James Sands has another strong performance as USMNT beats Canada in Gold Cup

-James Sands and the USMNT played against Canada in the Gold Cup quarterfinals

-The NYCFC Captain had another great game

-Extra time and a penalty kick shootout was needed to decide the winner

James Sands of NYCFC and the USMNT
James Sands of NYCFC and the USMNT / John Dorton/USSF/GettyImages

On Sunday evening, New York City FC player, James Sands, and the United States Men's National Team played in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The Americans played against Canada, and it was the second meeting in less than a month, for the USMNT defeated their Northern neighbors in the CONCACAF Nations League finals.

Of course, the US has mostly Major League Soccer based players for the Gold Cup, and most of the roster is different. On the other hand, Canada kept 16 players from the Nations League. As such, this was a battle that was expected to go either way, despite the dominance from the Americans in the group round.

This time around, the USMNT did not score six goals, and ended up drawing Canada, 2-2. As such, the match went into a penalty kick shootout, and the Americans won.

James Sands and the USMNT survives Canada in the Gold Cup

In the first half, Sands could be deemed the best player on the pitch. In what was a quiet first half, the midfielder was everywhere. If he was needed, then he was there to pressure players, recover the ball, or receive the ball from his teammates.

Late in the first half, Sands actually suffered a poor foul, for Canada's Lucas Cavallini's studs went right into his ankle area. It resulted in just a yellow card, and fortunately the NYCFC captain was okay. However, there were some nerves for a good 30 seconds to a minute.

The second half was a little better for the USMNT, and finally in the 88th minute, Brandon Vazquez scored the opening goal. But a penalty kick goal via Canada saw the two teams go into extra time.

Then, the two rivals shared two more goals in extra time, with Canada scoring both goals thanks to an own goal. Therefore, the game went into a penalty kick shootout. Matt Turner had a stellar performance, for he saved two shots, and then Canada missed the final one to lead to the win for the US. Thankfully, the national team survived, and will now meet Panama in the semifinals.

Overall, Sands had another solid performance for the USMNT. He did not have his best passing percentage in this fixture, but he led the team in duels won, with 66.7%. He also played the entirety of the fixture, and would have been available to take a penalty kick if needed.

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In the end, the USMNT moves on, and that means Sands gets another chance to prove his worth to the national team. He is missed by New York City FC, but it is great to see him out there, representing the Red, White, and Blue.