Soccer atmosphere rich in Juarez

Listen to coach Even Pellerud



There is a large sign welcoming the American and Canadian women’s soccer teams in Ciudad Juárez shortly after you enter México via the Cordóva bridge from El Paso, TX. Who knows how friendly the sign will be on the way out if it is the United States and Canada that clinch the only two Olympic spots available from the CONCACAF region.



México is hosting the 2008 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Tournament at the Estadio Oly­mpico Benito Juárez. The United States and Canada are widely considered the top-two teams in the six-team field, but México has improved considerably in recent years. In the 9 April semi-finals, the United States will face Costa Rica and Canada will face hosts México.

Listen to coach Even Pellerud



There is a large sign welcoming the American and Canadian women’s soccer teams in Ciudad Juárez shortly after you enter México via the Cordóva bridge from El Paso, TX. Who knows how friendly the sign will be on the way out if it is the United States and Canada that clinch the only two Olympic spots available from the CONCACAF region.



México is hosting the 2008 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Tournament at the Estadio Oly­mpico Benito Juárez. The United States and Canada are widely considered the top-two teams in the six-team field, but México has improved considerably in recent years. In the 9 April semi-finals, the United States will face Costa Rica and Canada will face hosts México.



“There is good support, of course (especially) for the Méxican team,” says head coach Even Pellerud. “That carries México a long way. (The Méxican players) are inspired, they run a lot, they shoot a lot and they get the crowd behind them.”



In all fairness, the Méxican fans have been good throughout the tournament. Their demeanor towards Canada is expected to change, though, on Wednesday night. The match kicks off at 19.30 local time. Back home in Canada, the match will be broadcast on cbcsports.ca and broadcast on GolTV (18.30 PT and 21.30 ET). In México, the games are broadcast on PCTV.



Canada, whose title sponsor is Winners, is looking to exact some revenge on the Méxican side that knocked Canada out of the Olympics four years ago. Maribel Dominguez scored both goals in a 2:1 victory over Canada. The Canadians have defeated the Méxicans twice in the last two years, but it has been a 2008 victory for which the Canucks have waited.



Should Canada win the 9 April semi-final, it will advance to the Summer Olympics for the first time in 24 years (first time in the women’s program). Canada would also advance to the 12 April final against the winner of the United States-Costa Rica semi-final.

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