Christian Pulisic of the USMNT was named player of the Concacaf Nations League tournament. Goalkeeper honors went to Matt Turner.
USA 2 Canada 0
The U.S. Men’s National Team won the 2022/23 Concacaf Nations League title on Sunday night with a 2-0 victory over Canada at Allegiant Stadium. Center back Chris Richards and forward Folarin Balogun became the first and second players to score their first international goals in a Final, with both first-half goals assisted by midfielder Gio Reyna as the USMNT claimed its third consecutive Concacaf tournament, adding to its 2021 Nations League and 2021 Gold Cup titles.
Captain and forward Christian Pulisic was named the tournament’s Best Player and goalkeeper Matt Turner took Best Goalkeeper honors. Forward Ricardo Pepi finished tied with Canada’s Jonathan David with four goals in the tournament.
Head coach B.J. Callaghan fielded the youngest starting XI deployed by the USMNT in a tournament final, with an average age just under 24 years-old and featuring seven players 23 or younger.
Despite the youth, veteran defender Walker Zimmerman and Turner made key plays early on that helped set the tone for another dominant and exciting performance. Seven minutes in, Zimmerman found himself high up field and took a cross from the left at the top of the box and one-timed a left-footed volley with pace that went narrowly wide. Second later, Turner made the first of four solid saves to deny an attempt by forward Cyle Larin.
Meanwhile, Reyna and winger Tim Weah caused Canada problems with their speed and attacking prowess. Shortly after Weah nearly connected with Pulisic at the near post, Reyna delivered a corner kick in the 12th minute that Richards headed in from seven yards out for his first career goal.
While the U.S. looked sharp in the attack, Canada held their own and kept possession for long spurts.
Just past the half hour mark, Reyna set up Balogun for the USA’s second goal as the forward held his mark off with strength and hit a first-time shot from close range for his first USMNT goal in only his second match.
Turner kept the two-goal advantage with diving saves off shots from Alphonso Davies at the near post and a rip from Stephen Eustáquio from 22 yards out. Later, a long ball from Turner was inadvertently headed back by defender Scott Kennedy, but goalkeeper Milan Borjan reacted to avoid the own goal.
In the 55th minute, Richards was playing high on a set piece as a second-chance ball made its way towards goal. Richards out-jumped Canada’s defenders and headed a dangerous ball that Borjan tipped off the crossbar. The ensuing corner fell to Balogun, who turned from four yards out and fired a shot past Borjan, but Kennedy blocked it off the goal line. The rebound fell to Yunus Musah, whose shot was saved by Borjan.
Canada pressed high for most of the second half, however could not break down the USA’s composed and attuned back line.
1-Matt Turner; 19-Joe Scally (23-Auston Trusty, 79), 3-Walker Zimmerman, 4-Chris Richards, 5-Antonee Robinson; 11-Brenden Aaronson (15-Johnny Cardoso, 68), 6-Yunus Musah, 7-Gio Reyna (14-Luca de la Torre, 46); 21-Tim Weah, 20-Folarin Balogun (9-Ricardo Pepi, 76), 10-Christian Pulisic (capt.)
Substitutes not used: 13-Drake Callender, 18-Sean Johnson, 12-Miles Robinson, 16-Alan Soñora, 17-Alex Zendejas, 22-Taylor Booth
Suspended: 2-Sergiño Dest, 8-Weston McKennie
Head coach: B.J. Callaghan
18-Milan Borjan; 2-Alistair Johnston, 23-Scott Kennedy, 4-Kamal Miller; 22-Richie Laryea, 8-Ismaël Koné, 7-Stephen Eustáquio (10-David Junior Hoilett, 89), 19-Alphonso Davies; 20-Jonathan David, 21-Jonathan Osorio, 17-Cyle Larin (9-Lucas Cavallini, 76)
Substitutes not used: 1-Dayne St. Clair, 16-Tom McGill, 3-Samuel Adekugbe, 5-Steven Vitória, 6-Dominick Zator, 11-Tajon Buchanan, 12-Victor Loturi, 13-Atiba Hutchinson, 15-David Wotherspoon
Head coach: John Herdman