Piette, before what figures to be his 45th cap for Canada, is pulling no punches for their Group A clash at BMO Field.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve played a competitive game like this, that means so much for us the players, for the association, and to the fans,” Piette told Sporting News. “The hate that we have toward the Americans is just natural – even if you don’t like soccer.”
These North American neighbors share plenty of history, too. The USMNT holds an all-time record of 14W-8L-11D against Les Rogues, who they last faced on Feb. 5, 2016. But Canada hasn’t emerged on the winning end of this matchup since an April 2, 1985 encounter in Vancouver. They also haven’t faced off in competitive action since a June 7, 2011 meeting in the Concacaf Gold Cup, which the US won 2-0.
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But there’s also consideration for form and momentum.
Canada and the USMNT both opened their Concacaf Nations League slates with lopsided wins over Cuba, and each are looking to finding their footing under relatively-new managers. Les Rogues have John Herdman and a new attacking core that’s led by Jonathan David and Alphonso Davies, while the US have Gregg Berhalter and an offense sparked by Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie.
Piette, the bulldog-like holding midfielder, is excited for his team’s chances.
“The players that we have now — the group is a lot younger than before,” Piette told media. “We have players that are playing at a high level with their clubs.”