USA vs Mexico Nations League Final Prediction
USA vs Mexico Nations League Final Prediction – The CONCACAF Nations League soccer final between the USMNT and Mexico is slated for a 9:00 pm EST kick off Saturday, June 6. The US squeezed a win out of their match against Honduras with an 89th minute goal by Theoson Siebatcheu to lock in their place in the finals. Mexico had an equally tough time finding the back of the net against Costa Rica, going straight into penalty kicks after taking thirteen shots and scoring none. 5-4 in penalties booked them their ticket to the inaugural Nationals League final.
This is an age-old rivalry—Mexico and USMNT—that leans in the favor of Mexico according to history. The last time the two teams faced, in a friendly match on September 6th 2019, Mexico pulled away with a clear 3-0 victory. And only three months before that in the Gold Cup Final, Mexico won 1-0. In fact, in the last five years, these two teams have faced each other five times. Mexico has won three of those five matchups. The US? Only one.
USA: Ways to Win
So how does the USMNT turn the tides of history and score back some points in this North American rivalry? Well, having Tyler Adams back will be a massive addition and be much needed assistance in the defensive third which needs to be cleaned up greatly.
If the USMNT wants to beat Mexico, they need to hammer out the kinks in their back four. Silly mistakes, getting caught out of position, not playing as a unit, these have all been apparent issues in the match against Switzerland and Honduras. Switzerland made the US pay for it in a way Honduras couldn’t, but Mexico most certainly will. Beating Mexico is going to require a cohesive defensive unit. Tyler Adams needs to cover a lot of ground and work as a black hole, killing any attack generated.
Offensively, USA needs better final products. Reyna was really impressive and sliced through the Honduras defense on multiple occasions, but the shots were far from desirable. Quite frankly, Siebatcheu’s goal came out of nowhere and felt slightly random. The US continues to do a good job to create chances, but they’re really not making goalies work. This will be the best defensive line and the best goalie they come up against in Ochoa, so the end result has to be there.
Mexico: Ways to Win
The defense has been the greatest weak point of the USMNT. Besides Dest, who is absurdly quick, pace is lacking within their back line. They’re easy to counter along the flanks, especially when Dest pushes on. Although he is quick, he doesn’t track back particularly well and will leave plenty of counter-attacking opportunities.
If Mexico gets numbers up on offense and stays connected, they’ll give the US a lot of trouble. Neither Switzerland or Honduras really put together cohesive attacks with a lot of possession. Switzerland did so a few times and always looked threatening. Mexico needs to bring their midfield into attack and that will come from Guardado and Herrera.
Mexico needs to win individual matchups. They came out in a 3-4-3 against Costa Rica, but with the USMNT formation and their numbers up on the wings, they’re going to need to do a really good job of defending individually. Honduras failed miserably at this, constantly missing challenges and giving up set pieces where, admittedly, the US looked far from dangerous. Don’t get beat by the likes of Reyna, Pulisic, and Musah, or whoever plays in those wide positions and they’ll be just fine. Easier said than done, though.
USA vs Mexico: Prediction
This final is being played in Denver, so altitude will be a factor. Depth will be integral in those late stages of the game where fatigue hits hard and mistakes follow quickly. Honduras did not seem fit and suffered the consequences, so if this game maintains a stalemate throughout the first hour of the match, look for those last few minutes to be decided by who is more fit and who works harder.
For that, I think the USA will take it by a slim margin and late in the game.
Prediction: USA 2 Mexico 1