The United States men’s national team (USMNT) won its second consecutive CONCACAF Nations League Title after beating Canada 2-0.
The USMNT won the 2022/23 Concacaf Nations League title on Sunday night at the Allegiant Stadium, with center-back Chris Richards and forward Folarin Balogun scoring their first international goals in a Final.
Both goals were scored in the first half and were assisted by midfielder Gio Reyna.
The win gives the USMNT its third consecutive Concacaf tournament, adding to its 2021 Nations League and 2021 Gold Cup titles.
Captain and forward Christian Pulisic was named the tournament’s Best Player and goalkeeper Matt Turner was awarded as the Best Goalkeeper. Ricardo Pepi finished at par with Canada’s Jonathan David with four goals in the tournament.
Interim manager B.J. Callaghan had the youngest starting XI deployed by the USMNT in a tournament final. The average age of the players was 24 years old. He also had seven players at 23 years old or younger. amongst his lineup.
Callaghan became interim manager late last month after the previous interim manager, Anthony Hudson, left to take a managerial post with Qatari side Al-Markhiya. He will further his managerial skills in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which starts on June 24.
“I’m just super proud of the group,” Callaghan said. “We’ve been faced with adversity. We’ve been faced with obstacles and challenges and it’s only brought us all together. So my personal feelings, I’m absolutely elated for all of the guys, all of the staff, everyone that just continues to put so much into this.
“To have those two performances is just a way for us to show the country and the world how committed and collected we are. There’s something special happening with this team.”
The USMNT dominated the game with Richards scoring in the 12th minute from Reyna’s corner kick and Balogun firing a shot from close range for his first USMNT goal in only his second match, after an assist again from Reyna, before he left at halftime due to calf injury.
“Gio’s performance tonight is a performance that you expect. It shows his quality on the field, his ball security, his ability to take on two, three players and connect passes,” Callaghan said of Gio who had played the central role despite being mostly deployed at the wings at the previous international window.
“What I’m really proud of him is we’ve challenged Gio to do more work off the ball on the defensive side, and he’s absolutely risen to the occasion.”
“When [Reyna is] inside there, I like that position a lot for him,” said U.S. captain Christian Pulisic, who won the CNL Best Player Award. “I think he’s dangerous. He causes a lot of problems and you could see that today.”
Goalkeeper Turner also came through, making four great saves to deny Canada a goal.
Canada took control of the second half but was unable to score.