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Canada offers interesting test for US Men's National Team

De Rosario figures to play a big part in Canada's hopes to upset the US on Sunday night
De Rosario figures to play a big part in Canada's hopes to upset the US on Sunday night
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For the casual soccer fan, especially the casual soccer fan from Buffalo making the trip to Toronto on Sunday to see the US Men's National Team take on Canada, the only Canadian player you may be familiar with is DC United's Dwayne De Rosario.

De Rosario is tied for the all-time leading goal scoring record in Canadian soccer history with 19 goals. "D-Ro," as he is known, is an attacking midfielder who can pour in goals, but is also a deadly playmaker, adept at setting up his strikers. The possible MLS MVP is without doubt the biggest threat that the US will have to take care of on Sunday night.

The strikers who will be getting supplied by D-Ro do present an interesting challenge to the US as well. Simeon Jackson, who scored three times in 22 appearances for Premier League side Norwich City, is a small, speedy player who could give a slow and aging US central defense some headaches.

But much like USA's 5-1 win over Scotland last weekend, the opposing midfield, beyond De Rosario, is where the red, white and blue will make hay. Will Johnson of Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC's Julian De Guzman aren't much of a match for American's duo of Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones. Canada also lacks any kind of viable threat on the wings.

Width is a problem for the Canadians without those wingers. If they muddy up the midfield and open up the wings, Landon Donovan, Fabian Johnson, Steve Cherundolo and Clint Dempsey should shred our neighbors to the north.

The first 15 to 20 minutes may present a test for the US, as Canada come out wanting to defend their home turf and avenge a 2-0 loss to the States just a little more than a year ago in the Gold Cup.

Weather the storm, and get through those infamous early minutes that have plagued the US since the World Cup in 2012 and the Americans should coast comfortably. Struggle and give up an early goal and it could get interesting in Toronto on Sunday night.

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