DETROIT — Within minutes of the final whistle of Canada’s 2-0 Gold Cup loss to the US on Tuesday night, the Canadians were already looking ahead to the next match, a meeting with Guadeloupe in Florida on Saturday evening.
“It’s behind us,” midfielder Josh Simpson said of the defeat. “We get on the plane tomorrow and we’re in Tampa. We’re past it now.”
Canada head coach Stephen Hart said that while the Americans were the better team on the night, his side can take the positives of a good second-half showing and apply them toward the rest of the tournament.
“We know what we need to do,” Hart said. “If we could come out and play like we played in the second half, I think we’ll get results for sure.”
That said, the Canada boss was quick to point out that his side was lacking in intensity to open the match against their cross-border rivals.
“We weren’t getting the ball forward, we were very predictable, we moved the ball very slow at times,” Hart said. “Too many players didn’t want the responsibility of the ball, we were a little slow in closing down the ball, our energy level wasn’t high enough. And when we did get it, we moved the ball too slow.”
Vancouver Whitecaps FC midfielder Terry Dunfield, who played his first-ever Gold Cup match Tuesday night, felt that after surviving the huge American pressure in the opening stages of the game, Canada were unlucky not to grab a tying goal before Clint Dempsey’s second-half strike put the match out of reach for the Canadians.
“We were a little bit slow out of the gates,” Dunfield admitted. “We just about weathered the storm and, unfortunately, they were able to nick one.”
Dunfield’s midfield running mate Will Johnson, who was a bundle of energy along the right side of the field, was confident that Canada would be ready for Saturday’s crucial match against Guadeloupe.
“I thought we played well at times,” the Real Salt Lake midfielder said. “[There’s] not a whole lot of re-grouping to do — just re-focusing, not giving up bad goals and we’ll be fine.”