The United States men's national team had a chance to kick-start their World Cup qualifying campaign on Sunday with a win, and they tripped up along the way. Gregg Berhalter's squad followed up the 0-0 draw in El Salvador on Wednesday with an underwhelming 1-1 draw with Canada in Nashville.
Christian Pulisic made his long-awaited return from COVID, but without key contributors Weston McKennie (suspended) and Gio Reyna (hamstring), the Americans once again looked like an disconnected 11 players on the pitch and were outplayed in the second half. In truth, Canada had a couple of quality chances to take all three points, so the U.S. may just count their blessings that it wasn't worse.
A fine team goal in the 56th minute gave the U.S. the lead, with Brenden Aaronson starting the play with his defense and finishing it off by being in the right spot at the right time.
But that lead was short-lived before Alphonso Davies got behind DeAndre Yedlin and set up Cyle Larin for the equalizer in the 62nd minute.
Canada then had a couple more chances thanks to substitute Tajon Buchanon, but both teams had to settle for just a point, putting them short of where they expected to be after two matches as the road to Qatar 2022 continues to get bumpy.
The U.S. finished with an xG of 1.79 while Canada finished at 1.55. The U.S. had 71.2 percent of the ball but only managed five more shots than Canada (11-6).
Both teams now have two points from two games. The Americans go to hostile Honduras on Wednesday, while Canada host El Salvador the same day. You can watch both matches on Paramount+.
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|Name||Minutes||How did they do?||Rating|
(GK) Matt Turner
|90||His defense let him down on the goal. He did everything else fine but didn't have to make many stops.|
(DEF) Antonee Robinson
|90||Didn't have to deal with a whole lot, in truth. Had a good look on frame in the first half and then came up with a massive assist in the second half with a fine ball across the face of goal.|
(DEF) Miles Robinson
Was decent but didn't see DeAndre Yedlin asking for help on the goal. Both he and John Brooks were caught ball-watching when it mattered.
(DEF) John Brooks
|90||Looked uncomfortable early. Picked up a yellow card on a tactical foul on Davies. Did deliver decent balls forward. Was caught ball-watching on the goal and was just in no-man's land.|
(DEF) Sergino Dest
|90||Was taken off in the first half due to injury and didn't play well before that. Again he tried to do way too much and was caught out. A continued liability in defense.|
(MID) Tyler Adams
|90||Incredibly alert and energetic in the middle, but did lose a bit of composure in the second half during a counter attack. Could have been the chance they needed.|
(MID) Kellyn Acosta
|90||Came to life when it mattered most with the ball, and his patience in attack helped set up the goal with his fine pass to Antonee Robinson. But for a good portion of the match it was hard to notice him.|
(MID) Sebastian Lletget
|90||Brought some balance in the middle, had a good ball Brenden Aaronson for the team's best chance of the first half. Faded a bit as the game went on.|
(FWD) Christian Pulisic
|90||Didn't threaten consistently but did come close in the first half by hitting the post. Dropped back to defend a bit too much. Continues to win so many set pieces.|
(FWD) Jordan Pefok
|64||Not many chances but was wise to get the ball wide on the opening goal. Still didn't get the service he would have wanted.|
(FWD) Brenden Aaronson
|64||Played a lovely ball to the front post to Pulisic that saw his shot rock off the woodwork. Was even better in the second half, getting the goal with his defensive pressure and relentlessness.|
|Substitutes||Replaced||How did they do?||Rating|
Came on for Dest and was caught out on the goal. He just doesn't have the speed to keep up with Davies, but who does? Needed support and didn't get it.
Only got seven minutes, so the move made little sense. Not his fault though
Didn't get the time he needed.
|Konrad de la Fuente||Pefok||A guy that should have come on a half-hour earlier.||N/A|
|Manager||Subs used||How did the manager do?||Rating|
|4||Waiting until the 80th minute to make changes -- when your team is getting outplayed -- is borderline offensive. Again lacked the ability to react to what was going on in the game. Those summer trophies feel like years ago.|