By IVES GALARCEP
USA-Canada might not be regarded as much of a rivalry, but recent results on the soccer field, both in men’s and women’s soccer, have helped to cultivate a budding rivalry worthy of the proximity of the neighboring nations.
From Canada’s upset win over the U.S. Under-23 team a year ago (a win that ultimately helped keep the U.S. from going to the Olympics), to the U.S. Women’s Olympic Team’s dramatic Olympic semifinal win against the Canadian women’s team, the past year has seen an increase in interest in clashes between the two countries (even if a pair of scoreless shutouts by the senior men’s teams in June and January were painfully boring).
The next chapter in this suddenly burgeoning rivalry takes place in Mexico today, when the U.S. Under-20 national team takes on Canada in the CONCACAF Under-20 Championships (6pm, Fox Soccer Channel). The winner books a place in the Under-20 World Cup.
The match is of vital importance for both countries. For the U.S., the match is an opportunity to avoid missing three international tournaments in two years (after missing the 2011 Under-20 World Cup and Olympics). For Canada, which has already seen its team eliminated from 2014 World Cup qualifying, this U-20 team is seen as a key squad in the development of the talent pool that Canada will draw from for the 2018 World Cup, Canada’s next target.
SBI will be providing live commentary so be sure to join us for the match.
What players are you looking forward to seeing? Do you like the U.S. Team’s chances of beating Canada, or do you fear another U.S. loss to Canada on the youth level?
Share your thoughts below.