NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 5, 2021) -- The U.S. Men’s National Team earned another point on its journey to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup with a 1-1 draw against Canada. The USA struck first just after the break as midfielder Brenden Aaronson scored his fourth international goal, but Canada equalized in short order when a run down the left flank from speedy winger Alphonso Davies teed up a goal for forward Cyle Larin.
Despite creating the better of scoring chances and out-possessing Canada 72%-28%, the U.S. wasn’t able to score a game-winner in front of the energized crowd of 43,028. The draw gives the USA two points from its first two of 14 Concacaf qualifying matches, putting the USMNT in a tie for third place with three other countries in the Octagonal standings.
The U.S. will close out the international window with its third World Cup qualifier in seven days when it takes on Honduras on Wednesday, Sept. 8 in San Pedro Sula (10:35 p.m. ET on Paramount+, Universo).
While the U.S. held the advantage for most of the night in the attack, the game was a physical, stop-and-start affair. Canada defended well deploying several defenders behind the ball and looking to be dangerous on the break, getting down the field in the hurry and creating danger with some quick combination play in the box. In the 11th minute, U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner saw his first action on a close-range effort from Larin, making an impressive reaching save to deflect the ball out of bounds.
As the half wore on, the U.S. started creating chances in the final third, sparked by the play of speedy outside backs Antonee Robinson and Sergino Dest. In the 21st, Robinson fired a long-range rocket that forced a diving save from Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan while Dest muscled his way downfield with an impressive run before Aaronson bombed a threatening cross into the box in the 27th.
A few more close-range opportunities came later in the half as the U.S. fought to keep balls alive in the Canadian box and put Borjan to work. In the 36th, midfielder Christian Pulisic won a header to tee up forward Jordan Pefok for a shot that went just wide. Just a few minutes later, midfielder Sebastian Lletget was able to dish to Aaronson as he fell to the grass and the Red Bull Salzburg winger played a short cross to Pulisic driving towards goal, but his sliding shot hit the right post. Lletget fired a shot of his own wide left as the half came to a close with the U.S. knocking on the door for a goal.
The USMNT carried that momentum forward into the second half. Following some further delays after hard fouls in the middle of the field, the USA finally broke through in the 55th minute. Aaronson catalyzed the attacking run after winning the ball from a Canadian player and the U.S. worked the ball across the field to the left wing with some nice team combination play before Robinson sent in a sharp cross to tee up the sliding Aaronson for the game’s opening goal on a tap-in.
Canada was quick to respond, working again through the quickness of Davies on the wing. Receiving the ball from midfield, Davies raced around defender DeAndre Yedlin, who had replaced the injured Dest just before halftime, and sent a cross to Larin at the six. The forward easily touched it home with a first-time shot to draw things even. The goal was the first conceded by Matt Turner in his last 568 minutes of play with the USMNT.
The U.S. hunted for the game-winner as the half wore on, but the night’s physical nature continued to slow things down. In the 83rd minute, U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter brought on some fresh legs for the attack in forward Konrad de la Fuente, forward Josh Sargent and midfielder Cristian Roldan. While the substitutes, led by Sargent, provided an offensive spark, it wasn’t enough for the U.S. to score a game-winning goal.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
USA - Brenden Aaronson (Antonee Robinson), 55th minute: Following a Canadian throw-in on the right sideline, Aaronson fought to win the ball and sparked the U.S. attack in transition. The forward dished it to Jordan Pefok, who heeled it to Christian Pulisic and as a Canada defender poked the ball out, Tyler Adams sent it downfield to Pefok. The U.S. then worked the ball across to Acosta and then Robinson driving into the box down the left wing. The left back sent a cross to the onrushing Aaronson, who one-timed it with his right foot past beaten Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan. USA 1, CAN 0
CAN - Cyle Larin (Alphonso Davies), 62nd minute: After creating danger on the break throughout the evening, Canada responded quickly through the flank play of Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies. On the run down the left, Davies sped around his defender and drove towards goal before sending a cross to an unmarked Larin at the right post. The forward caught Matt Turner out of position and one-timed his shot to equalize. USA 1, CAN 1
KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE STOPS
USA - Matt Turner, 11th minute: Creating plenty of danger on the break, Canada created its first chance of the evening early in the first half. Alphonso Davies sped down the left wing and drove to the end line before dishing to Cyle Larin at the six. Larin hit it first time towards the near post, but a diving Turner stuck his hand up to deflect the ball out of bounds and out of danger. On the next play, Turner leapt to snag the ensuing corner kick. USA 0, CAN 0
CAN - Milan Borjan, 28th minute: Providing a spark from the right back spot, Sergino Dest made an impressive run up the right wing, muscling past one Canada defender and slotting a pass past another to Brenden Aaronson. Aaronson took a hit from beyond the top right corner of the box and Canada defender Scott Kennedy attempted to clear, but headed it towards goal, forcing Borjan to make a diving save to prevent an own goal. USA 0, CAN 0
- The USMNT is now 16-9-12 all-time vs. Canada and 4-6-4 in World Cup qualifying.
