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TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 30: Jozy Altidore #17 of Toronto FC celebrates a goal during the first half of the MLS Eastern Conference Final, Leg 2 game against Montreal Impact at BMO Field on November 30, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Mexico Humbles US Men’s National Team After 1-0 Gold Cup Final

Mexico beat the United States Men’s National Team 1-0 in the Concacaf Gold Cup Final at Soldier Field in Chicago. Johnathan Dos Santos scored the only goal of the affair, hitting the top of the crossbar and bouncing in in the 73rd minute.

“This was what we came here for,” said the captain for the Mexican team, Andres Guardado, according to ESPN. “We did it and in an unforgettable setting. We’re very happy. The whole team was spectacular.”

Winning the Gold Cup would’ve proven to be a step in the right direction for this new US team under Gregg Berhalter. Falling just short, the Mexican team humbled this US team who won every game leading up to this one with some comfortability. This 1-0 victory for Mexico was the first time this US team trailed the entire tournament.

There are more than a few takeaways this US team can look at and bring to their attention. Jozy Altidore had a clear chance inside the first 10 minutes when he was one-on-one with goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa that he shot wide of goal. Missing a chance like that can prove cost-worthy, and it did. 20-year-old Christian Pulisic seemed to be on his own out there, trying to provide multiple chances for his team that just fell short. He had a shot in the first five minutes of the game that was saved by Ochoa, but went missing during the second half as the Mexican defense tracked his every move knowing he was the outlet the Americans sought out.

“I think what we lacked was I think some of the confidence, some of the composure,” Berhalter said about the second half, according to ESPN. “We knew it was going to be a big event, we knew it was going to be a semi-hostile crowd. And I think what I’d say is the confidence is what we lacked. Mexico certainly had it.”

Perhaps the US team lacked a bit of inexperience in the midfield. Weston McKennie proved to be a threat on both ends of the pitch earlier in the tournament, but like Pulisic, seemed to fail to impact the game in anyway. On the other side of midfield, the most experienced player on the field Michael Bradley looked to be a step behind the game entirely. Bradley was constantly beat in the midfield and provided a wealth of turnovers in crucial areas.

“We have a quality team, and we believe in a lot of the young players,” said Berhalter, according to ESPN. “We think that at the end of the day, we need to gain experience. A game like this is perfect for us. It was a big occasion, a lot of the players’ first time playing in a game like this, and we need to learn. We weren’t ready for the step tonight but we will be ready.”

 

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Written by Tyler Pence