PREVIEW – The United States Men’s National Team are headed to the Concacaf Nations League Final. They play Canada on Sunday night at 8:30 PM ET against Canada at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, NV. Two red cards in a wild semifinal against Mexico will see the USMNT down right back Sergiño Dest and midfielder Weston McKennie. Joe Scally is likely to start at right back as a result. And against Alphonso Davies in a final.
Joe Scally Nations League Final Preview: Going up Against Alphonso Davies
Other than two rushes to the head that led to red cards, the USMNT dominated Mexico in every facet of the game. Christian Pulisic and company were their best selves in the attack as he had a brace. Folarin Balogun did not look out of place. Ricardo Pepi came off the bench to make it 3-0. El Tri was threatening in transition, mostly prior to the second goal.
Canada will be another opponent entirely. They finished in the top of the table in World Cup Qualifying in Concacaf. They have the most continuity between their squad and coaching staff from the World Cup. Davies is the best player in Concacaf. Jonathan David is the best striker in the region as well. The US won the last Nations League and Gold Cup. They were also the only Concacaf nation to advance past the group stage in Qatar. With reserve players likely to populate the Gold Cup next month, this game is effectively the tie breaker for who is the best in the region.
Davies was a 62nd minute substitute in their semifinal against Panama. It’s a good question whether he starts this game or can go 90 minutes. Does John Herdman start him knowing he will not finish the game and it could go to extra time? Or does he bring him off the bench to win the match against a tired Scally? Scally has played the last two season in the Bundesliga with Borussia Mönchengladbach. He is familiar with Davies. Still this will be a big test. He cannot allow Davies to get in behind him or get the ball in space in transition.
Can Scally hold his own on the Americans’ right flank and allow them to attack on the left with Antonee Robinson and Pulisic? If so, the US should like their chances to win this competition. The most likely scenario for Canada winning is Davies being the best star player on the field. Elsewhere on the pitch, it’s even or a slight advantage for the States. Dest’s red mist have put them at a disadvantage. This is a chance for Scally to prove himself to B.J. Callaghan, Gregg Berhalter, and U.S. Soccer.