Canada had not scored against the USA in 12 years.
Canada has not beaten the USA in 34 years.
And Canada has not beaten the USA in a competitive match in 39 years.
That all changed Tuesday night when Canada beat the USA, 2-0, in their Concacaf Nations League match in Toronto.
So easily you wondered what Canada's problem was all these years.
The Canadians built up the match as their biggest in a decade -- "a cup
final," according to head coach John Herdman -- and they played like it was.
And their foes?
The USA's performance was the worst in a competitive match since the 4-0
loss to Costa Rica in November 2016 -- a week after the presidential election -- that cost Jurgen Klinsmann his job.
The only difference in how the two games played out was that
the Ticos finished their chances and the Canadians didn't. They would have won 4-0 but for some poor finishing by their young strikers, Jonathan David and Alfonso Davies.
Like against Costa Rica three years ago, the USA lacked ideas and lacked inspiration against Canada. In a word, it looked lost.
The team that lost to Costa Rica in 2016 was experienced.
Ten of the 11 starters -- all but 18-year-old Christian Pulisic -- had been to the World Cup in Brazil.
Just two of the starters against Canada have World Cup experience, though
both of them, Michael Bradley and DeAndre Yedlin, along with the U.S. captain, Tim Ream, were all involved in the series of mistakes that gifted Canada its first goal.
The USA was in the sixth year of Klinsmann's tenure and on a downward trajectory for more than a year when it crashed at the Estadio Nacional. It took all of nine months for the USA hit bottom
under Gregg Berhalter.
The scary part is that you could see it coming. The same mistakes, the same bursts of frustration, the same deer-in-the-headline looks that have popped up
every few months.
Two years on from Couva and the loss to Trinidad & Tobago that eliminated the USA from the 2018 World Cup -- one year with Dave Sarachan and one with
Berhalter -- just how much better are the players in the senior team than they were then?
You could probably think of two who are better: Tyler Adams, who has not played in almost
five months because of injuries, and Sergino Dest, who might never play for the USA again.
But a good national team should be greater than the individual ability of its players and
their form should be better on the national team than at their club level, and the USA has been lacking in both regards.
It took 16 months from the first sign of a serious erosion of form
-- at the 2015 Gold Cup -- before Klinsmann was fired. And that was too long.
U.S. Soccer was ready to make a change six months earlier, but its CEO, Dan Flynn, needed heart
surgery, and the move was put off. When it was finally made, the USA was in last place in the Hexagonal with no points after two games.
Is Berhalter's job in jeopardy? Not yet. But if the
USA has another performance against Canada in the rematch next month in Orlando like in Toronto on Tuesday night? All bets are off.