London 2012: 10 Bold Predictions for Canada vs. USA Football Semifinal
Canada. The United States of America. Two neighbors with one of the best sporting rivalries in the world. From ice hockey, to rugby, to baseball, to cricket, to lacrosse...any match involving Canada and the USA will be sure to bring out the best in any athlete that takes part in these proceedings.
On Monday at the Theatre of Dreams that is Old Trafford in Manchester, that rivalry is rekindled when both women's football teams take to the pitch for a shot at the gold medal.
It's Pia Sundhage's Stars and Stripes against John Herdman's Big Red. Who will prevail in this match between the two best women's football teams in all of North America?
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. BST. Here are 10 bold predictions for this blockbuster tilt between Canada vs. the United States.
1. Let the Goals Fly: Over Five Goals Scored
Anytime Canada and USA take on each other on the pitch, the goals will be flying and the blood will be boiling. It's Monday Night Football...Olympic style! Over five goals will be scored in this contest.
2. Abby Wambach with a Brace
Abby Wambach and goal scoring go hand in hand. 142 goals in 186 appearances? No problem. Wambach is going to slice and dice the Canadian back line of Carmelina Moscato, Rhian Wilkinson, Lauren Sesselmann and Marie-Eve Nault with a brace.
Just another day at the office for the USA's No. 14.
3. Sydney Leroux on the Scoresheet for the USA
Another player that will be fixing to get on the scoresheet for the USA is forward Sydney Leroux, who scored in the 87th minute against New Zealand. Look for Leroux to bag another late goal against Canada off the bench.
4. Megan Rapinoe with Two Assists
One of the unsung heroes of the USA women's national team is Megan Rapinoe. A reliable midfielder with the wherewithal to provide, Rapinoe will earn two assists in the game against Canada.
4. Alex Morgan on the Scoresheet for the USA
The USA is stacked with the best footballing talent in the women's game, and Alex Morgan is no exception to the rule. Look for Morgan to get on the scoresheet, perhaps on a second-chance opportunity in the USA's attacking third.
5. Erin McLeod Faces the American Firing Squad
It's going to be a tough night for Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod. She is facing quite arguably the most dangerous attacking corps in the tournament in the United States, and the defending gold medalists at that. Watch as McLeod is forced to make at least five saves on Monday.
6. Quiet Night for Hope Solo
As for USA goalkeeper Hope Solo, the back line of captain Christie Rampone, Kelley O'Hara, Amy LePeilbet and Rachel Buehler will hold the fort down and make it an easy state of affairs. Solo will make under five saves this game, mostly in the second half when Canada bring numbers forward.
7. Christine Sinclair on the Scoresheet for Canada
Canada's answer to Abby Wambach is forward Christine Sinclair, who has 140 goals in 188 appearances for Big Red. Look for Sinclair to get on the scoresheet in the first half.
8. Jonelle Filigno on the Scoresheet for Canada
Forward Jonelle Filigno of Rutgers was on the scoresheet for Canada in the 12th minute against Great Britain. This is player with a huge upside and a certain future playing in the WPSL, the W-League or in Europe. Filigno will score in the first half against the USA.
9. 2-2 Draw at Halftime
The first half is going to be pretty even, with both Canada and the United States exchanging goals twice. Canada will go off to a fast start, but the USA is going to rally back. It's going to be a 2-2 draw at the break.
10. USA Storms Back to Reach Gold Medal Game
In the second half, the United States will dominate and impose their will on their northern neighbors. The USA finishes the match doubling up on Canada and gets a chance to defend their gold against Japan.
USA 4, Canada 2