Sebastian Lletget

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LIVE — USMNT v. Cuba in must-win Nations League finale

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Win and advance to the semifinals. It’s as simple as that for the U.S. men’s national team on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET), when they face Cuba in George Town, Cayman Islands, to wrap up the group stage of the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League.

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Head coach Gregg Berhalter has made four changes to the team that beat Canada 4-1 on Friday. Most notably, Josh Sargent starts up top in place of Gyasi Zardes; DeAndre Yedlin will play right back after Sergiño Dest started there on Friday; Cristian Roldan replaces Sebastian Lletget in midfield; and Daniel Lovitz will play left back, where Tim Ream, who slides over to John Brooks’ center back spot, started against Canada.

Mexico, Costa Rica and Honduras have already qualified for the semifinals. The USMNT or Canada are the last two teams with a chance to join them.

Hit the link above to follow along throughout the game, and check back on PST for a recap, analysis and reaction after the final whistle.

Preview: USMNT’s must-win Nations League finale v. Cuba

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The scenario is simple for the U.S. men’s national team ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Cuba (7:30 p.m.ET): Gregg Berhalter’s side will finish top of Group A with a victory, and only a victory. Period. It’s as simple as that.

[ MORE: Brazil beat Mexico to win U-17 World Cup (video) ]

Friday’s victory over Canada righted the wrongs of last month’s defeat north of the border and laid the foundation for the Americans to reach the semifinals in the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League, provided they take care of business in George Town, Cayman Islands, in what is set to be the final game of Berhalter’s first calendar year in charge. Despite trailing Canada (+6 goal differential)  by three points heading into Friday, the Yanks (+8) already have the tiebreaker in their favor.

Jordan Morris, Gyasi Zardes (twice) and Aaron Long scored to give the USMNT its 4-1 triumph over their northern neighbors. More importantly, it was a largely dominant display after going 1-0 up inside two minutes and carrying a 3-0 led into halftime.

[ MORE: Premier League Team of the Season so far ]

The USMNT will once again be without Christian Pulisic (hip injury), leaving the attacking options on the roster quite thin. Morris, who got a goal and an assist against Canada, will likely start on the left again, with Sebastian Lletget and Paul Arriola playing centrally and on the right respectively. Zardes is the presumed starter up top, unless Berhalter opts for the youthful inexperience of Josh Sargent in a must-win game.

Berhalter appears to have settled on a pretty consistent backline, with Sergiño Dest and Aaron Long manning the right side and John Brooks and, at least on Friday, Tim Ream on the left. Weston McKennie’s place deep in midfield has been cemented for quite some time, but he’s partnered close to a half-dozen players alongside him this year alone. The 21-year-old Schalke midfielder was stellar against Canada, frequently starting counter-attacks and carrying the ball into the final third.

Projected USMNT lineup

I___________I
Guzan

Dest —— Long —— Brooks —— Ream

McKennie —— Roldan

Arriola —— Lletget —— Morris

Zardes

Player ratings from USMNT 4-1 Canada

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The United States men’s national team picked up a very meaningful win for the Gregg Berhalter era, collecting a 4-1 win over Canada in Florida.

[ MORE: Match recap | Three things ]

Here’s how the men did in Orlando.

Starting XI

Brad Guzan — 6 — Moments of trouble, including a poor early pass that nearly gave Canada a chance at a 1-0 lead within 2 minutes.

Tim Ream — 7 — Didn’t have his best moment at the back post on Canada’s goal, but delivered the goods in a left back role.

John Brooks — 7 — One tricky tackle atop the 18 that went uncalled, but the Wolfsburg man showed why he’s the most complete package at center back. A terrific ball handler with vision and a monstrous physical presence.

Sergino Dest — 8 — We should all write this 19-year-old thank you cards. What a dribbler.

Jackson Yueill — 7 — He’s gonna need to get experience in order to become an every-match starter, but there was enough hardness to think he could be an answer to the “Who backs up Tyler Adams?” question.

Weston McKennie — 6 — One great pass on a counter, but otherwise a perfectly average performance for one of the U.S.’ most promising players.

Sebastian Lletget (Off 69′) — 7 — Good in tight spaces and the creative part of a midfield triumverate.

Jordan Morris (Off 86′)  — 9 — This kid. Aside from one horrific late cross, the Seattle Sounders man had another incredible game in the U.S. shirt. Goal, assist, sub off, win.

Paul Arriola — 7 — Just fine. Industrious as usual, but the focus was elsewhere.

Gyasi Zardes — 8 — A surprise starter, the big man delivered in a big way.

Substitutes

Alfredo Morales (On 69′) — 7 — If you don’t start him, he’s a great player to bring off the bench with a led.

DeAndre Yedlin (On 86′) — N/A —

Tyler Boyd (On 90’+1)– N/A — 

USMNT rides early lead, hammers Canada

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The United States men’s national rode a dynamite first half to a 4-1 defeat of Canada in Florida on Friday.

The men were sloppy in the second half after riding out to a 3-0 lead, but the damage was done for Canada.

The Yanks will qualify for the CONCACAF Nations League final with a win over Cuba in the Cayman Islands.

[ WATCH: Three first half USMNT goals ]

After losing 2-0 to the Canucks in Toronto, the Yanks got a goal within two minutes of kickoff in Orlando.

Sergino Dest flicked or got good Fortune when he popped a Sebastian Lletget corner kick over a host of players, and Jordan Morris buried his chance past Red Star Belgrade back stop Milan Borjan.

The next 20 minutes showed a series of fouls and cards, but John Brooks and Lletget proved better up to the task than the lineup last summer.

The Yanks made it 2-0 when Morris again got behind the line, collecting a slightly-askew first touch and sending a left-footed cross that Zardes planted in the back of the goal.

It was 3-0 when Ream chipped a free kick to the center of the box for Long to head home.

The Yanks nearly made it 4-0 when Weston McKennie slipped Dest into a 1v1 with Samuel Piette. The Ajax man opened up room for a shot, but he dragged it wide of the goal.

The Canadians back line proved leaky, and Zardes stole a ball and squared for Lletget who blazed over the bar early in the second half.

Canada pulled one back through Vitoria, who got the best of the United States’ zonal marking. Brad Guzan made a couple straight-forward recoveries late as the Yanks held on for the win.

But the Yanks would find one more goal, Zardes’ hard shot deflecting past Borjan.

LIVE — USMNT seeks ‘payback’ v. Canada in CONCACAF Nations League

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The USMNT’s CONCACAF Nations League hopes are on the line when it meets Canada in Orlando at 7 p.m. ET on Friday.

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The Yanks seek to avenge a 2-0 loss to the Canucks in Toronto last month, one that heaped pressure on coach Gregg Berhalter.

If the USMNT fails to win on Friday, a match Canada also needs for its World Cup qualifying hopes, it will bow out of the tournament before the semifinal round.

There’s no place for DeAndre Yedlin in the back line, as Tim Ream‘s been chosen to play right back with a center back pairing of John Brooks and Aaron Long. Sergino Dest starts on the right.

The midfield will have Jackson Yueill lying deep, with Weston McKennie and Sebastian Lletget also getting the call.

Gyasi Zardes starts at center forward with Jordan Morris and Paul Arriola on the wings.