United States vs Canada
2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Quarterfinal
6pm ET/4pm MT, February 26, 2013
Estadio Olímpico de C.U., Puebla, Mexico
Has a quarterfinal ever meant so much for Canadian soccer? Well, if you are the current team, then the answer is likely to be no. Tonight in Puebla, Canada and the USA will once again do battle. A familiar foe, but tonight, one of four slots in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup is at stake. The Americans missed the previous version in 2011, while Canada is looking to return for the first time since hosting the event in 2007.
The stakes are high, and both coaches know it. The players know it, and we as supporters know it all too well. The Americans are expecting Canada to come out guns a-blazing, no doubt referring to Canada's 5-1 demolition of Nicaragua to get them to this stage. Nick Dasovic's Canadians would like nothing more to make it to the World Cup, while Tab Ramos is playing it cool with the "it's just another game" line.
Well, no matter how they take it, it promises to be an excellent match. Canada's Caleb Clarke added a finishing touch and scored two goals against Nicaragua after being handed the reins of the Canadian attack, and the Americans will be wary of him. Samuel Piette was solid in the mid with Dylan Carreiro, and the defense, led by captain Doneil Henry, while showing a few rusty spots, was okay -- and against the Americans, they will need to take a step up once again.
Plus, all happened with Stefan Vukovic and Keven Aleman stapled to the bench, the latter for a still-unknown reason -- and with a weak American back line that will further be hampered by the loss of Mikey Lopez due to card accumulation, it could once again be the Caleb Clarke Show tonight. But will it? We shall find out.
The game will be on Sportsnet World, and a live stream should be available on Sportsnet.ca starting at 6pm ET. This thread is open, so have at it...feel free to post updates, reactions, and whatnot. It's all yours!