Match Preview: USA vs Canada

The U.S. Men’s National Team will host their first international friendly of 2013 tonight in Houston, Texas. Kick off is set for 8 p.m. CT as the team takes on Canada at BBVA Compass Stadium.

The friendly is the beginning of an important year as the U.S. Men continue to prepare for final round qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The U.S. will begin the final round qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in a little over a week against Honduras on February 6th. Adding to the excitement, 2013 marks the 100th year anniversary of US Soccer.

The United States holds an impressive lifetime record against Canada at 13-8-10. Since their last loss to Canada in 1985, the U.S. team has remained unbeaten with an 8-0-7 record. The June 3, 2012 match against Canada resulted in a scoreless tie. This year, the men’s national team features 19 players from eleven MLS teams. Both Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City have three players on the national team.

Benny Feilhaber, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi represent Sporting Kansas City on the talented national team roster. Feilhaber’s history with the U.S. national team began in 2007 with a remarkable volley against Mexico in the 2007 Gold Cup Final. Since then, he has appeared in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2009 Confederations and Gold Cups and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Besler, MLS Defender of the Year, received his first call up to the national team in August of 2012 for a friendly against Mexico. Besler is looking to make his first appearance at the senior international level. Zusi began his national team career during the January camp last year. He appeared in six games during the 2012 campaign, including three World Cup qualifiers. On January 25, 2012, Zusi notched his first international goal in a 1-0 win over Panama. Zusi and Besler are both predicted to start in tonight’s match.

The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2, WatchESPN, and Univision Deportes.