FRISCO, Texas -- The clash of the Concacaf women's titans will be in the spotlight at Toyota Stadium on Wednesday night.
Canada, the fifth-ranked team in the world, will take on No. 1 United States in the 2018 Concacaf Women's Championship.
After teams qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France by notching victories in Sunday's semifinals, pride and confederation supremacy is at stake.
That's fine with veteran midfielder Diana Matheson, who recorded her 200th international appearance in the 7-0 semifinal win over Panama.
“Anytime you are talking about Canada vs. the USA you are talking about two teams that want to beat each other and aren’t going to give up a centimeter on the field to each other,” she commented. “They are always great games against the USA. It’s a rivalry, it’s a derby. … We relish that opportunity.”
The teams tussled in what many women's soccer observers claim was the greatest women's game ever in the 2012 London Olympic semifinals. The USA rallied to upend Canada, 4-3 en route to the gold medal.
“It’s a big rivalry. I am looking forward to this," said Canada coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller, who was a TV commentator for that match for TV in his native Denmark. "It’s what we as coaches and players live for – to play these matches. We came here to qualify first, but we have been focused on this match for a few days and we intent to bring our Canadian DNA to the pitch and put it all out there.
"We are 10 months away from the biggest event in women’s sport and getting the chance to play the reigning champions is an excellent opportunity to test ourselves.”
Legendary striker Christine Sinclair, who has four goals this tournament, will look to add to her international goal total (177), second only to retired U.S. striker Abby Wambach (184).