The US brings an inexperienced group to the finals on Sunday, with the only youngster taking on the fight a few weeks ago
Gregg Berhalter’s US men’s team for Sunday’s final for the Gold Cup against Mexico is the second youngest team the USA has ever drawn in a tournament final.
Berhalter made four changes during the semi-final over Qatar, by placing defenders George Bello and Reggie Cannon, midfielder Eryk Williamson and forward Gyasi Zardes in the starting XI.
And with an average age of 24 years, 236 days old, this XI is only best achieved by the one who started a few weeks back in the Nations League final against Mexico, who started the match with a average age of 24 years, 206 days.
A closer look
Berhalter’s XI features six players under the age of 25: Bello (19), Matthew Hoppe (20), James Sands (21), Cannon (23), Miles Robinson and Eryk Williamson (24).
The XI also features an average of 19 games, with the numbers being skewed by Zardes (62), Paul Arriola (39), Kellyn Acosta (37) and Sebastian Lletget (29).
Acosta is the only starter returning from the USMNT’s Nations League final over Mexico, while Arriola tonight leads the USMNT for the second time while playing in its third consecutive Gold Cup final.
As head coach, Berhalter is 10-1-0 in Gold Cup matches, with the only loss coming in the tournament’s final against Mexico in 2019.
El Tri beat the U.S. 1-0 on the day behind a goal from Jonathan dos Santos, who deserved the start for Mexico.
Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino, meanwhile, made just one change to his team in Mexico that knocked Canada out in its semifinal.
Nestor Araujo replaced Carlos Salcedo in defense after the Tigres star struggled in the semi-final and missed a penalty in the eventual victory.