USWNT-Canada preview by data – Equalizer Soccer


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The United States and Canada play in the Concacaf W Championship on Monday, each looking to add another trophy to their cabinet. Their places in the final are expected, but their journeys have not been entirely smooth.

How do they compare, statistically? What models do they use? Let’s take a look.

North America’s top two teams face off again, this time in the deciding match of the new tournament format which also puts a berth in the 2024 Olympics on the line.

At first glance, Canada feels like the most stable team in terms of names. After winning Olympic gold in Tokyo last year, head coach Bev Priestman’s team structure is tight, sticking to a core of players who have brought much success to the team . On the other hand, USA are in this transition stream, still trying to clearly understand their identity as a team, with stints of good play and good results.

Let’s take a look at what the numbers say about their performances so far, after four games apiece in the tournament held in Monterrey, Mexico.

Pass and accumulation

As two of the most dominant teams in Concacaf, USA and Canada share similar ideas when it comes to game planning: having the ball and the territorial advantage, forcing the opponent into their own half of the pitch (or inside their box, if possible) and put them under pressure.

This is clear when you see, for example, the average possession of the two teams (66.4% for the United States and 69.3% for Canada), passing accuracy (85.2% and 85.8 %, respectively) or the number of crosses both teams attempted (103 and 133, respectively).

However, on closer inspection, Canada seems a bit more incisive than the United States: Vlatko Andonovski’s side play 30.6% of their passes forward, completing 953 passes in their own half and only 339 passes in the final third with a 65.6% accuracy. Meanwhile, Canada, on those same respective metrics, have 679 passes, 33.8% forward, 616 in their own half with 76.1% accuracy.

It shows that Canada have been more comfortable with controlling possession in the opposing half so far, instead of relying so much on building up from the back.

Comparison of passes by zone for USWNT and CanWNT in the W Championship – The percentage represents the share of the total number of passes in that particular zone

This mostly reflects how many streaks the United States had with nine or more assists, racking up 81 of those streaks while Canada had 30 less, with 51, which is still a healthy number.

Some other possession values ​​are more or less the same, like average streak time (10.8 seconds for USA and 10.1 for Canada) or average passes per streak (3.9 vs 3, 6), so it’s not about a team being more direct in their attack but having a different philosophy when it comes to using territory. It’s a big question mark whether Canada will stick with this plan for the final or allow USA to have more ball and attack the space behind the back line.


Again, on the face of it there are a lot of similarities: both teams have 12 goals so far, the xG for Canada is slightly higher (13.3 vs 9.99) and they have a similar number of shots on target (29 for USA, 35 for Canada).

Here, the U.S. has an advantage on some important metrics that, if trends continue, can help win Monday: both shots on target percentage (43.3% to 35.4%) and goal conversion. shooting (17.9% to 12.1%) is higher for Vlatko’s team, and if the game goes both ways, USA accuracy on goal could be the difference Monday night.

Shooting table of the two teams of the W championship.

Looking at the charts, it’s interesting to see how the United States tends to shoot from the right side of the attack, while Canada is more central in their attempts.


Both teams, defensively speaking, have a similar approach: get the ball back quickly once it’s lost. This can be measured on PPDA (or passes allowed per defensive action, which measures high pressing), with both teams averaging 6.4 so far in the tournament.

Canada is more successful in winning possession in the attacking and central third: Canada has 38 and 163, respectively, while the United States has 163 and 135, respectively. The graph below shows the differential more clearly.

It’s likely a symptom of the struggles the USA are having at No.6 and replacing Julie Ertz, while Canada have a strong backbone in central midfield that allows them to be more effective in this task.

Thanks to this, there is a huge difference in the number of clearances, with Canada only needing 10 compared to 34 for the United States, who rely more on their central defenders to defend in addition to the construction phase. .

Also, another thing Canada consistently does is foul the opposition if the ball can’t be won quickly. They hardly commit any fouls in their own half, which is very interesting tactically, to allow them to position themselves higher up the field.

Numbers can’t predict how Monday’s game will end and what will happen. Both teams share similarities due to their need to be the one on the toe against weaker competition – which will be the case for neither team on Monday. You have to give up the ball, at least, in some parts of the game. But it’s interesting to see what their plans have been so far and try to visualize the different aspects of their game.

Monday, as is usually the case between the United States and Canada, should be fascinating.

Graphs and data: StatsPerform

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