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Today's Third-Place Game

October 11, 2003|Grahame L. Jones

U.S. vs CANADA

Home Depot Center, 12:30 p.m.

ESPN2, 46 (KFTR)

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How they got here: The U.S. won Group A with a 3-0-0 record, defeating Sweden, Nigeria and North Korea, and then beat former world champion Norway, 1-0, in the quarterfinals before losing to Germany, 3-0, in the semifinals. Canada bounced back from a 4-1 loss to Germany in its opening game to beat Argentina and Japan and finish second in Group C with a 2-1-0 record. It then upset China, 1-0, in the quarterfinals, before losing, 2-1, to Sweden in the semifinals.

Players to watch: Angered by their inability to score against Germany, the U.S. forwards will be out to redeem themselves, so look for Abby Wambach, Mia Hamm and Cindy Parlow to be taking target practice. Canada has firepower of its own in Christine Sinclair and Kara Lang, but its star today could be its highly impressive young goalkeeper, Taryn Swiatek.

Previous appearances: The U.S. won the World Cup in 1991 and 1999 and finished third in 1995. Its overall record in the event is 19-2-2. Canada was knocked out in the first round in 1995 and 1999, but has developed into a final four team under Coach Even Pellerud of Norway. Its record is 3-6-2.

Quick look: "We have respect for Canada," said U.S. Coach April Heinrichs. "There's a reason that they were in the semifinals. They can beat anybody on a given day. Is this a game where we put our starting 11 out there? It definitely is. It absolutely is." Added Hamm: "They [the Canadians] play with a different type of sophistication and a different type of confidence [now than in the past]. This is our opportunity to go out and play as hard as we can because we're going to have to play that way to compete with Canada."

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CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Germany vs. Sweden

Sunday, 10 a.m., Ch. 7, 46 (KFTR)

Home Depot Center

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