The Headliner: A Chance to do Something Special
If Canada don't win tonight it isn't the end of the world, in fact for many it will be expected. A loss on Tuesday seems like a foregone conclusion to even the most optimistic national team supporters. No matter what Canada will enter the last two games of this round with a chance to advance.
Tonight, however, they have an opportunity to significantly increase their chances of moving on to the Hex. If they beat, or even draw, Mexico at home it is likely to keep them in second place in the group going into the final two matches in September.
It's also an opportunity to demonstrate how far they have come. Any casual observer will expect Canada to lose, and likely by a wide margin, so if they can put up a strong fight they will turn heads across the country. If they can win it will thrust the program in the national consciousness more than it has been since the start of the decade.
In many ways this puts Canada in a good position: they have a lot to gain and not all that much to lose. But they won't see it that way, the team has made it clear that they want a win on home soil, and to cement their spot as an up and coming team in CONCACAF.
Key to the Game: Believe
It can be broken down tactically, player by player, but the simple answer when it comes to Canada beating Mexico is that they believe they can. Canadian men's national teams have fallen victim to their own insecurities many a time, and if they do that again tonight there is no chance they will get a result against a much more talented opposition.
Asking the players they believe that they can do something incredibly tonight, but transitioning that to the field won't be easy. If they truly believe, however, it will help in everything they try to accomplish in this match.
The good news is that Canada has several players in their starting lineup that have not been through the disappointments of Canada losing big qualifying games. They haven't been jaded by the past, and might be able to muster up enough confidence
Canada: Borjan, De Jong, Straith, Jakovic, Henry, Hutchinson, De Guzman, Johnson, Ricketts, Hoilett, Larin
Mexico: Talavera, Layun, Moreno, Reyes, Aguilar, Guardado, Marquez, Herrera, Lozano, Corona, Hernandez
Location: BC Place, Vancouver, Canada
Kick-off time: 10:00 PM Eastern
Available TV: TSN 2
Available streaming: TSN GO
For listings in other countries, check out LiveSoccerTV.com.