The US men’s national team grabbed a last minute 1-0 victory against Honduras, advancing to the Nations League final against Mexico.
Despite USMNT’s all star roster, they could barely hold control of the match. Honduras challenged the United States during the entirety of the game, until unsung hero Jordan Siebatcheu scored a dramatic late goal to seal the deal.
Head coach Gregg Berhalter insisted after the game that this is exactly the kind of game the United States men’s national team needed before moving on to other tournaments.
“We're happy, and this game is exactly what we needed when you think about the level of competition, the competitiveness of the game," he said. "Some of these guys have never seen that before.
"So, really happy with how they dealt with it. I think the mental side of it to just keep grinding and wearing them down was really important. It wasn't an easy game at all. We had chances in the first half that we didn't finish. I think we got too open in the second half at times, not enough balance. But again, for the guys to have to compete and dig like that at altitude, in heat, they did a fantastic job.”
The players reacted in the same high spirits as Berhalter, commenting on the difficulty of the game instead of praising their abilities. In this particular game, mentality played a vital role in the end result.
“For many of the guys, and then myself as well, for being our first experience, a real taste of what Concacaf is going to be like, I think we handled it pretty well,” said midfielder Weston McKennie.
“We could have easily lost our head. And the boys kept reiterating, and then I also kept reiterating to the guys, we have to stay focused, we have to do our job. We have to complete the tasks we set out to do, which was to score, to win the game. And as you saw the guys did it.”