The United States won its group in the Gold Cup with maximum points. The USMNT defeated Canada 1-0 in Kansas City with Shaq Moore’s goal after just 20 seconds. The victory ensures the United States maintain their unbeaten record against Canada in the Gold Cup. Two Columbus Crew players featured in the match with striker Gyasi Zardes playing 73 minutes for the U.S. and midfielder Liam Fraser playing all 90 minutes for Canada.
Moore got the Americans got off to a dream start with an opening goal before many fans were even in their seats. Midfielder Kellyn Acosta immediately got the ball after the kickoff and dribbled straight towards the penalty box. Acosta sent a pass to attacker Sebastian Lletget on the left side and Lletget’s low-driven cross to the back post was pounced on by Moore for his first international goal.
The goal by Moore was faster than Clint Dempsey’s famous World Cup goal against Ghana which was after just 30 seconds, making this Gold Cup strike from Moore the fastest goal in USMNT history.
Gregg Berhalter’s side was relentless throughout the first half in a rare 3-5-2 formation with Zardes and Daryl Dike playing up top together. The U.S. won possession back from Canada and attacked with speed on the wings, looking for crosses to Dike and Zardes. Canada kept the pedal to the metal as well but couldn’t equalize in the first half.
The Canucks started the second half with intensity and were almost able to score two goals in the first three minutes if not for U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner. Canada continued to control the pace of play but was unable to get the equalizer. The physicality of the half was high as both teams had players subbed out or checked by the trainers for an injury.
The nine points for the United States is impressive but now is where the tournament gets serious for this squad as they try to win its first Gold Cup title since 2017.
The Americans now have a full week of rest before the team’s quarterfinal match on Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The United States will face the runners-up of Group C, which will either be Costa Rica or Jamaica. Los Ticos and the Reggae Boyz play on Tuesday night for first place in the group. Costa Rica needs a win or a draw to win the group while Jamaica needs a victory.
Crew players Gyasi Zardes, Liam Fraser and Luis Diaz (Costa Rica) will be out for at least one more week while Derrick Etienne Jr. will return to the club after Haiti’s elimination. Kevin Molino could still be off to the knockout stages if he can get Trinidad & Tobago to the quarterfinals on Sunday night.