[WATCH.FINAL]* Nations League Final 2023 Live Free TV Coverage 18 June 2023
The USA and Canada have been evenly matched. USA are looking to defend their Nations League title after claiming the inaugural edition of the regional competition in 2021. Canada are hoping to win their first men's trophy in 23 years and continue their rise as a force in the region after qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.+.
The United States pulled off a thrilling 3-0 win against Mexico in the semifinals, but the heated match resulted in two players being suspended for Sunday's big finale. The Stars and Stripes remain unbeaten in five games in this edition of the CONCACAF Nations League.
Meanwhile, Canada defeated a tough Panama side 2-0 to punch their ticket to the final showdown. The Canadians are currently on a three-game winning streak. They hope to build on these good results after going winless in the 2022 World Cup. Canada and USA meet in the CONCACAF Nations League! Catch the CONCACAF Nations League odds series here, featuring our Canada vs. USA prediction, odds, pick, and guide on how to watch.
Why Canada Can Beat USA
Canada is ranked 47th in the FIFA Rankings. The Canadians are ahead of Paraguay, Ireland, Burkina Faso, and Slovakia. They are trailing Turkey, Norway, Ivory Coast, and Romania.
Spearheaded by star Bayern Munich left-back Alphonso Davies, Canada went 8-4-2 in CONCACAF Qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, which created high expectations ahead of just their second World Cup appearance and first since 1986. However, John Herdman’s team was disappointed in Qatar, losing all three group matches against Belgium, Croatia, and Morocco.
Still, Canada is a dangerous opponent that would challenge the USA in this tourney. In four games in League A Group C, the Canadians got the tournament sweep against Curacao in a 6-0 scoreline but split the results with Honduras. In the semifinal match against Canada, the Canucks pushed for a win and a clean sheet. Canada had lesser ball possession (48%) and total shots (7), but they were able to capitalize on these efforts. Jonathan David and Alphonso Davies got into the scoresheet, with Kamal Miller and David getting assists.
Any US fan skeptical of whether Canada can hang with the impressive version of the USMNT we saw on Friday night should revisit the highlights from these teams’ Qatar World Cup qualifiers. In their first meeting, USA and Canada drew 1-1 in Nashville. USA lost 2-0 in Hamilton, Ontario, on January 30, 2022, in a match Canada played without Davies.. While Canada did edge the U.S. across two qualifying games, it's in CONCACAF competitions is poor against its southern neighbors. Canada has only one win in seven attempts, a 2-0 home victory in group play of the previous CONCACAF Nations League.
Sunday night should offer similar intensity to Friday night’s USA-Mexico semifinal. But expect Canada, playing for its first trophy since it won the 2000 Gold Cup, to keep its composure much better than Mexico, who managed to turn the semifinal into a red card-fest.
Davies and David, who finished third in Ligue 1 with 24 goals this season, are not the only players that should concern USMNT fans. Winger Tajon Buchanan will test the USA back line in a way that no one for Mexico did on Friday night, and Cyle Larin is a dangerous striker who will challenge US center-backs Miles Robinson and Chris Richards.
Why USA Can Beat Canada
The USA ranks 13th in the FIFA Men's World rankings as of December 2022. The Americans trail Portugal, Spain, Morocco, and Switzerland. The Yankees are ahead of Germany, MExico, Uruguay, and Colombia.
USA played two friendlies in January, a 2-1 defeat against Serbia and 0-0 draw against Colombia.
The Stars and Stripes won two games in March to finish top of Group D in the CONCACAF Nations League, winning 7-1 in Grenada and 1-0 against El Salvador.
USA played another friendly in March, a 1-1 draw against Canada in Arizona where Jesús Ferreira equalised in the 81st minute.
Anthony Hudson was replaced as manager by B.J. Callaghan. Callaghan’s first match in charge was the semi-final clash against Mexico on Friday, a 3-0 win with Christian Pulisic scoring the opening two goals and Ricardo Pepi netting late on.
The rise of Les Rouges is in no small part down to the emergence of generational talents like Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David, alongside a group of players finding their way in European football. Davies and David were the difference in the semifinal win over Panama.
The Canadians have undoubtedly raised their game under manager John Herdman and are now in position to win their first trophy since hoisting the 2000 Gold Cup. They already finished atop the World Cup qualifying standings in the region, which few saw coming.