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SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Ethan Horvath


Ethan Horvath probably did not expect to play a major role in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s Concacaf Nations League Final showdown against Mexico, but ended the night in Denver, Colorado, as the SBI Man of the Match for Gregg Berhalter’s side.

The backup goalkeeper came in for an injured Zack Steffen and helped the USMNT to a 3-2 victory over rivals Mexico, making a game-saving penalty stop near the end of extra time and several other big stops before it. Horvath’s performance off the bench edged Weston McKennie and Gio Reyna for SBI’s Man of the Match honors.

Horvath replaced the injured Steffen in the 69th minute and made four key saves to help the USMNT lift the trophy in the first edition of the tournament. His biggest stop came in stoppage time of the second half of extra time, as he dove to his right to deny Andres Guardado’s potentially game-tying penalty kick and ensure the Americans were crowned champions.

Horvath also stood strong to repel Hirving Lozano’s strike in the 90th minute before also parrying away Henry Martin’s chance in the 98th minute. Lozano was left frustrated later in extra time as Horvath denied him once again.

After enduring a frustrating season at the club level with Belgian side Club Brugge, Horvath played a key role in the first international trophy win for the USMNT since 2017.

What did you think of Horvath’s performance? Who was your pick for Man of the Match?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. MOM has little meaning when there are 3 players who rightly deserved heaps of praise. Without McKennie, Reyna and Horvath, the US would not have won. There is a penchant for wanting a single player to be responsible for the team’s play, but there is no way you can disregard any of these three all of them stepped up and performed better than expected.

  2. McKennie for me. For all the reasons listed below, his energy (dude was sprinting to press in the 120th min!), and also his toughness. I think he was in the middle of every scrum that took place, enough that I cringed afraid he would get carded, but just love the fight he brings to a team that has been, frankly, quite soft over the last few years. Reyna and Horvath were both fantastic. Acosta had his best game for the US in a long time, thought he was an important part of the win. Yedlin was solid defensively, I thought Weah brought some energy and had a impact off the bench.

    • @JB, totally agreed with your assessment on all 3 of the players for the MOTM. Despite Mark McKenzie had had a bad game, I’d like to give a shout-out to McKenzie’s courage and mental toughness to stay in the game til the very end. McKenzie does need to work on & improve his passing. Learn to have better decision making and just boot the ball out to safety when things get too tight. I’m sure McKenzie would rather give up a throw-in or a corner than gifting a goal to the opponents. Overall, McKenzie defended quite well throughout the Nations League semifinal & final.

  3. I think Reyna and Mckennie ahead of Horvath. Without those two, there’s no extra time and no chance for Horvath to shine.

    I’d say Reyna ahead of McKennie, since McKennie did blow a chance to feed Sargent for a 1v1 versus the keeper and shot from far out instead.

  4. Looks like Horvath’s contract with Brugge expires at the end of this month. Gotta believe his agent will be awfully busy.

    • he needs to be smart and avoid the american penchant for hyperambition that landed him as a second fiddle in the first place. i mean, we had a backup club keeper behind a backup club keeper.

      i do think his two games were a good shop window for him. i also think we should be splitting more of the game time out anyway for roster competition and so the backups are prepared in this circumstance. one of the big problems with USSF right now is it buys hype and kind of decides who should start without a game being played.

      part of the reason i have been pimping horvath despite his club situation is i remembered how good he looked — when not having brain farts — in NT games. we need more people picked on actually playing well. less on, well, we decided on paper this is the depth chart. i am sure this job was “supposed to be” either guzan’s or johnson’s, as kingly succession. but there are a lot better keepers than either guy.

      • That’s not true…he was number one at Brugges (when he got there and after) then the club signed Mignolet and he lost his spot…then he stayed for 2 years and never displaced Mignolet…he should have left 2 years ago….not sure him staying was hyperambition…perhaps he just didn’t have good/better options….

  5. Hard disagreement! Reyna is MVP!
    Reyna was most dangerous players, assist and goal but Beerholder sub Reyna? for loser like Reyna? Reyna is so far best MVP players during Nations League.

    • i think he’s the future and to me he’s more dangerous against better teams than even pulisic. i’d move him and christian central. in any case what he needs is someone at 9 he can feed to finish his efforts. sargent was largely ineffective.

      • Maybe Dike or Hoppe will be that new #9. Reyna has been blessing for USNT, has surprise me with soccer IQ, his vision, understanding his team, and technical skills.

    • I thought, going into the match a healthy Tecatito is more dangerous than Chucky Lozano because Lozano gets to emotional when things don’t go his way. This isn’t the 1st match.

  6. It has to be Weston McKennie. He was a beast going both ways. Could have had 3-4 goals off of headers if not for the post or Memo’s saves. Best game in a USA shirt.

    • Mckennie 100%. He was the best player on the field last night. Goal, assist, forced two other good saves and set the high tempo defensively in midfield.
      Horvath had the big moment but over 120 mins it’s mckennie all day

    • Without his header off the post, Reyna doesn’t score. McKennie was responsible for 2 out of our 3 goals and he was , as you say, the most active defensive player as well In a post in the Comments section for the article on the match outcome I predicted this when I said that McKennie deserved MOTM but he probably wouldn’t get it.

      • McKennie was in the middle of everything last night. 120 minutes of box-to-box lung-busting runs and coverage. In Denver. Horvath had a fairy tale night for sure, but McKennie was the man of the match by good a distance. Pun intended.

  7. Can’t wait for him to find a club that will make him a starter…I had complete confidence in him for the penalty kick…I believe he had a stop or two for Brugges and Molde…..and how about his Belgian accent….

    • The accent surprises me considering he spent his formative years in the USA. Whatever though, seems like a really sweet kid.


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