Zack Steffen, making a save, suffered a knee injury. (J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
Zack Steffen was forced from the Concacaf Nations League final with a knee injury midway through the second half, although the U.S. men’s national team head coach Gregg Berhalter did not know how severe it was.
Steffen was replaced by Ethan Horvath, who went on to save a vital penalty kick by Andres Guardado to preserve a 3-2 lead that turned into a 3-2 win over Mexico at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver.
“I still don’t have a clear diagnosis,” Berhalter said during a media Zoom conference call. “It’s knee related but we don’t know exactly what it is we’re waiting to hear.”
During celebrations after Christian Pulisic’s game-winning penalty kick, midfielder Gio Reyna was hurt by a projectile thrown by the fans from the stands.
“It has no place in the game, spectators throwing objects onto the field,” Berhalter said, adding that it was a “total lack of respect for what’s happening on the field and all the effort that both teams were putting into the game. So really disappointing to see.
“I think he’s going to be okay, but he did take something to the head. It could have been a lot worse.”