Old Trafford is home to the Manchester United Red Devils a Club team in the English Premier League, but today it will be home to the Olympic Semi Final game in the Women’s soccer tournament that will be between powerhouse USA and the upstart Canadians.
The two countries that are separated a by dotted line and have a great relationship in some things in life; are also each other’s biggest rivals. The USA has dominated the Canadians when it comes to women’s soccer. In fact, Canada has only won three times and the last time came in 2001.
That being said, Canada is playing their best soccer at the perfect time of the year. In addition, they have qualified for the Semi Finals in a major tournament for the first time since 2003. That year, Canada was eliminated in heartbreaking fashion against Sweden. Canada opened the scoring that night before Sweden scored two unanswered to win 2-1.
The USA comes into the game on a roll. They breezed through their qualifying in Vancouver to get to the Olympics; they dismantled the three teams in Group G fairly easily and made quick work of their Quarter Final opponent New Zealand.
For USA, gold is the only option. They are two times defending Olympic gold medalist and are currently ranked #1 in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings. If Canada is to upset the States today, it would pretty much be Canada’s Miracle on the field. Those words seem like bold words but it is almost the truth. Canada is the underdog and the whole world knows it.
Furthermore, USA still has something to prove following their second place finish at last years Women’s World Cup in Germany. Japan’s upset in the Final last year gave the Americans a bitter taste. Unfortunately for Canada and the rest of the world the taste is still in their mouth.
Despite being the major underdog, Canada feels they also still have something to prove. USA beating Canada at the Olympics in 2008 is one thing, but Canada still feels the effects from their lack-lustered performance at last years World Cup. In the World Cup, Canada could only muster one goal in three games and their scoring chances through out the three games were few and far between.
Canada has turned it around since then and to think for a second what it would be like if Canada upsets Alex Morgan and the United States is hard to believe. In a country that soccer is not the main sport. Canadian soccer fans never know what type of moment it will take for Canada to become a bigger soccer country. If Canada wins tomorrow, will that be our moment? One can only hope.
The game kicks off today at 11:45amPT/2:45pmET and can be seen on TSN.