The United States men’s national team headed to the final of the Concacaf Nations League to take on Canada after a resounding 3-0 win over Mexico on Thursday night. It was an absolutely wild match that featured four red cards and an utter dominating performance for the Americans. Christian Pulisic showed up on the big stage against El Tri once again, firing in two goals, while Ricardo Pepi came off the bench and netted the third.
Instead of giving you our player ratings, we want to know what you think. Below is a ratings form for you to fill out with ratings for each USMNT player’s performance. After a day/night of voting, we’ll tabulate the ratings and reveal them with the top rated player being named Stars and Stripes FC’s Man of the Match. Feel free to head down to the comment section and leave your thoughts on the match as a whole or give your detailed explanation of your ratings.
The USA routed Mexico 3-0 in the Concacaf Nations League semi-final.
Christian Pulisic scored the first two goals for the United States, with Ricardo Pepi putting in the third.
The referees lost control of the game in the 69th minute after Weston McKennie and César Montes were sent off to put the game to 10 a side.
In the 85th minute, Sergiño Dest and Gerardo Arteaga were red-carded after shoving each other. Kickoff from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada is set for 10 p.m. ET. The latest USMNT vs. Mexico odds from Caesars Sportsbook list USMNT as the +127 (bet $100 to win $127) favorites on the 90-minute money line, with Mexico as the +255 underdogs. A regulation draw is priced at +195 and the over/under for goals is 1.5, with the Over juiced to -195. Thursday’s match will be streamed live on Paramount+ with their must-have Premium plan, which you can now try free for the first week.
Paramount+ is the only place to watch every minute of every Concacaf Nations League match this season. A subscription also gives you access to other sports content including the Italian Serie A and Europa League, NWSL, NFL on CBS, and countless movies and shows.
For USMNT vs. Mexico, Eimer is picking the United States to move on for a -145 payout. Mexico does not have fond memories of playing the USMNT in Nevada, as they lost in a 1-0 extra-time decision in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup Final at Allegiant Stadium. The USA is amid a five-match unbeaten streak (3-0-2) against Mexico, which is the second longest in team history behind a six-match unbeaten streak from 2011 to 2015.
Mexico holds a 36-22-17 edge in the all-time series, but the USMNT has a 17-9-8 advantage since the turn of the century. Four newcomers have made their USMNT debuts in 2023, and highly touted Folarin Balogun could make his international debut on Thursday night. Weston McKennie has scored in his last two matches against Mexico, including a World Cup qualifier in November 2021.
The match devolved into chaos in the second half, as Mexican players resorted to ugly tackles and red mist, with Cesar Montes and Gerardo Arteaga sent off. They baited two U.S. players into red cards in retaliation as well, with Weston McKennie and Sergino Dest also shown red cards, and they will be suspended for the final on Sunday.
Mexican fans at Allegiant Stadium were also part of the story, as their homophobic chant twice stopped the game, and the second time forced the referee to stop the match early in stoppage time. CONCACAF will have its hands full sorting out all the details of this one.
Mexico embarrassed on the field and off it
There’s no getting around what was an embarrassing display by the Mexican side on the night. Then as soon as the game was out of reach, they began playing dirty, hacking and thrashing about all over the pitch.
Cesar Montes earned the game’s first of four red cards for straight-up kicking Folarin Balogun from behind, and the referee went to his pocket faster than you’ll ever see.
And when they weren’t kicking U.S. players on the field, they were pushing and shoving them, completely losing their heads. Just 11 minutes after coming off the bench Gerardo Arteaga was given a red for pushing Sergino Dest three times, and his antics eventually forced a response from the Dutch-born U.S. full-back.
All this, however, pales in comparison to Mexico’s fans being responsible for stopping the game twice due to the repeated use of a homophobic chant in full chorus, clearly audible on the broadcast. As match organizers pleaded with the fans to stop, they just continued to get louder and louder. Eventually, CONCACAF and perhaps FIFA will have no choice but to take extreme action beyond fines and fan bans, and the supporters will only have themselves to blame.
Mexican players are completely losing their cool, and they are lashing out. It’s resulted in two U.S. players succumbing to the idiocy, and will now be unable to compete in the final. While McKennie’s is questionable from the referee crew, there’s no excuse for Dest there to stoop to Mexico’s level.
It’s now 9 vs. 9 for the rest of the game. Memo Ochoa and Chris Richards were also shown yellow cards in the aftermath. Then, Christian Pulisic is withdrawn by BJ Callaghan, and he is also booked for taking too long to get off the field. This is a complete disaster.
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