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DETROIT - With the United States and Canada playing against each other in Detroit, the border war between the teams will be in full affect Tuesday evening as both open their Gold Cup schedules.
“I think it’s not only a big deal for the team but for the country,” Canada’s Dwayne De Rosario said after Monday’s practice. “This is always a healthy rivalry. I think in any sport with U.S. against Canada there’s always an edge, and it won’t be any different tomorrow.”
De Rosario is hoping there’s an even amount of fans for the game that will be played only a short tunnel drive away from Canada.
“Hopefully Canadian fans come and show their support,” De Rosario said. “I think the main thing right now is really getting the Canadian fans behind us. Hopefully we see them show up in numbers and show their support. This is a huge game and we’re definitely going to need our 12th man, which is the fans.”
The last time Canada played the U.S. in the Gold Cup was back in 2007. The Canucks lost 2-1 in the semifinal match after a controversial ending as Atiba Hutchinson’s late goal was called off after he was ruled offside. The U.S. went on to beat Mexico in the final.
But De Rosario says his team has moved on.
“I think that’s in the past,” he said. “One thing about this game tomorrow is we can’t get our emotions get the best of us. That’s when you get burnt out and you get exposed when you try to do too much. It’s very important that we stay composed and stick to our game plan and play like we know how.”
Canada had a solid warm up entering the tournament as it drew 2-2 against Ecuador in Toronto last Thursday. Tosaint Ricketts, who entered the game in the 85th minute, scored in injury time off a free kick from Julian De Guzman.
“Hopefully we can build on that,” De Rosario said.
The U.S., meanwhile, suffered an embarrassing 4-0 defeat against top-ranked Spain at Gillette Stadium on Saturday. But Canada doesn’t think its neighbors to the south should be judged on that friendly. The U.S. didn’t play several of its starters in the first half as it dug itself into an early hole.
“The U.S. is one of the best team in the word but they got beat by the best team in the world,” De Guzman said. We’re not going to judge them on that. Going into the opener of the tournament we are playing in front of their fans. It is a solid team that they have and they are the favorites in this game.
“We are going into this game to prove ourselves. You couldn’t ask for a better way to start this tournament against one of our rivals.”
The Group C contest starts at 8 p.m. ET.