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Clint Dempsey

U.S. MNT Takes Rare Trip Up North to Canada


The U.S. Men’s National Team is in the midst of a 14-game unbeaten streak against Canada spanning two decades. Coincidentally, all of those meetings have taken place on U.S. soil, where the U.S. has enjoyed the majority of its success in the rivalry dating back to 1925. The next edition of the series takes place June 3 when the U.S. plays Canada at BMO Field in Toronto, marking the USA’s first game across the border since Nov. 9, 1997, when the team clinched a spot in the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

It is not often when the U.S. Men’s National Team treks across the border to play Canada. For the past six meetings during a more than 14-year span, Canada has been trekking to the U.S. for Gold Cup games and international friendlies.

That streak ends Sunday, June 3, when the U.S. heads to Toronto for a match at BMO Field (7 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network).

The last time the U.S. played in Canada, it was only a victory away from a spot in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Claudio Reyna tallied the game-winning goal off an assist by Roy Wegerle just five minutes into the match. Then Wegerle registered two goals of his own as the USA clinched a berth in France with a well-orchestrated 3-0 victory in World Cup qualifying on Nov. 9, 1997, in Vancouver.

Though the USA has a 3-6-1 record in matches in Canada, the U.S. has won back-to-back Canada-based matches. Before the 1997 victory in Vancouver, the U.S. earned a 2-0 win on Sept. 3, 1992, in St. John’s. Mike Sorber (26th minute) and Peter Vermes (60th minute) netted the USA’s goals during the international friendly.

The USA has done exceptionally well against Canada for the past two decades. The U.S. is in the midst of a 14-game unbeaten streak (8-0-6) since the USA dropped a 2-0 decision to Canada on April 2, 1985, in Vancouver.

ORIGIN OF RIVALRY: The U.S.-Canada rivalry started on June 27, 1925, with host Canada defeating the USA 1-0 at Alexandra Park in Montreal. It was only seventh game in U.S. history since the team began competition in 1916. Back then, the starting players would compete for the full match, and fans could buy the souvenir game program for only a nickel.

Canada had the upper hand early on during this rivalry, winning its first four matches on home soil against the USA. On the flip side, Canada generally struggled when it traveled to the U.S. The USA won three of its first four at home against Canada, including a pair of 6-1 victories in 1925 and 1926 in Brooklyn, N.Y.

FOUR FOR STARK: The first hat trick in U.S. history came during the USA’s 6-1 win against Canada on Nov. 8, 1925, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Archie Stark tallied four goals during the rout in what was the second of only two matches that Stark would end up playing with the U.S. squad. The 1950 National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee also played during the USA’s 1-0 loss on June 27, 1925, in Montreal. Stark still holds the record for most goals in a match, sharing the honor with Aldo “Buff” Donelli (four goals on May 24, 1934, against Mexico) and Joe-Max Moore (four goals on Dec. 5, 1993, against El Salvador).

LAST TIME OUT: The U.S. shut out Canada 2-0 in its first group match of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup on June 11 at Ford Field in Detroit. Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey netted goals on either side of halftime, and goalkeeper Tim Howard posted his 21st career shutout.

USA-CANADA MATCHES IN CANADA:

Date

Result

Location

June 27, 1925

0-1 L

Montreal

June 22, 1957

1-5 L ^

Toronto

Oct. 17, 1968

2-4 L ^

Toronto

Aug. 20, 1972

2-3 L ^

St. John’s

Aug. 5, 1973

2-0 W

Windsor

Sept. 24, 1976

1-1 T ^

Vancouver

Nov. 1, 1980

1-2 L ^

Vancouver

April 2, 1985

0-2 L

Vancouver

Sept. 3, 1992

2-0 W

St. John’s

Nov. 9, 1997

3-0 W ^

Vancouver

^ FIFA World Cup Qualifier

*The USA is 3-6-1 in Canada, 10-1-8 in the U.S.

*The USA is 13-8-9 overall against Canada, with only one match played on a neutral site (3-0 loss on Dec. 22, 1976, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti)

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