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The US Men’s National Team (Soccer) is Playing for the Nation’s League Final this Sunday! What it is and Why You Should Care

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The 2023 CONCACAF Nations League Finals was the final tournament of the 2022–23 edition of the CONCACAF Nations League. This international football competition involved the men’s national teams of the 41 member associations of CONCACAF. The tournament took place from 15 to 18 June 2023 in the United States and was contested by the four group winners of Nations League A: Mexico, Panama, Canada, and the United States (the host country).

CONCACAF Nations League Semifinals USA vs Mexico

The tournament took place over four days and consisted of single-leg knockout matches, including two semi-finals on June 15, a third-place playoff, and the final on June 18, 2023. In these matches, if the scores were level at the end of normal time, 30 minutes of extra time would be played. If the score was still level after extra time, the winner would be determined by a penalty shootout.

The four teams were ranked based on their results in the group stage to determine the semi-final matchups. The first seed played the fourth seed, and the second seed played the third seed. The matches were held at the Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada, part of the Las Vegas area. Each national team had to submit a squad of 23 players, three of whom had to be goalkeepers, at least ten days before the opening match of the tournament.

 

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The semifinal match was between the United States and Mexico. The match was temporarily stopped in the 90th minute due to homophobic chants from the crowd, and it ended in the eighth minute of stoppage time, four minutes before the allotted time had expired, due to more chants. The United States won the final with a score of 3-0 against Mexico, with Christian Pulisic scoring two goals and Ricardo Pepi scoring one.

The final match between USA and Canada is scheduled for Sunday, June 18, 2023 at 8:30PM ET.

What is the CONCACAF Nations League?

The CONCACAF Nations League is a football (soccer) competition for teams from the Confederation of North, Central American, and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). It was first announced in 2017, with the inaugural tournament taking place from 2019 to 2020.

The competition serves to provide more meaningful and competitive matches for teams across CONCACAF, instead of meaningless friendlies. It’s also designed to allow smaller nations to have the opportunity to compete more regularly, with promotion and relegation allowing for upward mobility.

The CONCACAF Nations League consists of three leagues – League A, League B, and League C – with promotion and relegation between them. Each league is further divided into groups. The winners of the groups in League A qualify for the Nations League Finals, which includes a semi-finals round, a third-place match, and the final. The last-place teams in each group in League A are relegated to League B for the next edition of the tournament. Similarly, the group winners in League B are promoted to League A, and the last-place teams in each group in League B are relegated to League C. The group winners in League C are promoted to League B.

For teams in League A, the competition also serves as a qualifying path for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the main championship tournament for teams in the region.

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