Sunday, the second-ever winner of the Concacaf Nations League will be determined as Weston McKennie and Sergino Dest were sent off during their 3-0 victory against Mexico in the semifinals.. With a victory, the United States can ensure that they’re the only team to ever win the competition but interim coach B.J. Callaghan will have a tough job to keep the team’s performances going after
The USMNT weren’t able to defeat Canada during World Cup qualifying but were still able to beat their neighbors to the north en route to winning the Gold Cup in 2021. With another trophy on the line, Callaghan’s left with decisions to make but he does have considerable depth in his 23-man roster to try and limit a formidable attack that includes Jonathan David, Cyle Larin, Alphonso Davies, and Tajon Buchanan.
The Canucks will allow the USMNT space to operate and one player who can take advantage of that is Luca De La Torre. Used to coming off of the bench for the USMNT, the versatile midfielder had a strong end to the season for Celta Vigo and could get a chance next to Yunus Musah in a double pivot. Each player is talented on the ball and can create space for the new-look front three including Folarin Balogun.
Not having a true defensive midfielder will give Canada chances to attack but De La Torre, Musah, and Gio Reyna will be a hard trio to contain in the first final between these two teams. Defensively is where things get quite a bit harder.
Joe Scally is the natural fill-in for Dest but Dest has been in top form for the national team even without getting much playing time at Barcelona or AC Milan. His assist to Ricardo Pepi to put the victory over Mexico out of sight was quite an impressive way to thread a ball, putting the perfect amount of weight on it to run onto but Dest also didn’t shirk his defensive responsibilities in the match either.
Scally has been a player who has struggled to break into the regular rotation for the national team and playing in this final could be what helps put him over the edge. Scally has talent both on the ball and defensively to keep up with attackers, but Canada have talented wingers in Davies and Buchanan. If Scally can avoid getting caught out, the USMNT can secure another trophy but all eyes will be on his performance.
Canada allowed plenty of chances when they faced Panama and with a similar performance in the match, it will give the United States quite a lot of room to operate as they look to close out Callaghan’s spell in charge of the team on the right foot asafter the Gold Cup.
How to watch and odds
- Date: Sunday, June 18 | Time: 9 p.m. ET
- Location: Allegiant Stadium — Las Vegas, Nevada
- Live stream: Paramount+
- Odds: Canada +265; Draw +215; United States +113 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
United States predicted lineup: Matt Turner, Joe Scally, Miles Robinson, Chris Richards, Antonee Robinson, Yunus Musah, Luca De La Torre, Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Tim Weah, Folarin Balogun
Canada predicted lineup: Milan Borjan, Alistair Johnston, Kamal Miller, Steven Vitoria, Alphonso Davies, Richie Laryea, Ismael Kone, Stephen Eustaquio, Tajon Buchanan, Jonathan David, Cyle Larin