- Tonight’s draw continued an 11-match unbeaten streak for the USMNT (10-0-2).
- U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter made six changes to the Starting XI that faced El Salvador on Thursday, inserting Kellyn Acosta, John Brooks, Sebastian Lletget, Jordan Pefok, Christian Pulisic and Antonee Robinson.
- After coming off the bench to make their World Cup qualifying debuts on Thursday in El Salvador, both Jordan Pefok and Antonee Robinson earned their first WCQ starts tonight.
- Goalkeeper Matt Turner conceded just his second goal in nine appearances with the USMNT.
- Midfielder Kellyn Acosta appeared in his 16th consecutive match for the USMNT. The only player to feature in every match of 2021, Acosta’s streak dates back to Dec. 9, 2020 vs. El Salvador.
-U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT-
Match: United States Men’s National Team vs. Canada
Date: September 5, 2021
Competition: Concacaf 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying
Venue: Nissan Stadium; Nashville, Tenn.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. local
Weather: 74 degrees; mostly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
CAN 0 1 1
USA – Brenden Aaronson (Antonee Robinson) 55th minute
CAN – Cyle Larin (Alphonso Davies) 62
USA: 1-Matt Turner; 2-Sergiño Dest (22-DeAndre Yedlin, 44), 12-Miles Robinson, 6-John Brooks, 5-Antonee Robinson; 4-Tyler Adams, 17-Sebastian Lletget (7-Cristian Roldan, 83), 23-Kellyn Acosta; 11-Brenden Aaronson (9-Josh Sargent, 83), 19-Jordan Pefok (20-Konrad de la Fuente, 83), 10-Christian Pulisic (capt.)
Substitutes not used: 8-Sean Johnson, 18-Ethan Horvath, 3-Walker Zimmerman, 13-Tim Ream 14-Ricardo Pepi, 15-Mark McKenzie, 16-James Sands, 21-George Bello
Head coach: Gregg Berhalter
CAN: 18-Milan Borjan (Capt.), 3-Samuel Adekugbe, 14-Mark-Anthony Kaye (13-Atiba Hutchinson, 77), 15-Doneil Henry, 22-Richie Laryea, 23-Scott Kennedy, 2-Alistair Johnston, 7-Stephen Eustaquio, 19-Alphonso Davies (21-Jonathan Osorio, 77), 10-Junior Hoilett (11-Tajon Buchanan, 64), 17-Cyle Larin (20-Jonathan David, 65)
Substitutes not used: 1-James Pantemis, 16-Maxime Crepeau, 4-Kamal Miller, 5-Steven Vitoria, 6-Samuel Piette, 8-David Wotherspoon, 9-Lucas Cavallini, 12-Liam Fraser
Head coach: John Herdman
Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 11 / 6
Shots on Goal: 2 / 2
Saves: 1 / 2
Corner Kicks: 5 / 2
Fouls: 10 / 12
Offside: 0 / 1
CAN -- Richie Laryea (Caution) 28th minute
USA -- Jordan Pefok (Caution) 29
USA -- John Brooks (Caution) 33
CAN -- Mark-Anthony Kaye (Caution) 68
USA -- Tyler Adams (Caution) 69
Referee: Oshane Nation (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicholas Anderson (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Ojay Duhaney (JAM)
4th Official: Reon Radix (GRN)
Insiders Man of the Match: Brenden Aaronson