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Canada and Denmark to meet in Tucson for friendly soccer match
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International soccer

Canada and Denmark to meet in Tucson for friendly soccer match

Les Rouges vs. De Rød-Hvide at Kino Stadium on Jan. 26

  • Local Danes celebrating the announcement that the Danish national soccer team will be visiting Tucson.
    Ted PrezelskiLocal Danes celebrating the announcement that the Danish national soccer team will be visiting Tucson.

FC Tucson announced Monday that the team will host an international friendly between Canada and Denmark at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium on Jan. 26. Tickets for the 1 p.m. match will go on sale at a later date.

“There isn’t a better way to kick off a month of soccer in Tucson than with an international friendly,” said FC Tucson's Greg Foster in a press release. “We’re proud to bring Tucson its first international soccer match alongside SUM (Soccer United Marketing, the commercial arm of Major League Soccer). This is just the first of many exciting events we’ll be hosting from mid-January to mid-February that builds Tucson’s reputation as a world-class soccer venue.”

The Canadian national soccer team recently celebrated its 100th anniversary with a 0-0 draw against the United States on June 3. Among its international accomplishments, the Canadian national team won the CONCACAF championship in 1985 and the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2000. Canada also won gold at the 1904 Olympics.

The Danish national soccer team, managed by Morten Olsen, is 22nd in the world in the latest FIFA World Ranking. Among its international accomplishments, the Danish national soccer team has won three Olympic silver medals (1908, ’12 and ’60) and one bronze (1948), the 1992 UEFA European Championships and the 1995 FIFA Confederations Cup.

'Denmark in the Desert'

Despite FC Tucson trying to keep a lid on the announcement, a small contingent of the local Danish community showed up, complete with flags and hats.

“We obviously have some supporters that got early word of what is going on,” joked FC Tucson’s Chris Keeney. “We didn’t hold down the information well enough.”

Local resident Mia Hansen was born in Oregon to immigrant Danish parents, and has been active in the local Danish community ever since moving here.

Hansen, by coincidence, is also bringing another bunch of Danish athletes to Tucson.

“I’m bringing the national Danish performance team which are Denmark’s top gymnasts,” she said. “They are display gymnasts that are coming here at the same time.”

She's hoping to make the game the center of something she calls "Denmark in the Desert."

“The Danish performance team will perform at halftime at the soccer match,” she said. “So, there will be a whole confluence of Danishness.”

“We’ll let Canada in on the fun too,” she said. “We’ve talked about having a throw-down: Danish bacon versus Canadian bacon.”

Denmark

  • FIFA Rank: 22 (13th in Europe)
  • Honors: Confederations Cup (1995), European Championship (1992)
  • World Cup appearances: 1986 (9th), 1998 (5th), 2002 (10th), 2010 (24th)
  • Most capped current players:
    • Dennis Rommedahl - 121 caps, forward, Brøndby IF
    • Martin Jørgensen - 102 caps, midfielder, AGF Aarhus
    • Thomas Sørensen - 101 caps, goalkeeper, Stoke City FC (ENG)
  • Current leading scorers:
    • Niklas Bendtner - 22 goals, forward, Juventus FC (ITA)
    • Dennis Rommedahl - 21 goals, forward, Brøndby IF
    • Martin Jørgensen - 12 goals, midfielder, AGF Aarhus
  • Denmark's glory days came in the 1980's and 90's during which the team was referred to as "Danish Dynamite." They don't have the record of neighbor Sweden, but they have a strong history of great players, including the legendary goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel. Schmeichel's son, Kasper is in the national team pool and may make an appearance in Tucson.

Canada

  • FIFA Rank: 60 (7th in North America)
  • Honors: CONCACAF Championship (1985), CONCACAF Gold Cup (2000), Olympics (1904), North American Nations Cup (1990)
  • World Cup appearances: 1986 (24th)
  • Most capped current players:
    • Dwayne DeRosario - 71 caps, forward, DC United (USA)
    • Kevin McKenna - 63 caps, defender, FC Köln (GER)
    • Atiba Hutchinson - 62 caps, midfielder, PSV Eindhoven (NER)
  • Current leading scorers:
    • Dwayne DeRosario - 20 goals, forward, DC United (USA)
    • Ali Gerba - 15 goals, forward, free agent
    • Kevin McKenna - 11 goals, defender, FC Köln (GER)
  • Soccer in Canada has much the same problem as soccer in the United States: it takes a back seat to other team sports, and it's sheer size makes it hard to schedule games, and most of their best players choose to play elsewhere. With Major League Soccer moving in with Canadian teams, observers are hoping to see an improvement in the domestic game.

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canada, denmark, fc tucson, greg foster

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