Reyna and Balogun ensure that the United States is the king of the concacaf


LAS VEGAS – The United States kept his Concacaf Nations League crown the Sunday with one 2-0 Victory over Canada Thanks to the goals in the first half of Chris Richards And Folarin Balogun.

Richards put the USMNT ahead in the 12th minute with a header Giovanni Reina‘s corner. Balogun then doubled the lead in the 34th minute with a skillful finish after a through ball from Reyna, which went wide Milan Borjan in Canada Gate.

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Canada did what they could to get back in the game and enjoyed a solid 62-38 lead in possession. But despite finding a star attacker Alphonso Davies In some good positions, the visitors couldn’t take away the USA’s lead. US caretaker coach BJ Callaghan used a five-man defensive line in the closing stages and, despite some tense moments, the hosts survived the game and lifted the Nations League trophy again.

Credit also goes to Callaghan. He found himself in a difficult situation – as an interim player – and hit the spot with his decisions. Keeping him on staff should be a top priority for Gregg Berhalter when he finally takes over.

Fast reaction

1. The US reaffirms the title of Concacaf King

Ahead of Sunday’s game, there had been much talk about who exactly should be declared the Concacaf king. Canada certainly had a case to make. Not only that the Reds took four points from the USA this season World Championship Although they didn’t qualify, they took first place in the Concacaf standings. The US could point out that they are in control gold cup and Nations League champions and progressed deeper into the World Cup.

It’s a debate that will no doubt rage on, but based on this game, the US looked a notch (or two) better when the game was in question. Every time the Americans went forward on the break in the first half, it looked dangerous, especially when Reyna was on the ball. The upward move continued to confuse Canada’s defense, as evidenced by Balogun’s clever run and the completion of Reyna’s well-placed through ball.

Set pieces, long a staple of the US attack, was one area where they also had a significant advantage as Richards manipulated the Canadian opponent Alistair Johnston He nodded Reyna’s corner in the 12th minute and gave the USA the lead.

The USA had to put up with a lot of pressure in the second half, mainly because Reyna had to be substituted at half-time due to an injury. Canada, too, were keen to move forward from a deficit in the first half but failed to score the goal that would have created some tension in the game’s final moments.

Instead, Canada endured the β€œstick to hockey!” taunt. when the game ended.

2. Reyna and Balogun: The start of something special?

By his own account, Balogun didn’t have his best game on Thursday 3-0 demolition of Mexico. But part of that depended on where and how he got the ball. Too often he was served with his back to goal instead of giving him the ball in the channels where he had room to run. This made him easier to defend even when he was on a shift and resulted in a somewhat ineffective performance.

That was a lesson that not only Balogun, but Reyna took to heart. USA found their new striker had more room to run and he was far more dangerous, with the goal being the best example of that.

Unfortunately, Reyna’s performance was cut short by a calf injury and he was replaced by in the second half Luca de la Torre. Reyna could have been cleaner on the ball too but his magic moments far outweighed his missteps and based on those two games he seems to have found a home in central midfield. Oh, and please let Reyna take on set pieces from now on. The quality of his performance meant a huge improvement in that department. And best of all, it looks like the chemistry with Balogun is well on the way to becoming established.

However, this leads to an interesting question. If Tyler Adamsrayna, Weston McKennie And Yunus Musah Is everyone healthy, who is sitting? At this point, McKennie seems like the underdog, but that’s by no means a bull’s eye. Going forward it will likely come down to health and form but Reyna appears to be on the fence.

3. Canada with some questions to think about

This was to be Canada’s coming out party, a time to end its title drought by winning a trophy for the first time since the 2000 Gold Cup. Instead, the wait must go on, even if the start of the Gold Cup later this month offers the Reds another chance.

Meanwhile, there are some issues that need to be resolved. Canada’s defense seemed completely confused by the movement in the US attack. Sometime in the 41st minute Scott Kennedy engaged in a so-called rugby tackle against Balogun, which went unpunished only because Reyna ran with the ball at his feet. Kamal Miller didn’t get much better.

Manager John Herdman also needs to find a way to get Davies more help. Joe Scally, Brenden Aaronson And Timothy Weah everyone ran with the ball Bayern Munich Star, and when Davies had possession, the US threw two and sometimes three defenders at him, basically challenging someone else in the Canada lineup to beat them. Usually the double threat of forwards Cyle Larin And JonathanDavid suffices. But this time it didn’t happen.

Davies shrugged off a number of times, including a first-half shot that the US goalkeeper saved well Matt Turner, but there was almost always a second defender to stop his progress and he lacked finish when putting the ball into the box. It’s a problem the US is facing Christian Pulisic in the past and Canada needs to find its own solution. Tagon Buchanan It was believed that he would be a player who could provide some levelling, but he was only allowed 30 minutes as a substitute.

Best and worst actors


Giovanni Reyna, United States: Sure, he only played 45 minutes, but he capitalized on his time on the field with two great assists.

Folarin Balogun, USA: Even beyond his goal, Balogun was a constant threat throughout the night and the understanding between him and his teammates is growing.

Chris Richards, USA: In addition to his goal, he set up a US defensive line that flexed but didn’t break. Also helped keep Larin and David in check for the most part.


Scott Kennedy, Canada: I just didn’t have an answer for the movement and mobility of the US attack and Balogun in particular.

Alistair Johnston, Canada: Was clearly inferior in the US opener. He just has to be stronger in this situation. He also had problems with the ball.

Jonathan David, Canada: On a day when Canada needed a big performance, he missed a shot in the first half and came close again on goal. The final miss summed up a frustrating night.

Highlights and notable moments

Richards opened the scoring on Sunday with a classic USMNT set piece.

Not to be outdone, Balogun also scored his first international goal for the senior team.

Once in the lead, the USMNT showed little concern and secured the Nations League trophy.

Key Stats (provided by ESPN Stats & Information)

– The United States secured their ninth major trophy (7 Gold Cups, 2 Concacaf Nations Leagues) on Sunday.

– Richards’ 12th-minute goal is the quickest in any game of his career. It is the first time he has scored in the first 30 minutes of a game.

– Richards’ goal was the third-fastest goal by a USMNT player in a Finals in the past 35 years. Only Clint Dempsey (10th minute in the 2009 Confederations Cup) and Michael Bradley (8th minute in the 2011 Gold Cup) was faster during this period.

– Balogun (21) is the second youngest player to score in a final for the USMNT in the last 35 years, after 18-year-old Giovanni Reyna in the 2021 Concacaf Nations League.

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