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2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup

USWNT-Canada lore adds new chapter with waterlogged mess as US advances to Gold Cup final

The USWNT advanced in a penalty shootout in a semifinal that both coaches said probably should not have been played

Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

All tactics went out the window after two minutes on Wednesday at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, Calif., where the field looked more like a pond. Canada and the United States had shown up to play a soccer match in the semifinals of the Concacaf W Gold Cup, but a waterlogged pitch was the common opponent.

Canada defender Vanessa Gilles attempted to play a pass back to her goalkeeper, Kailen Sheridan, but the ball stopped dead after a few feet. U.S. attacker Jaedyn Shaw pounced and attempted to chip a stranded Sheridan, but the shot went wide.

Gilles did not heed the warning. Twenty minutes into the match, the veteran Canadian defender attempted to play a pass back to Sheridan inside her own box. A puddle interfered again, Shaw reacted again, and this time the U.S. attacker’s shot went over Sheridan and into the net.

Wednesday was about adaptation and survival. In the storied and often one-sided history of the USA-Canada rivalry, this one will go down as one of the weirdest of 65 all-time meetings — not to the level nor the stakes of the 2012 Olympic semifinal shenanigans, but unforgettable, nonetheless.

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