The United States national women's soccer team suffered its first loss of the Women's World Cup in the semifinal round, relegating the Americans to the third place game Saturday near Los Angeles. The US women will face regional rival Canada.
US head coach April Heinrichs has a roster filled with spirited players. And she knows her team will face another group of players who enjoy the sport with equal passion.
"I am an enthusiast of the sport. When Canada beat China, I had my eyes glued to the players on the bench because you can not fake the way they felt and that enthusiasm that the Canadians have. No one respects Canada the way the United States respects Canada."
Heinrichs is also impressed with the way Canada has played against some of the best teams in the world, including a one to nothing quarterfinal victory over China.
She says, "They have been able to find a way to stay organized, work together and beat one of the best teams in the world. And there is a little bit of me that was happy for them because of the way they were elated. Charmain Hooper ran up and down the sidelines like a little kid. I also think she is a great competitor. And she certainly is one I have watched closely for many years."
Canada lost, two to one, in the semifinals to Sweden while the defending champion United States was stunned by Germany, three to nothing. Germany and Sweden will play for the Women's World Cup title on Sunday. Both games are just south of Los Angeles in Carson, California.