But the job’s not completed, and the Yanks must now navigate past a Canadian side that beat Panama, 2-0, earlier Thursday. The bordering nations meet Sunday with silverware on the line (8:30 pm ET | Paramount+, Univision).
As the temperature cools from a match that included four red cards, a Christian Pulisic brace, a Ricardo Pepi goal and plenty of drama, here’s who stood out.
The Arsenal backstop didn’t have much to do on a night where his defense held El Tri to one shot on goal. But he did make a highlight-reel save on a late opportunity that was ruled offside, showcasing his elite shot-stopping ability.
Jedi was sound in defense along with the rest of the backline, but the nitpick would be he didn’t make as much use of the attacking gifts in this one that make him such a valuable asset.
The former FC Dallas homegrown hardly put a foot wrong, helping marshal a backline that entirely neutralized Mexico’s attack.
The same could be said for the Atlanta United man, who was also up for the task on the rare occasions Mexico did pose an attacking threat.
The talented right back had a stellar all-around shift, then capped it off with a gorgeous run and assist on Ricardo Pepi’s capping goal. His rating is only knocked because of his late red card, a preventable moment even in the chaotic context of the match.
Another rating that could have been higher if not for an unfortunate red card. McKennie was having a vintage performance before his sending-off followed the first of two wild second-half fracases.
If not for the heroics of Christian Pulisic, Musah had a case of the man of the match, doing all the dirty work in midfield and in ball progression that makes him so valuable to this group.
Reyna’s raw gifts remain evident every time he’s on the ball, and he was in his groove throughout this contest, also helping spearhead the sequence that led to Pulisic’s first goal.
The USMNT captain was electric throughout the match, and was rewarded with a crucial brace that powered this result. When Pulisic is cooking like this, it takes this team’s ceiling to a whole new level.
The most-anticipated USMNT debut in recent memory didn’t net Balogun a goal, but it’s probably no coincidence that the three-goal outburst coincided with his arrival to the lineup given the attention he’s bound to draw from opposing defenses.
A menace on the right side, Weah was one of the team’s most dangerous players and put the ball on an absolute platter for Pulisic on the USMNT’s second goal for a delightful assist.
With news dropping from The Athletic right before the match that Gregg Berhalter is set to return to the USMNT sidelines, Callaghan’s first match as interim coach couldn’t have gone much better on the scoreboard, even if the nature of the result was arguably somewhat overshadowed by the chaotic, ejection-riddled second half.
Brought on with Ricardo Pepi in the immediate aftermath of the first red cards, de la Torre helped see out the wild finish, though the match was all but decided for the duration of his shift.
Pepi couldn’t have had a much more effective substitute appearance, bagging the capping goal right after entering the match that put it out of reach.
Zimmerman’s late cameo can be considered a successful one, as El Tri didn’t come particularly close to generating any late goals that could’ve made it interesting after his entrance.
Spelling Tim Weah as a late entrant, the lopsided scoreline didn’t really call for Aaronson’s usual calling cards of lung-busting runs and all-out energy.
Scally didn’t come on until the 89th minute with the match well decided, which didn’t leave him enough time to show much of the type of impact he can make.