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USA vs. Canada, 2021 Gold Cup: What to watch for

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We preview the last match of the group stage.

SOCCER: JUL 15 Concacaf Gold Cup - Martinique v USA Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The United States Men’s National Team close out the group stage of the Gold Cup tomorrow afternoon when they take on Canada in Kansas City. The USMNT will look to end the group stage as Group B winners, but they face a Canada team that has played very well all year long and is ready to show they are the team to beat in this group.

Latest Form

USA

W (6-1) - Martinique - Gold Cup Group B

W (1-0) - Haiti - Gold Cup Group B

W (4-0) - Costa Rica - Friendly

W (3-2) - Mexico - Concacaf Nations League Final

W (1-0) - Honduras - Concacaf Nations League Semifinals

Canada

W (4-1) - Haiti - Gold Cup Group B

W (4-1) - Martinique - Gold Cup Group B

W (3-0) - Haiti - World Cup qualifying

W (1-0) - Haiti - World Cup qualifying

W (4-0) - Suriname - World Cup qualifying

What To Watch For

Finish. Canada has an inexperienced goalkeeping unit, so the idea is to put lots of pressure on them. They’ve given up goals in each match, but the pressure has to continually be on. And, the forwards must finish their chances. Those scoring opportunities will come, so take advantage of them.

Don’t lose markings. Canada will try to get behind the defense, so communication is crucial. They have quite a few guys that can make a defense pay in Cyle Larin, Ayo Akinola, and Mark-Anthony Kaye, so the USMNT needs to keep an eye on those guys and make sure they don’t get the opportunity to create a scoring chance.

Win the midfield. The USMNT will want to control the midfield and win that battle. Doing so will keep Canada on their heels and the Americans pressing the issue throughout the match.

Lineup Prediction

The USMNT will likely come out in a similar formation that they had against Martinique, with likely a couple changes:

Predicted Lineup vs. Canada

Sean Johnson will get his chance in goal, while the back 3 that started against Martinique - Miles Robinson, James Sands, and Walker Zimmerman - once again get the start. Shaq Moore and Matthew Hoppe play in the midfield, but especially Moore will operate as a wingback.

In the middle, Sebastian Lletget and Jackson Yueill will once again get the start, with Lletget operating as a box-to-box midfielder. Cristian Roldan will start as the central attack midfielder, hoping to keep Moore and Hoppe moving forward with the ball.

Up top, Daryl Dike has earned another start, while Nicholas Gioacchini also gets the start after a really nice performance against Martinique.

Prediction

This is more of a defensive affair as both teams don’t want to give away too much. Eventually, the USMNT break through and get a late game-winner. 1-0 to the U.S.