The stage is set for Sunday evening's Concacaf Nations League final, with the US men's national team and Mexico reprising their rivalry with a regional trophy on the line in Denver, Colorado (9 pm ET | CBSSN, Paramount+, Univision). During the semifinal stage, the US and Mexico narrowly navigated their way past Honduras and Costa Rica, respectively, to inch closer to the inaugural Nations League title.
From a USMNT perspective, they'll be hoping for a reversal of recent matchups with El Tri. They've dropped two straight against them, including a 1-0 loss in the 2019 Gold Cup final after LA Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos scored the game's lone goal.
To get ready for Sunday's affair, here's what you need to know.
- Sunday, June 6 | 9 pm ET
- Empower Field at Mile High | Denver, Colorado
How to watch and stream
What to know: USA
The USMNT, playing in their first competitive game since November 2019, eked out a 1-0 win over Honduras in the first of two semifinals on Thursday evening. The game-winner came from Jordan Siebatcheu in the 89th minute, as the Young Boys striker headed a set-up feed from Weston McKennie into the top corner as penalty kicks loomed.
As expected, attacker Christian Pulisic and goalkeeper Zack Steffen returned to the starting XI after their club teams squared off in the UEFA Champions League final, a 1-0 victory for Pulisic’s Chelsea over Steffen’s Manchester City. Head coach Gregg Berhalter also started two MLSers in midfield, with Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy) going the distance and Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes) logging 83 minutes before Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids) replaced him as a substitute.
Now, the Yanks will seek more sharpness in the final third after some moves petered out against Honduras. Perhaps midfielders Yunus Musah or Tyler Adams feature after both youngsters remained on the bench against Los Catrachos.
To reach the CNL semifinals, the US needed tiebreakers to edge past Canada in Group A. Just last weekend, they dropped a 2-1 tuneup match against Switzerland ahead of their hosts beginning the Euro 2020 tournament.
What to know: Mexico
Those who expected Mexico to storm past Costa Rica in the second CNL semifinal Thursday night were left disappointed, as the two teams battled to a 0-0 draw through regulation time. Penalty kicks then tilted in El Tri’s favor, with goalkeeper Memo Ochoa ensuring they’d get a 5-4 victory from the spot.
Mexico, led by former Atlanta United manager Tata Martino, brought on Sporting Kansas City striker Alan Pulido in the 58th minute as they searched for a game-winner. While Pulido couldn’t steer one past Costa Rica goalkeeper Leonel Moreira, he found better luck in the PK shootout upon netting Mexico's fourth attempt.
Mexico may be considered the favorites by many, with Napoli winger Hirving “Chucky” Lozano and Ajax defender Edson Alvarez among their standouts. Longtime central midfielders Andres Guardado (Real Betis) and Hector Herrera (Atletico Madrid) remain important members of the starting XI, too.
El Tri won Group B with ease to reach the CNL semifinals, with Bermuda and Panama unable to take down the regional giants. To prepare for these tests, Mexico knocked off Iceland 2-1 in a May 29 friendly.
Get caught up for game day
Check out the latest USMNT coverage on MLSsoccer.com as Berhalter's side looks to build upon beating Honduras.