One of the most intense soccer rivalries in the world will see the final chapter written on Sunday when the United States men’s soccer team face their Mexican counterpart for the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League trophy.
Both the United States and Mexico are led by a new generation of talents that have emerged in recent years. The likes of Christian Pulisic (USA) and Hirving “Chucky” Lozano (Mexico) will not need to remember the long history between these two soccer powerhouses who are in a constant fight for the right to be called the best team in the region. .
Mexico has come out with the most wins in their head-to-head battles in the championship finals (6 of 7), but this latest matchup should be another leveling affair. Both teams struggled to survive their respective semi-finals (the US needed a late goal and Mexico won a penalty shoot-out) and both coaches have to make line-up and formation decisions heading into the match.
Mexico manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino has proven to be flexible with his tactics and personnel so far this year, mixing a four-man defensive line with a three-man backline flanked by wingers. Whatever the setup, “Chucky” Lozano remains Mexico’s most consistent player in attack, although the electric Diego Lainez has also stood out as a threat in recent games.
The main questions for the head coach of the US team, Gregg Berhalter, revolve around the selection of his players in midfield and up front. There is much clamor for the talented Yunus Musah and Tyler Adams – the latter is “recovered and ready to come out” from his injury according to Berhalter – but the coach has opted for the same three-man midfield group in the last two games. It’s a similar story at the center forward, where Josh Sargent is expected to have a third straight start, although Jordan Siebatcheu scored the winning goal off the bench in the semi-final against Honduras.
What time is the United States vs. Mexico?
- Date: Sunday June 6
- Hour: 9:30 pm ET / 6:30 pm PT
The United States men’s national team and their Mexican counterparts meet in the final final of the championship for the title of the best team in the region.
How to watch USMNT vs. Mexico in the US
- Television channel: CBS Sports Network (CBSSN)
- Live broadcast: Paramount +, fuboTV (7-day free trial)
- Spanish television: Univision, TUDN Sports
CBS Sports Network will host the Nations League final and the broadcast will also air on Paramount + and on fuboTV (7-day free trial). The game will be available with commentary in Spanish on Univision and TUDN.
What happens if the United States-Mexico tie?
Unlike the Nations League semi-finals, teams will head to overtime if they get stuck after 90 minutes in the Nations League final. The 30 minute overtime period will be split into two 15 minute halves to allow the teams to switch ends.
If the score is still tied after extra time, a penalty shoot-out would determine the winner. The USMNT has participated in six penalty shots in official competitions and won half the time (three victories). American starting goalkeeper Zack Steffen is known for being a specialist in penalty kicks.
Mexico’s No. 1 Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa made a decisive save in the recent El Tri shootout against Costa Rica.
United States vs. Mexico odds, prediction
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The story here tells a compelling story.
Mexico has faced the United States in seven CONCACAF finals and won all but one (2007 Gold Cup). The United States has also suffered shutout losses to Mexico in both games (including a friendly) since Gerardo “Tata” Martino took office in 2019.
In fact, Berhalter has yet to beat Martino in head-to-head matches dating back to his Major League Soccer days. Martino has won six of seven head-to-head matches, with the other ending in a 0-0 draw in the playoffs that saw Berhalter’s Columbus Crew advance on penalties. Current US goalkeeper Zack Steffen took a head start in that game.
This team from Mexico has a bit more intelligence than the younger American team and the seasoned Martino will have the right plan to neutralize the pressure and build-up from the Americans. It would be far-fetched to think that Berhalter would introduce an entirely new tactical look to such an important game after featuring a similar team in the two most recent outings.
The most attractive odds at time of publication involve Mexico “to score first and win” at +180. Mexico will have a strong start and will seek to set the tone for the game and disorient the United States. So a goal from Mexico in the first half is also a great possibility (+220 Mexico to win the first half). And if you buy in both scenarios, then Mexico to win at half time AND at full time (+300) is a good advantage.
- USA To gain in regulation: +190
- Draw in regulation: +230
- Mexico to win in regulation: +154
- United States to win the trophy: +100
- Mexico to win the trophy: -125
- Mexico wins the 1st half: +220
- Mexico to score first and win: +180
- Mexico will win at half time and at full time: +300
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.