their coach’s instructions formidably and, as the British would say, “parked the bus.”
It took until the second half when the Americans were able to find a way through the Canadian defensive wall, with a goal in the 55th minute. Brenden Aaronson started the move by stealing the ball from the Canadians off a throw-in in midfield. It turned out to be a half decent team goal with the ball moved into the danger zone by a few players with Antonee Robinson providing the final pass into the box that the Red Bull Salzburg forward tucked away from close range.
The celebrations were loud and rambunctious but short lived however because a half dozen minutes later it was all square at one apiece. Bayern Munich’s Alfonso Davies ran past DeAndre Yedlin on the left flank as if the defender was standing still (which he wasn’t), then released the ball, rolling it across the face of the goal for Cyle Larin to tap in. And that’s how it ended.
“We’re disappointed,” Berhalter told the press after the game. “I think disappointed with the performance, particularly tonight. I think the effort was good — the effort was outstanding — but the performance wasn’t up to what we expect.
“Looking at this and keeping it in perspective, we knew it was going to be a difficult road,” he continued. “We knew there were going to be tough games, and we’re getting into it.”
Having only two out of possible six points to show keeps the USA out of the top places for automatic World Cup qualification, however it’s still early days with plenty of chances left in the 14-game marathon. Next up will be a road trip to take on Honduras on Thursday. Considering the difficult position they are in after the first two games, Berhalter’s men should look for nothing less than an outright victory against the team ranked 63rd by FIFA.