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Fuel Soccer Talk: Special Gold Cup Final Edition

Gold Cup: USMNT falls to Mexico 1-0 in final

CHICAGO – On a cool evening at Soldier Field, the U.S. Men’s National Team fell at the final hurdle to Jonathan dos Santos’ 73rd-minute goal that gave Mexico a 1-0 win in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Final.

U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter sent out the same starting XI that guided the USA through the semifinal while handing the captain’s armband to Weston McKennie for the first time in his career, upping the number of players to captain the U.S. in 2019 to an even 10.

Christian Pulisic won the tournament’s Best Young Player Award. Pulisic, Michael Bradley and Aaron Long were all named to the tournament Best XI.

GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:

MEX – Jonathan dos Santos (Raúl Jiménez), 73rd minute: Rodolfo Pizarro collected the ball near midfield and drove toward the USA goal before picking out Jiménez in the center of the box. The big forward deftly backheeled the ball into the path of dos Santos, who one-timed a left footed drive off the crossbar and into the left side of the goal. USA 0, MEX 1 [WATCH] FINAL

What went wrong for the USMNT in the final?

Gold Cup: Final was a game of defense, big saves and missed opportunities

KEY SAVES AND DEFENSIVE PLAYS:

USA – Paul Arriola, 15th minute: Mexico worked the ball down the left through Uriel Antuna who centered to the penalty mark where Andrés Guardado’s shot skied over the bar thanks to a great challenge from Arriola.

MEX – Edson Álvarez, 20th minute: Arriola chased the ball down and played back for Michael Bradley to swing it to the back right post. There, Reggie Cannon volleyed it toward the penalty spot and an unmarked Altidore but Edson Álvarez made an imperative recovery to head the ball clear.

MEX – Andrés Guardado, 51st minute: The USA’s best chance of the second half saw Pulisic send in a corner that was headed on goal by Jordan Morris only for Guardado to head it clear off the line.

USA – Zack Steffen, 63rd minute: Pizarro got the ball to the top of the box for Álvarez to shoot and Jiménez redirected it on goal. With little power on the shot, Zack Steffen snatched it easily.

USA – Matt Miazga, 66th minute: Dos Santos got behind the U.S. defense and cut the ball back for Jiménez, whose shot went wide after being put off by a Miazga challenge. On the ensuing corner, Steffen claimed a volley from outside the box that was headed on goal.

MEX – Héctor Moreno, 87th minute: On the USA’s last best chance to find an equalizer, Héctor Moreno made a game-saving block to deny a goal-bound rocket from Roldan inside the box after Arriola recycled a cleared corner.

Gold Cup: Reaction on “disappointing” loss to Mexico

LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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