I-5 Rivalry to Play Out in London Semifinals


The North American sides will battle for a place in the final

By Kara McDermott, Prost Amerika Women’s Football Correspondent

For all the travel that it took to get the Canadian and US Women’s National teams to the London Olympics, it will be as much a cross-country as a cross-town rivalry when the two teams play in the Olympic semifinals on Monday August at 11:45 a.m. PST.

Both teams will have plenty to play for. The US is still smarting sharply from losing in the World Cup final and these Olympics act as somewhat of a consolation tournament for the top ranked team in the world.

Canada is playing in a historical tournament for their country. The women’s team has never advanced out of group play in either a World Cup or Olympics. After winning a wild card advancement spot to the quarterfinals where they beat Great Britain, this will be the first team that has a shot at medaling.

The North American showdown is also something of a Cascadia derby, as both the Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps will be well-represented.

From the rave green comes goalkeeper Hope Solo, midfielder Megan Rapinoe and forward Alex Morgan all expected to start. Both Rapinoe and Morgan have been very important gears in the American offensive machine in this tournament, with assists and goals from both. Sydney Leroux has been available off the bench and scored the security goal against New Zealand after subbing off Morgan in the quarterfinals.

Leroux probably best exemplifies the feud between the two teams. She played for the Whitecaps and the Canadian U-20 team before switching allegiances to Seattle in 2012 and USWNT U-20 in 2008, making her debut with the senior squad just last year.

From the current Whitecaps squad comes midfielder Desiree Scott, who has played every minute of every game so far this tournament and has been a go-to player for coach John Herdman over the last year. Joining her is Brittany Timko, a forward that has had limited minutes off the bench so far but who started against the US in the two teams’ friendly sendoff before the Summer Games.

So far, the real breakout star of the Olympics has been Melissa Tancredi, who is tied with Abby Wambach for most goals with four a piece. Already a legend of Canadian soccer, Christine Sinclair is close behind them with three goals for herself. After managing only one goal in last year’s World Cup, the team’s eight goals is a huge improvement. The US is currently sitting on 10 goals.

The rivalry between these two national teams has been of longstanding. Though Canada has grown exponentially in recent years, and seems to be flourishing all the more after hiring Herdman after the World Cup, it has still been 11 years since Canada has beaten the US.

John Herdman – Canada Coach is on the verge of national glory

In just the last year, Canada and the US have squared off four times. Following the World Cup, they played a celebration series starting with a 1-1 tie in Kansas City and ending with a 3-0 victory for the US in Portland.

The teams regrouped for the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament in January in Vancouver. Placed in separate pools, they met in the final after both teams has stamped passports to the Olympics by virtue of being the top two teams.

Canada seemed to have expended all their energy on qualifying and as such the US coasted to a 4-0 decimation of host side.

However, Canada showed more signs of life in the Olympic send-off friendly.

Discounting an early own-goal by Carmelino Moscato, Canada was the first on the board with a 57th minute goal by Tancredi assisted by Sinclair. The US only pulled away in the 85th minute with a goal by Amy Rodriguez for a 2-1 win.

France vs. Japan at 9:00 a.m. PST

France and Japan will play the first semifinal match at 9:00 a.m. PST. Japan overcame a huge hurdle by putting two goals away while holding off Brazil’s crafty offense in the quarterfinals. France likewise faced a tough opponent by beating UEFA comrade Sweden.


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