The winner of the third-place game will face Colombia in a one-game playoff for a spot at the Rio 2006 Games.
The USA faced Canada in its opener and won 3-1, the first of three straight wins for the Americans, who finished atop Group A. But after downing Cuba, 6-1, and Panama, 4-0, Coach Andi Herzog’s team struggled badly against Honduras in a game that saw Herzog ejected. Former Philadelphia Union and U-17 head coach John Hackworth will serve as head coach in place of the suspended Herzog on Tuesday.
The frontline duo of Jerome Kiesewetter and Jordan Morris, who had been so effective in group play -- each scored threw goals -- were kept at bay by the Hondurans. Particularly disappointing was central midfielder Luis Gil, who had come off the bench in the opener before starting the last three games. Gedion Zelalem, who sat out the Honduras game and was reportedly nursing a muscle injury, would be a likely replacement for Gil.
Canada’s last appearance at the Olympic men’s soccer tournament came in 1984, before it became a U-23 competition, in 1992. The USA has missed out on two of the last three Olympic tournaments, last appearing at the Beijing 2008 Games when it exited in the first round.
After their opening loss to the USA in this qualifying tournament, the Canadians beat Panama (3-1) and tied Cuba (2-2) to reach the semifinal game against Mexico, the defending Olympic gold medalists.
In the USA’s 3-1 win over Canada on Oct. 1, the Americans took a 2-0 lead on goals by Morris in the 1st and 73rd minute. Canada halved the deficit on a Michael Petrasso goal in the 81st minute before Gil converted a stoppage time penalty kick for a foul on Kiesewetter.
Facing a team they already lost to isn’t discouraging to the Canadians according to captain Samuel Piette, the team’s most experienced player with 19 full national team caps and the lone holdover from the U-23 team that beat the USA, 2-0, in 2012 Olympic qualifying.
"I thought the United States was our best game so far in the tournament," Piette told the Ottawa Citizen. "Early goal was tough but we kept to the game plan and it worked well. The score wasn't relevant."