Christian Pulisic did his best Thursday to tamp down the USMNT’s celebration after a dominant 3-0 win over Mexico in a gritty rivalry match. It was only a semifinal, so a shirtless Pulisic spoke up.
“Be humble with it, guys,” Pulisic interjected. “Enjoy it tonight, enjoy it tonight, but we’re here to win the final. We’re here to beat Canada.”
And that is exactly what they did Sunday night in a 2-0 win against their other regional rivals, in the 2023 CONCACAF Nations League final. On Thursday, they made their “f***ing statement,” as Pulisic had requested. On Sunday, they won the trophy — and kept Canada from earning its first in over two decades.
The USMNT played short-handed, without Weston McKennie and Sergiño Dest, who were both suspended after red cards against Mexico. And Canada was confident, having beaten and drawn the U.S. in World Cup qualifying, and having finished atop the CONCACAF table. But in the end the USMNT, the reigning kings of CONCACAF, went back-to-back in the tourney thanks to first-half goals from Chris Richards and newcomer Folarin Balogun.
Here’s how the match between the USMNT and Canada unfolded: