USA-Canada sellout: 'Christmas' comes early in Vancouver

How big is the Canada-USA women's game, which will be played Thursday at Vancouver's BC Place?

A sellout crowd of the domed stadium's lower bowl is expected, which would be larger than the CFL BC Lions' largest crowd of the season (23,415) and could top the Whitecaps' largest crowd for the 2017 MLS season (27,837 for their playoff game against Seattle).

"Whenever we play the U.S., it's like Christmas,” said Canadian head coach John Herdman. “It's the team everyone wants to play.”

Canada has won just three of 56 meetings against the USA -- in 1986, 2000 and 2001 -- but the rivalry heated up in recent years following the USA's 4-3 win in the semifinals of the 2012 Olympics, one of the most dramatic games in the history of women's soccer.

Winning streak. The USA enters the game with a  six-game winning streak since falling to Australia in the Tournament of Nations opener in late July while scoring three or more goals in all those matches.

No Heath. Tobin Heath, who was injured in the NWSL championship game and missed the series against South Korea in October, was ruled out of the Canada series. She trained in Vancouver but it was determined that she is not ready for game action.

U.S. Roster:

GOALKEEPERS (4): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars).
DEFENDERS (8): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars), Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Taylor Smith (NC Courage), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC), Chioma Ubogagu (Orlando Pride).
MIDFIELDERS (6): 8-Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns), 10-Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), 6-Andi Sullivan (Stanford Univ.).
FORWARDS (4): Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign), Lynn Williams (NC Courage).


Youth movement. Canada's team includes three college players and three who was eligible for the 2018 Concacaf U-17 Championship in Nicaragua.

Canada Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Stephanie Labbe (Washington Spirit), Sabrina D'Angelo (NC Courage), Kailen Sheridan (Sky Blue FC)
DEFENDERS (6): Lindsay Agnew (Washington Spirit), Allysha Chapman (Boston Breakers), Jayde Riviere (Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite), Shelina Zadorsky (Washington Spirit), Rebecca Quin (Duke Univ.), Ariel Young (Ottawa Fury)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Jessie Fleming (UCLA), Julia Grosso (Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite), Maegan Kelly (FC Kansas City), Desiree Scott (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (6): Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns), Janine Beckie (Houston Dash), Deanne Rose (Univ. of Florida), Adriana Leon (Boston Breakers), Nichelle Prince (Houston Dash), Jordyn Huitema (Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite).

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