Gregg Berhalter’s doubters found a lot of fuel for their fire as the United States men’s national team was out-worked, out-thought, and out-played in an embarrassing first loss to Canada in over 30 years.
Alphonso Davies and Lucas Cavallini scored for the Canadians in a 2-0 win at BMO Field in Toronto, as Christian Pulisic was removed after 60 minutes.
The Canadians now hold the keys to the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals after improving to 3-0 on the campaign to the Yanks 1-1.
Mark-Anthony Kaye lasted less than 10 minutes with a hamstring injury as Canada was forced into subbing one of its top midfielders early in the fray.
And Davies was all over the U.S., and could’ve had a breakaway were it not for a ridiculously poor offside flag when Ream tried to play him offside.
Davies forced Steffen into a save on a bounding shot in the 12th minute. He then cooked Tim Ream but was stifled by Long.
That’s when Cristian Roldan made an unfathomable back pass to Davies, only to be bailed out by Steffen and then Davies pushing the rebound wide of the far post.
The U.S. finally got pressure on goal in the 18th minute as Pulisic set up Jordan Morris for a left-footed shot that was diverted for a corner kick.
Pulisic had two chances in the last 15 minutes of the half, but both didn’t reach the keeper.
The second half saw some early promise but it became property of the hosts when Davies tore down the left of the pitch following a sleepy pass reception from Morris. Davies turned two defenders but one of them, Long, recovered to make a fine last ditch sliding tackle.
Jonathan David should’ve made it 1-0 as Richie Laryea fed the Gent man, who had taken advantage of Long but couldn’t get the ball inside the near post.
At the other end, Morris fed Pulisic for a point blank chance but the out-of-form Chelsea man rifled a shot right at Milan Borjan.
Long grew into the game and made another fine intervention when Davies was sprung down the right at the hour mark.
Berhalter then took off a sick Pulisic for Arriola, and the Chelsea man was visibly emotional on the bench.
There wasn’t much time to stew on that, because Canada scored.
Bradley bungled a ball in his own third and Ream couldn’t get purchase on his clearance. Canada sent the ball to the back post, where Yedlin was absent for another lazy concession in a U.S. shirt.
Morris headed a Yedlin cross to Borjan in the 72nd, but Canada right back at it when Long misjudged a lost 50/50 ball from Ream and Steffen made an outstanding save on David.
Cavallini put the game to bed when Ream and Long made a pair of hesitant plays in the U.S. third.