Non-Goal of the Week: 3/28/22

Here's a non-goal you don't see every day: an outstanding no-look split pass from the USA men's national team. While the Americans are well known for their athleticism and determination, we don't see many truly great non-goals from the USA as they grind their way through the CONCACAF qualification process to the World Cup. But we're hoping this is a sign of things to come--together with the classy finish from Pulisic for his third goal vs Panama, America is starting to play with a style and joie de vivre we haven't seen in a long, long time, if ever.

Let's take a look at the non-goal. Gio Reyna was a late substitution vs Panama, but it was clear he was looking to connect with his forwards and add to the USA's goal differential tally. After a short clearance from Panama, Reyna receives the ball outside the top of the box. Moving laterally, he shields the ball from the light pressure of Panama's midfield, and then does his best Steve Nash-to-a-cutting-through-the-lane-Shawn Marion to find Luca de la Torre with a diabolical look-away pass through two Panamanian defenders.

The look-away is so good. He freezes the Panama back line with his eye contact on Pulisic out wide. He keeps his eyes on Pulisic as he passes to de la Torre cutting inside to keep that channel open.

De la Torre is in a ton of space to look up and find Jesus Ferreira who can't get his body position right and hits the ball over the goal.

But take a look at Reyna's reaction after the miss. If the USA's going to stand a chance of getting out of the group stage in Qatar, they'll have to turn these non-goals into actual goals and he knows it.


And just for fun, here's a look at Pulisic's high-quality finish for his third goal: