The U.S. and Canada face each other for the first time since the Aug. 6, 2012 semifinal match at the London Olympics. Sunday’s match begins at 4:30 p.m. ET and features three Breakers - Heather O’Reilly and Sydney Leroux for the U.S. and Rhian Wilkinson for Canada
By Samantha Gignac
On Sunday, June 2, the U.S. Women’s National Team will play Canada for the first time since their 4-3 overtime victory in the intense and dramatic semifinal match at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Alex Morgan’s header in the 123rd minute of the game allowed the U.S. to move on to the finals where they beat Japan and obtained their fourth Olympic gold medal. Canada took home the bronze by beating France, 1-0, on a 92nd minute goal by Diana Matheson. The win gave Canada its first Olympic medal in women’s soccer.
Sunday’s rematch will be televised live on ESPNews and on Watch ESPN online and the Watch ESPN mobile app at 4:30 p.m. ET
The loss last summer weighed heavily on Canada, which held the lead three times during the game. Christine Sinclair scored all three goals for Canada, but each of her goals was answered by the U.S., making the score 3–3 at the end of regulation.
The first two goals for the U.S. were scored by Megan Rapinoe and the third goal was scored off of a penalty kick by Abby Wambach in the 80th minute. At the end of a long, scoreless overtime, Breakers midfielder Heather O’Reilly crossed the ball to Morgan who scored the game-winning goal moments before the match was heading to a shootout.
Although the U.S. won in the end, the game was a tough battle for both teams. There was no room for comfort in the incredibly close Olympic semifinal. The U.S. had to play catch up the entire game until they finally secured victory in overtime. Canada had to fight to maintain their leads, but could not come back after Wambach’s goal at the end of regulation time.
Sydney Leroux, left, and Heather O’Reilly, right, take on Rhian Wilkinson, center, and Canada Sunday afternoon
Sunday’s game is a highly anticipated rematch as both teams will look to improve upon their performance from last year’s Olympic game. Canada is bound to come out blazing and determined to hold onto a lead, particularly in front of a sold-out home crowd at BMO Field. This is also the first time that Canada has played a match in its own country since the 2012 Olympic qualifiers. The U.S. will also look to start strong and maintain their perfect record under new head coach Tom Sermanni.
Canada brings in an 18-player squad, which features 10 who were on Canada’s roster for the Olympic semifinal in Manchester. One of those returning players is Breakers defender Rhian Wilkinson. Wilkinson has been capped 137 times for Canada.
The U.S. semifinal game vs. Canada was one of the most exciting in Olympic history, so fans and players alike will have great expectations. Emotions ran high the last time these two teams played so it can be expected that some of those emotions will come out on Sunday. Whatever the outcome, many players both on the U.S. and Canadian teams will be looking to assert their dominance.
Canada Women’s National Team Roster
GK- Karina LeBlanc | USA / Portland Thorns FC
GK- Erin McLeod | USA / Chicago Red Stars
D- Kadeisha Buchanan | USA / West Virginia University
D- Robyn Gayle | USA / Washington Spirit
D- Carmelina Moscato | USA / Chicago Red Stars
D- Rachel Quon | USA / Chicago Red Stars
D- Lauren Sesselmann | USA / FC Kansas City
D- Kylla Sjoman | GER / Herford SV
D- Rhian Wilkinson | USA / Boston Breakers
D- Emily Zurrer | USA / Seattle Reign FC
M- Kaylyn Kyle | USA / Seattle Reign FC
M- Ashley Lawrence | USA / West Virginia University
M- Diana Matheson | USA / Washington Spirit
M- Sophie Schmidt | USA / Sky Blue FC
M- Desiree Scott | USA / FC Kansas City
M- Danica Wu | USA / Ohio State University
F- Tiffany Cameron | USA / Seattle Reign FC
F- Christina Julien | RUS / WFC Rossiyanka
F- Christine Sinclair | USA / Portland Thorns FC
F- Melissa Tancredi | unattached
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster
GOALKEEPERS: Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC)
DEFENDERS: Rachel Buehler (Portland Thorns FC), Crystal Dunn (UNC), Whitney Engen (Liverpool), Julie Johnston (Santa Clara), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS: Amber Brooks (Bayern Munich), Lauren Cheney (FC Kansas City), Tobin Heath (PSG), Carli Lloyd (Western NY Flash), Kristie Mewis (FC Kansas City), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers)
FORWARDS: Sydney Leroux (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Abby Wambach (Western NY Flash)