Gold Cup 2021 Premium T-Shirt gainst odds heavily stacked against them, the USMNT’s de facto B-team was crowned 2021 Gold Cup champions after beating Mexico 1-0 in the final on Sunday.
[ MORE: USMNT B-team shocks heavy favorites Mexico in Gold Cup final (video) ]
Sunday’s final was held on Aug. 1, which means 2022 World Cup qualifying is officially starts next month. Despite the fact that Gregg Berhalter picked a squad heavy on MLS youngsters and European-based players facing somewhat uncertain futures at their current clubs, a number of players made a strong impression ahead of the September qualifiers.
Has a path to first-team USMNT minutes
Matt Turner – Turner’s Gold Cup performances might have very well brought into question Zack Steffen’s position as the undisputed no. 1 goalkeeper for the USMNT. Steffen will likely start the first game(s) of World Cup qualifying, but Turner is a lot closer to the top spot now than he was three weeks ago, when he was likely third or fourth on the depth chart. The USMNT has effectively gone from having nothing resembling a no. 1 goalkeeper, to having a strong no. 1 and a very strong 1a option, all in the span of about two years. Turner is the best pure shot-stopper in the USMNT player pool, but he’s not as sharp as he needs to be with the ball at his feet, at least not for Berhalter’s system which asks the goalkeeper to be heavily involved in both short and medium distribution.