Good morning, Fear the Wall. For everyone in the United States, Happy Labor Day! For everyone else, Happy Monday.
American fans may be more in need of a holiday than usual today, after watching their men’s team underperform once again in an international tournament last night. This time it wasn’t against Mexico, Guatemala, or Trinidad and Tobago, but our Neighbors to the North. For those of you who aren’t Americans, the USA-Canada rivalry isn’t anywhere near as fierce as the USA-Mexico rivalry, or even as fierce as the USA-Canada rivalry is in other sports like hockey.
You wouldn’t have known this, though, during last night’s proceedings, which were pretty fierce. A minor scuffle even broke out about halfway through the first half:
Things are heating up between the USMNT and Canada pic.twitter.com/ZhKD76sHyl— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) September 6, 2021
While the United States took the lead courtesy of a goal from Brenden Aaronson, Canada eventually fought their way back into the match. It was a goal from Cyle Larin, assisted by Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies who completely dusted DeAndre Yedlin.
Overall, I thought the United States looked like the better side. Christian Pulisic hit the post during the first half, and the Americans forced a few strong saves from Canada’s keeper. Unfortunately, a lack of clinical finishing gave the Canadians an opportunity to fight back, and towards the end they even looked ready to grab a winner. USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter has been heavily criticized for his minimal use of substitutes; aside from substituting Yedlin for Sergiño Dest, he didn’t make any changes until the 80th minute had past.
The USA is now in a precarious position moving forward in the World Cup qualifiers. The need to defeat Honduras on Wednesday has just increased dramatically. We’ll see if the Yanks can rise to the challenge, or suffer a repeat of the disastrous qualifiers that prevented them from heading to Russia in 2018.
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