The United States men's national team got some revenge Friday.
Exactly one month after a harrowing defeat to Canada had many calling for the U.S. to tear things down and start from scratch, the Americans got back on track with an impressive 4-1 win over their northern neighbor on a rainy night in Orlando.
Newly crowned MLS champion Jordan Morris stole the show in the opening half, getting Gregg Berhalter's side off to a perfect start after only two minutes. The Seattle attacker then took advantage of some slack Canadian defending to set up Gyasi Zardes' simple finish in the 23rd minute.
A towering header from Aaron Long 11 minutes later had the host nation cruising going into halftime despite being without both star attacker Christian Pulisic and midfield mainstay Michael Bradley.
Canada showed some fight in the second half, getting a lifeline through Steven Vitoria's tally. But after looking lethargic for most of the second stanza, the United States' much-needed win was cemented when Zardes completed his brace in the waning minutes of the match.
"In my mind, the difference in performance was the U.S. were bloody clinical. ... They hurt us when our full-backs were high," Canada boss John Herdman said after the game, according to TSN's Kristian Jack. "All credit to Gregg, who has silenced some critics here."
The Canadians still sit atop their CONCACAF Nations League group on nine points, but the U.S. can leapfrog them and secure first place in the three-team section by beating winless Cuba on Tuesday.
Friday's comprehensive result, which saw the USMNT secure its place in the 2021 Gold Cup, gave Berhalter his 10th win as U.S. manager in just his 17th match in charge.
Despite much hand-wringing over his tactical approach during his tumultuous tenure, Berhalter is the second-fastest U.S. bench boss to reach double-digit wins; Bob Bradley hit the mark in 2007 after just 11 games.