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Border battle

U.S. faces Canada tonight with Olympic birth at stake

The U.S. is yet to deliver a convincing performance in Olympic qualifying. The team staggered to a 1-1- draw against Cuba, then added 1-0 victories over CONCACAF minnows Panama and Honduras. Even more troubling the Americans scored just one goal from the run of play during those three matches. But the squad's lack of dynamic, attacking soccer will be irrelevant if they can

knock off Canada

tonight (8 p.m. CST, Fox Soccer Channel) in Nashville and claim a spot in Beijing. The other semifinal will feature Guatemala and Honduras (5:00, FSC)

The Canucks advanced by crushing Guatemala 5-0, in the process (hilariously) eliminating Mexico. So the Americans will be a facing a border rival this evening, but it won't be the one that everyone anticipated. Midfielders Freddy Adu and Stuart Holden (pictured above) have been the most impressive attacking players for the U.S., while Chad Barrett and Eddie Gaven have been notably poor. The former has displayed feet of stone, while the latter seems to lack sufficient mettle for international competition. Jonathan Spector, who lately has been starting for West Ham in the EPL, has joined the squad in Music City to bolster the defense. He'll likely be paired with the promising Michael Orozco in central defense.

Folks in the Twin Cities will be gathering to watch the match at the Sweetwater. Join us.

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