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U.S. Men's National Team: An Analysis in Yesterday's Vehement Match

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

I'm still workshopping on the title. It was either this or a play on Monty Python's play on the Spanish Inquisition. I'm still going to use the picture, though.

Last night, the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team beat out Canada in a 3-2 penalty decision in Cincinnati, right at home at TQL Stadium. The 2023 CONCANAF Gold Cup Semifinal will be hosted at Snapdragon Stadium, the site for the future MLS expansion team, against Panama.

The duel was fierce: Matt Turner came in clutch. The Bud Light Man of the Match saved the game twice with blocking the first two attempts from Canada. Absolutely remarkable game by Canada, however, with a hawkish Junior Hoilett finding holes in U.S.'s defense almost immediately. The U.S., however, are 29-8-6 when it comes to advancing in knockout rounds — an overage of 70% in advancing within penalty kicks, if the aforementioned numbers weren't impressive enough.

Photo Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski/USSF

I would like to highlight the hero of Cincinnati —Brandon Vázquez. Vázquez has played with Cincinnati since 2020, but this is his first international appearance with the USMNT. Last night, he recorded his third goal in his debut year. The San Diego-native definitely made his home crew proud last night.

To not jinx the valiant efforts of the USMNT, I would in turn like to talk about some other prospective key players for the 2026 World Cup.

Christian Pulisic

There's a reason as to why Pulisic is still top dog when discussed in reference to the World Cup team. Last month, Pulisic championed the Nations League in Las Vegas, and the youngest "Captain America" was throned as the Player of the Tournament against Canada. This is the second time for the Pennsylvania-native face for American soccer. Furthermore, as of yesterday, Pulisic will be sliding right into medical testing with AC Milan as part of a permanent deal with Chelsea F.C.

Folarin Balogun

The New Yorker is impressive, what more can be said of Balogun? His first goal in the game against Canada last month, and buzz about Balogun is already circulating about the striker's move to Chelsea. Balogun is incredibly quick on the field, raising a battle intellect that is alarming for someone so young.

Balogun loves the English style, and he is phenomenal at Arsenal. Last season, he would remain in some of the highest scoring spots in Ligue 1. The kid is dangerous, and he's just getting started.

Photo Credit: Matthew Ashton

Tyler Adams

Tyler Adams was 2022's U.S. Soccer Player of the Year.

He helped win the RBNY II their USL cup on his debut year.

Returned from injury with Leeds to play with the USMNT.

He's the Technical Director of the Hudson Valley Hammers, a USL2 team that was third in their league last year.

And he's still on Twitter apologizing to fans for their demotion from the Premier League.

Tyler Adams is an all-around great guy.


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