Nineteen-year-old phenom Yunus Musah assisted Samuel Lino’s second goal for Valencia, and Hugo Duro’s fifth, with a remarkable performance at Mestalla Stadium on Sunday, in front of the onlooking USMNT Coach Gregg Berhalter who was in the crowd to watch the American midfielder.
Valencia scored three goals in the first 16 minutes of play against Getafe. Toni Lato, Samuel Lino, and Samu Castillejo scored the trifecta for Gennaro Gattuso’s Los Che in the 5-1 victory.
Anticipation building for US World Cup roster announcement
Yunus Musah stole the show. The midfielder was on fire in an excellent first 45 minutes. In the penultimate minutes of stoppage time, Musah attempted a strike, but got underneath the ball, plummeting the shot into the bleachers.
Musah is still young. With the USMNT automatically qualifying for the 2026 World Cup as hosts, the winger will be at the prime age of 23 in four year’s time. Undoubtedly, there is a bright future ahead for the New York-born midfielder. It was evident in the match on Sunday that Musah was performing for his national head coach, considering his phenomenal play in the second half.
At the start of the second 45 minutes, Musah commenced the half with another magnificent pass that had the crowd cheering. Moreover, Yunus Musah made his presence known everywhere on the field. His maneuvers were reminiscent of a central midfielder’s box-to-box performance, instead of his natural position as a right-winger.
The consensus is that Musah is an automatic inclusion on Gregg Berhalter’s roster for the World Cup. However, in an interview with Andrew Wiebe, Berhalter discussed his strategy leading up to his declaration. The American head coach emphasized priority for players currently in top form instead of attempting to get a player fit just two months shy of the tournament.
“There’s going to be very difficult decisions that are made. There’s going to be very disappointed guys. And the only thing that I can say is that it’s not the end.”
Though Yunus Musah fits the bill of Berhalter’s prerequisites for fitness, certain utterances the head coach has made are cryptic. Specifically, his story of being used as a reserve for World Cup 1998. Nevertheless, Yunus Musah did not fail to deliver. In the 67th minute, the American midfielder recorded his second assist, distributing the ball to Hugo Doro for Valencia’s fifth goal to make it 5-0.
A late consolation goal by Uruguayan defender Gastón prevented the embarrassment of a shutout for Getafe. With a 5-1 victory, Yunus Musah built a strong case to be included in the 26-man USA roster for Qatar that will be announced on November 9 in New York.
Meanwhile, new signing Edinson Cavani was in attendance, but unavailable as a substitute. The newly acquired Uruguayan striker looks to debut for Valencia in the next nine games before LaLiga breaks for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Photo credit: IMAGO / Alterphotos
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