USWNT face rivals Canada with spot in final on the line

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photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. women's national team are a step away from advancing to the final of the Olympic tournament, but they will have to go through a familiar opponent if they are to have a chance at fighting for gold.

The United States takes on northern rivals Canada at Old Trafford on Monday (2:45 p.m. ET NBC Sports Network, NBCOlympics.com) and the winner will proceed to the Thursday finale against the victor of the other semifinals match between Japan and France. The Americans are coming off a 2-0 win over New Zealand, but Canada also won by the same scoreline against hosts Great Britain in the quarterfinals. Those results have set up what should be a thrilling latest installment of the rivalry between the two CONCACAF nations, even if Canada have not been entirely convincing throughout the tournament.

The Canadians reached the knockout phase of the competition via one of the two third-place berths, and their 1-1-1 record in group play shows they have not been one of the more consistent teams in the tournament. Still, they boast quality forwards Christine Sinclair and Melissa Tancredi, giving them a lethal duo up top that is sure to challenge Hope Solo, Christie Rampone and the rest of an American back line that has not surrendered a goal in its last three games.

On offense, the United States should have no problem creating chances. Canada gave up four goals in their three group games, and Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd should be enough firepower in the attack to keep the likes of Lauren Sesselmann and Rhian Wilkinson busy.

While the match is special in that the winner will have an opportunity to play for gold, it will hold signifcant value for young American forward Sydney Leroux. The 22-year-old Leroux was born in Canada before deciding to play for the United States, and she was heckled non-stop during the Americans' Olympic qualifying final win against Canada at BC Place in Vancouver in January.

In fact, that is the last time the two teams have met and the winner of that bout was the United States, which claimed a decisive 4-0 triumph. Things will likely be tougher this go-around, so the Americans will need to put together another strong outing in order to avoid a massive disappointment while also getting one step closer to grabbing gold.

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How do you see the U.S women faring against Canada? Expecting a difficult match from the Americans' northern rivals?

Share your thoughts below.

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10 Responses to USWNT face rivals Canada with spot in final on the line

  1. THomas says:

    I never think I will enjoy watching the women, but every time I do I love it. If JK is looking for a distinctively American style of play to aspire to, look no further.

  2. Shane says:

    Canadian coach said the US uses “highly illegal” tactics on set pieces. Between that and the men’s coach complaining about MLS rules hurting Canadian players, I’m sick of Canada’s whining. Normally I wish the best for Canada but the gloves are off. I hope the US ladies bury them with goals. Go USA!

  3. SBI Faux Editors says:

    Last time both teams met was a 2-1 victory for the US before the Olympics

  4. drew11 says:

    Canada? What a rough draw to the final that was for the US.

  5. orh says:

    Canada needs to put some serious cash in their development. I can’t honestly think of any quality Canadian player beyond DeRosario and Hutchinson. Canada has less quality than Faroe Islands

  6. rfl says:

    how much do the players make playing for the Nat team?

  7. I think it will be a tough match. US wins 2-1.

  8. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    GO, CANADA, GO!!!

  9. Jacques says:

    I know this is tow Women team facing each other an all, but the coach saying that the US uses Highly “HIGHLY” illegal tactics on set pieces , C’mon man !! u are a coach ( a MAn) you making Canadians sound like little bitches !! Tired of it !! GO USA !! I hope we score at least 2 GOALS on set pieces , I know the bitch I mean coach will complain !!