Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
The U.S. Women’s National Team’s rivalry with Canada will be renewed in January 2014, as the two teams square off in their first friendly of the year.
U.S. Soccer announced on Thursday that Tom Sermanni will guide the U.S. as they open their 2014 schedule with a match against Canada at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on Jan. 31. The meeting will be the latest between the two North American rivals, who most recently played in an epic game that the Americans won at the 2012 Olympics and in a match at BMO Field earlier this year that the U.S. took in convincing fashion.
“It’s great to start the year with a game that is going to be a real test for us and a game that is always highly competitive,” said Sermanni in a released statement. “It’s a friendly game, but one that’s meaningful for both teams, and it’s an excellent first match in a year that will end with World Cup qualifying. In 2014, it will be important to play as many quality opponents as possible.”
The encounter will also likely mark the latest chapter in the Sydney Leroux-Canada rivalry. Leroux has a well-documented past with her birth nation. At the match earlier this year in Toronto she scored the clinching goal after allegedly being racially taunted by Canadian fans in the stands.
What do you think of the U.S. Women’s National Team kicking off 2014 with a game against northern rivals Canada? Think it will serve as a good test at the start of the year? Do you see Leroux having a big match if she plays?
Share your thoughts below.