Tonight, friendly rivals USA and Canada will go at it again. This will be the second and final match of the USA's "Celebration Series" against our Northern Neighbors. Since both teams fought to a deadlock the last time around, the desire for a win is there, even though this match is labeled as a "friendly". There's tension between these two rivals, espcially now after their tie, and neither wants to lose to the other. The World Cup runner-ups are going to want to treat their home fans to a win and finish strong against the Canadians (who ducked out in only the group stage of the WWC), especially after their WWC Final loss. Not to mention they probably could have driven Canada to the ground last week if they finished more. Canada on the other hand wants to defeat the USA on their own turf, in their own Celebration Series. Canada likely feels like they have something to prove, especially after being sent home from the WWC so early. Both teams are motivated to win, and both teams want to stay in good form and remain sharp, keeping January's Olympic Qualifiers in mind.
The key for the USA is to tweak that 4-2-3-1 formation, if they're staying with it. I would experiment with Lori Lindsey in the midfield. Put Rapinoe on the left wing and use A-Rod as a substitute. Get more services in to Wambach/Alex Morgan. Krieger is key on that right back position. Her and HaO link up often in a match, and this is crucial for the offense. Cheney and Lloyd need to distribute to middies/forwards, can't lose possession too much. Don't hold onto the ball when you have options. The defense needs to play tight and not get stretched out too much in a counter-attack. Slot Sauerbrunn into a starting position in the defense. Need to watch the gaps. Have either Cheney or Lloyd drop back when Krieger or LePeilbet go forward. Team USA can't be too predictable in their use of the wings. Go through the middle too. Just a few ideas, most are common sense, but I figured I'd share them anyway!
The final Celebration Series match-up between the USA and Canada is going to be aired on ESPN 2, live at 8pm PT, which means that it'll be 11pm ET. The match is being played at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Oregon. The capacity of the stadium is around 18,000-22,000. Only obstructed view seating is available, meaning that this macth is likely going to be a sell-out! Get ready to hear the chants and cheers! Portland may just beat out Kansas City's crazy crowd! The atmosphere is sure to be electric, and hopefully the game on the field is too!
So, will the USA come out victorious and win the Celebration Series in front of their home crowd? Or will Canada rain on the USA's parade? We'll have to wait and see until tonight when these two clash.
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