The CONCACAF Nations League is back, with the United States men’s national team taking on Canada in a must-win match at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida. Gregg Berhalter’s side began the tournament on a high note with a 7-0 victory over Cuba, before reigniting the current cynicism surrounding the program with a 2-0 loss to their northern neighbors. If the USMNT is going to have a chance of advancing from Group A into next summer’s Final Championship, then they will have to improve upon last month’s poor showing.
To its possible detriment, the U.S. will be without several key players. Michael Bradley sustained an ankle injury during the MLS Cup Final, Zack Steffen was held out of camp with a reported knee injury, and Christian Pulisic remained in England due to “a collaborative decision” with Chelsea. There are some notable players with the squad, including Weston McKennie, Tyler Boyd, Josh Sargent, Sergiño Dest, and the returning John Brooks. The likely starter at goalkeeper is Brad Guzan, who featured against Cuba last month.
Canada is enjoying a strong year, sporting a 6-2 record, indicating that the program may be on the path to qualifying for its first World Cup since 1986. Manager John Herdman selected a very similar roster for the rematch, making two changes from the group that defeated the USMNT. The versatile attacking core is led by Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich), Lucas Cavallini (Puebla), Jonathan David (Gent), and Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City). Milan Borjan (Red Star Belgrade) will likely receive the nod at goalkeeper over Maxime Crépeau (Vancouver Whitecaps). As noted by Parker Cleveland, Les Rouges only need a draw to advance, so it’s possible that they may opt for a low-risk bunker-and-counter.
It’s difficult to judge the overall meaning of this match and the inaugural Nations League. There are those among the fan base and media who put little-to-no value in the competition (outside of securing Gold Cup qualification) and do not care about advancement to the final stage. For those who want the managerial change that could result from a loss, U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Earnie Stewart informed the media during a conference call that he is “pleased” with the team’s progress and is not going to make any decisions based on “an individual result.”
United States lineup:
STARTING XI— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) November 15, 2019
: https://t.co/OKOnUUOTeo, Bell, Rogers, SaskTel & Telus
: Exploria Stadium, Orlando
⏰: 19.00 local / 19.00 ET / 16.00 PT
#️⃣: #CANMNT #CNL pic.twitter.com/k3cN1eSQLq
How to Watch
Advertised Kick-off Time: 7:00 p.m. Eastern, 4:00 p.m. Pacific
Venue: Exploria Stadium – Orlando, Florida
Available TV: ESPN2 (English), UniMás (Spanish), TUDN (Spanish)
Available Streaming: WatchESPN (App/Website), TUDN (App/Website), FuboTV (Free Trial)
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