By Karen Price | Nov. 15, 2019, 8:17 p.m. (ET)

Sergino Dest competes at the CONCACAF Nations League match against Canada on Nov. 15, 2019 in Orlando. 

 

In a must-win situation with some of its top players out of the lineup, the U.S. men’s soccer team stood tall.

Jordan Morris, Gyasi Zardes and Aaron Long all scored in the first half to lead Team USA to a 4-1 win over Canada and keep their hopes alive in the CONCACAF Nations League tournament on Friday in Orlando, Florida. 

The win didn’t solidify the team’s future, but it did take care of the business in front of it. The U.S. entered the game needing to win both remaining matches in the group stage to have a chance at taking first place in Group A and moving on to the semifinals.

Canada led the group going into the game with a 3-0 record and nine points, with the U.S. in second with three points after a win against Cuba and a 2-0 loss to Canada in their first meeting exactly one month earlier. 

Although the U.S. was playing a home match, winning didn’t seem like it was going to be an easy task after the losses of top attacker Christian Pulisic with a hip injury, starting goalkeeper Zack Steffen with a knee injury and midfielder Michael Bradley with an ankle injury. 

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The U.S. had some surprises in store, however, with three first-half goals.

Morris scored his eighth career goal and third of the year on a set piece just two minutes into the game. In the 23rd minute, the U.S. capitalized on a giveaway as Morris centered the ball as Canada’s goalkeeper came out to challenge him, and Zardes headed it in to make it 2-0. 

The U.S. scored again in the 34th minute on another set piece with a header by Long, and suddenly things were looking very good for the home team. 

Canada got one back in the second half, but Zardes scored again in the 89th minute. 

Coach Gregg Berhalter became the second-fastest coach to 10 wins in men's national team history, achieving double-digit victories in his 17th game at the helm.

The U.S. rounds out the month with a match against Cuba on Tuesday. 

Prior to the game, the U.S. Soccer Federation honored DaMarcus Beasley in a ceremony that’s part of a recent initiative to honor the achievements of both men’s and women’s players who’ve earned at least 100 caps and appeared on the roster of at least two World Cups or Olympic Games. Beasley is the only U.S. player to appear in four different men’s World Cup tournaments. 

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic and Paralympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.