The United States and Canada are set to play the most prestigious men’s soccer tournament in the world next month, but the players will be forced to play their games on artificial turf for the first time.
The US men’s national team has already been knocked out of the World Cup by Brazil in a quarterfinal and the USMNT is also set to miss out on a place at next year’s World Cup after being knocked out in a group stage loss to Spain.
The Canadian men’s team has also been knocked to the quarterfinals by Argentina in a penalty shoot-out and will also be without its star player in the penalty shoot out.
Canadian men’s coach John Herdman said on Friday the World Cups are played on artificial surfaces, and he hopes the players can get used to playing on the grass.
“The last time they played on turf, it was the semi-finals of the tournament,” Herdmann said on “SportsCenter.”
“The players that were on turf had a very hard time in the first half of the game and it was difficult to recover, so I’m hoping we can get the players that are going to be playing on turf and get a little bit of time on grass and see how it goes.”
Canada is playing host to a match on March 11 against Japan, which will mark the second time the two nations have faced off in a World Cup qualifier.
Canada has also played the first match in the quarterfinal phase of the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the second game in the final phase of qualifying for the 2019 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
In the semifinals, Canada will face Honduras in a rematch of the 2015 CONCACACAF qualifying tournament.
The final will be played March 17 against El Salvador in the same stadium where Canada’s 2014 Gold Cup triumph over Panama was won.