Canada vs. United States
7:00 PM Eastern
Rio Tinto Stadium Utah, USA
CanadaSoccer.Com, Telelatino, NBC Universo, NBCDeportes.com
The Headliner: The Defining Game
It all comes down to this. Having lost on Saturday night to Mexico, winning the third place game against the United States is Canada's last chance to make the Rio 2016 Olympics in men's soccer. It is also synonymous with this tournament being considered successful in the eyes of Canadian supporters.
Even if Canada doesn't beat Colombia in the playoff game that would follow should Canada overcome the States, most would considering the victory over the U.S to be a statement of progress for the program. Should they lose however, it will prove what most already think: Canada have some good players at this level, but not enough to make a good team.
There have certainly been a couple of standouts on the Canadian team: Michael Petrasso has scored three goals, Ben Fisk has a goal and has been otherwise dangerous, Luca Gasparotto has been strong at the back, Samuel Piette remains a general in the midfield.
Canada will need all of these players and more to take down an American side who handed them a 3-1 defeat in the tournament's opening game. This time the US will come in with even more motivation, having been embarrassed during a 2-0 loss to Honduras.
Key to the Match: Putting it all together.
As aforementioned, Canada have shown flashes of brilliance so far this tournament, most notably in a strong 3-1 victory over Panama during the group stage. However, in none of these games have they come together particularly well as a team.
That isn't an option if they want a result against the United States. This team will need to be at the top of this game, as a team. That will mean being better defensively than they have been so far this tournament, while at the same time threatening the Americans on the attack.
The last time the two played the match was more even than the scoreline would suggest, but the fact that it wasn't was indicative of Canadian errors that they will have to avoid today.
Canada: Crepeau, Gagnon-Lapare, Gasparotto, Thomas, Frano, Carreiro, Piette (C), Mannella, Petrasso, Jackson-Hamel, Clarke
In defense Canada makes just one change, giving Giuliano Frano of the Seattle Sounders U-23 his first start of the tournament alongside the usual group.
In the midfield Canada has made two changes. Replacing Mauro Eustaquio is Chris Mannella who has started in most of the teams games so far while replacing Jay Chapman is Dylan Carreiro who will be making his first start of the competition.
After switching up the attack against Mexico didn't produce a goal for Benito Floro, he has reverted to his original attacking three of Petrasso, Anthony Jackson-Hamel and Caleb Clarke.