Redskin

Two finals, two trophies: USMNT’s late Gold Cup winner symbolizes a very successful summer


Before this summer, fourteen years had passed since the U.S. men’s national team last defeated Mexico in a cup final.

By late Sunday night, after Miles Robinson rose up to hammer home a Kellyn Acosta cross in the 117th minute of the Gold Cup final, lifting the U.S. to an improbable 1-0 win, the U.S. had done so twice in a span of two months.

The winning goal was a moment that illustrated that depth and the building process under head coach Gregg Berhalter over the past two-plus years. 

Acosta and Robinson had been two of the U.S. men’s national team’s standout performers over the course of the 1-0 win. They also represented two different paths to a U.S. men’s national team that Berhalter constructed by looking up and down the U.S. pool for talent. Acosta had been out of the national team picture since 2017 and was mostly out of mind with the Colorado Rapids when Berhalter brought him back into the mix in December 2020. Robinson, meanwhile, had been seen as a USMNT prospect but was denied a chance to play with the U.S. under-23 Olympic qualifying team by his club, Atlanta United, earlier this year. In selecting him to the Gold Cup squad, Berhalter was offering a chance to make an impression this summer.

Both players grabbed hold of those opportunities and played crucial parts not just on Sunday, but also as leaders in a team few expected to win the Gold Cup. Both are now also expected to play a role for the U.S. when World Cup qualifying starts in one month.

“It’s trust in the player pool,” Berhalter said Sunday night. “Through the course of these last couple years we’ve been evaluating people non-stop. I mean you (media) know who’s been in camps, and that’s what it was about, evaluating to get to these points.





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