World Cup Qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup is just around the corner for the Canadian Men’s soccer team. However, Stephen Hart’s team will be focusing on something else today at BMO Field.
The something else is an International Friendly against Canada’s rival to the south. USA will be a difficult challenge for Canada. Despite the Americans 4-1 loss to Brazil on Wednesday, the States are a talented team that will be looking to get back in the wining ways.
For Canada, it’s a measuring stick game. The world knows that USA is a more superior team than Canada; look no further than the FIFA World Rankings. Canada sits 75th in the world and 9th in CONCACAF. In contrast, USA is 29th in the world and 2nd in CONCACAF.
For both teams, this will be the final Friendly before World Cup Qualifying gets underway this Friday. Canada was plotted in a group with Honduras, Cuba and Panama. While, the United States is in a group of Jamaica Guatemala and Antigua and Barbuda.
Both teams have different expectations for qualifying. For USA, failing to qualify for the World Cup would be disastrous. USA narrowly missed out on the Quarter Finals in the 2010 World Cup As for Canada, advancing to the final stage of qualification would be a small step in the right direction. Canada’s 26-year World Cup drought is surely weighing in on Canadian fans.
Canada has not fared well against USA in the past. Their last meeting was in 2011 Gold Cup when USA beat Canada 2-0. The last time the Canadians beat the Americans was April 2nd 1985. (However, they beat them in penalty kicks in 2002). The wins are few and far between but it doesn’t mean today’s task is impossible.
If Canada is going to get the result they want today they will have to play a lot better when they did on February 29th against Armenia. Canada opened the scoring in the fifth minute from a goal by Kevin McKenna. After that, the game was an embarrassment. Armenia added three goals for themselves on route to give Canada the loss. If you were unaware this game took place you would had been in the majority. In fact, I have never even heard of Armenia let alone be able to locate it on the map.
I believe Canada will come out hard today. Their going to want to prove to their fans that this team has a chance to compete for the three and a half World Cup spots those are up for grabs. Canada will lose 3-2 in a highly entertaining game.
Today’s game kicks off at 7ET/4PT on all four Sportsnet channels.