If Skylar Thomas (pictured) and Canada are to keep their 2016 Olympic hopes alive, they must beat the USA in the CONCACAF Men's Olympic Championship's match for third place on October 13, 2015, in Sandy, Utah. (Photo: Mexsport)
SANDY, Utah – If Canada wants a spot in the 2016 Olympic Games, overcoming a team against which it has already fallen is mandatory.
In the first game for each in the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship on October 1, the United States posted a 3-1 win over its northern neighbor. Jordan Morris netted twice in victory, while Michael Petrasso netted the first of his team-best three goals for the Canadians.
Regardless of that result, Canada has a desire to redeem itself in the match for third place. The winner will then have to face Colombia next year in a playoff for a place at Rio 2016.
“A rematch (against the U.S.) is perfect,” said defender Skylar Thomas, who has one goal in four games. “We really want to play them again. We want to show them what we can do and, hopefully, we can get a result out of that game.”
Forward Ben Fisk is optimistic that Canada can bounce back from a 2-0 setback to Mexico in the semifinals and turn the tables on the U.S. at Rio Tinto Stadium.
“The first match we did lose, but I thought we played quite well,” said the 22-year-old. “We’ll try to take the positives from that match and take them into the game this week. We just got to start a little bit better in the first half. We had an early goal scored against us that kind of slowed us down a little. We’ll be looking to come out right from the get go and get at them.”
The way in which Canada approaches the encounter will be in the hands of head coach Benito Floro. He is not giving anything away, though, as it pertains to a potential game plan.
“It is difficult to know what is the (Canada) plan, the United States’ plan,” said the former Real Madrid manager. “There are two possibilities: to wait for a counterattack or to play in attack. We need to manage both things, so it depends on the energy of the two teams.”
With an Olympic berth at stake – regardless of the Sandy, Utah, altitude – you can be sure that both sides will be sky high.