The USMNT is set to reconvene for three more 2022 World Cup qualifiers this week, and it’s quite clear that midfielder Yunus Musah thought Saturday would be the perfect time to score his first La Liga goal of the season.
Midway through the first half of a scoreless game between Valencia and Atletico Madrid, Musah charged up the left flank and got on the end of a cross-field switch 35 yards from goal. The 19-year-old took four touches forward before cutting inside and setting up his shot in one motion.
The strike was hard, low and just inside the near post. Jan Oblak will feel he should have made the save, but the fact that Musah felt confident to take the shot and, more importantly, to instinctively carry the ball forward and attack the lone defender one-on-one, is the real story here from a USMNT perspective.
Yunus Musah gives Valencia the lead over Atletico!
That's his first LaLiga goal since November 2020. pic.twitter.com/Dyi2LhSPFB
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 22, 2022
When healthy, Musah has risen to the level of a regular starter for Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT. Musah, alongside Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie, make up a midfield that is both sturdy and smart defensively, as well as dynamic and dangerous going forward. At 19, 22 and 23 years old, respectively, the USMNT’s midfield future is incredibly bright.
Fellow American forward Josh Sargent also scored a first (and second) goal of his own on Friday, as the 21-year-old bagged a goal in the Premier League not once, but twice, in Norwich City’s 3-0 victory over Watford.
The USMNT sits 2nd in CONCACAF after eight games, a single point behind leaders Canada ahead of the two sides’ showdown in the second game of the upcoming window. Mexico and Panama are a point behind the USMNT in 3rd and 4th, respectively.