United States’ Christian Pulisic (10) moves the ball against Honduras’ Kevin Álvarez during the first half of a CONCACAF Nations League soccer final Thursday, June 3, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
- US and Mexico lock horns in the CONCACAF Nations League final on Sunday
- The Mexicans enter as a very slim +154 favorite
- Get the odds, preview, and pick below
By no surprise, we’ll see two rivals clash in the Nations League final. The USA and Mexico meet on Sunday in Denver with a piece of hardware on the line.
Both sides barely progressed from the semi-finals though, with the Americans beating Honduras thanks to an 89th-minute winner from Jordan Siebatcheu. As for the Mexicans, it took penalty kicks for them to take down a respectable Costa Rica side.
El Tri has secured two consecutive victories against the US, most notably a 1-0 win in the 2019 Gold Cup final after LA Galaxy standout Jonathan dos Santos bagged the game’s lone goal.
USA vs Mexico Odds
|USA vs Mexico||US pk (-103) | MEX pk (-127)||US +180 | MEX +154 | DRAW +235||Ov 2.5 (+118) | Un 2.5 (-155)|
All odds as of June 4th at DraftKings.
Can US Break Their Drought Against Mexico?
Since 2015, the US hasn’t had much luck against their CONCACAF rivals. They’ve tasted defeat in four of their last six games against them, with the last victory in 2018 in a friendly. The previous two meetings have also seen the Americans fail to score.
Gregg Berhalter’s men didn’t look too sharp on Thursday versus Honduras, but to be fair, it was their first competitive fixture since the fall of 2019. The end product was non-existent for the States, despite numerous opportunities to find the back of the net. Dortmund phenom Gio Reyna had a clear-cut chance to put one away after an ambitious run, but his attempt just missed the post. As for Christian Pulisic, he also failed to capitalize.
The breakthrough finally came late in the second half when Wolfsburg defender John Brooks floated a dangerous ball towards Weston McKennie on the far side of the box in which he headed in a cross towards Siebatcheu who clinically put it away to send his side through to the final.
While this current generation for the US could be one of their most talented ever, it’s hard to expect a lot from them due to the lack of playing time together. Mexico will be a daunting task thanks to the experience they have throughout their entire squad, but the Americans certainly have the quality to collect a victory here.
“This game is exactly what we needed.”
Last night our young group got a crash course in what they’ll experience in World Cup Qualifying and set themselves up to play for a 🏆.
All to play for in the @CNationsLeague Final on Sunday vs. 🇲🇽! pic.twitter.com/kTAJP7jY9M
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) June 4, 2021
Hopefully, Leipzig youngster Tyler Adams will also be able to feature in the middle of the pitch on Sunday after missing out against the Hondurans due to a back issue.
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Mexico Possess Lots of Talent
While Mexico was even less convincing than the US in the semis, Tata Martino’s side isn’t short of notable names. Napoli star Hirving Lozano headlines the starting XI along with Ajax defender Edson Alvarez. They’re also extremely solid in the midfield, with La Liga standouts Andres Guardado and Hector Herrera.
Costa Rica put up quite the fight on Thursday, losing 5-4 in PKs. Both teams lacked sharpness in the final third, with the Mexicans registering 13 shots but only four on target. Veteran keeper Guillermo Ochoa made a huge save in penalties to book his squad’s ticket to the final.
Guillermo Ochoa saves the day and sends Mexico to the @CNationsLeague Final 🌟 @GreyGoose pic.twitter.com/DHS7RtZlgS
— CBS Sports Golazo (@CBSSportsGolazo) June 4, 2021
Mexico won Group B with ease in ’19 to reach the last four of this competition, finishing above Bermuda and Panama. They also beat Iceland 2-1 last week in a friendly and have only lost once in their last 10 matches. Along the way, El Tri has also taken down the Netherlands, South Korea, and Japan.
Coach “Tata” Martino gave his remarks after tonight’s win against 🇨🇷!!!🗣🎙🇲🇽#PasiónyOrgullo | #FMFporNuestroFútbol pic.twitter.com/6Q9s98W2jo
— Mexican National Team (@miseleccionmxEN) June 4, 2021
Despite the shaky display vs. Costa Rica, the Mexicans are no pushover. Their backline will need to be extremely sharp though with a young and vibrant US attack looking to do some damage after a rather quiet showing two days ago.
USA vs Mexico Key Stats
|3-1-0||Standing in Nations League Group Stages||4-0-0|
|WWWLW||Form in Last Five Games||WLWWW|
USA vs Mexico Prediction
The Americans struggled to score against Honduras, but the opportunities were clearly there. The trio of Pulisic, Reyna, and Josh Sargent can wreak havoc and I believe they will do exactly that on Sunday.
Mexico is on an impressive run of form, but I believe the States are going to end their hot streak on home soil in the Mile High City, with the US front three doing their part.
Pick: United States +184
Quinn Allen is a sports journalist, with a background and education in broadcast journalism (BCIT ’17). He writes about European Football, Basketball, and Baseball for numerous sites across the globe.