U.S. women's coach Tom Sermanni plays down hype around Canada game

USA's national women's soccer coach Tom Sermanni watches form the touchline prior to the start of the international friendly women's soccer match against The Netherlands at ADO The Hague stadium, Netherlands, Tuesday April 9, 2013. (Peter Dejong/AP file)

TORONTO - After my interview with Carli Lloyd, I spent a few minutes listening to U.S. coach Tom Sermanni's chat with reporters before heading over to BMO Field for the Union-Toronto FC game.

I only got to ask two questions, but Sermanni had some pretty interesting things to say, so I figured I'd post them here.

On whether the U.S.-Canada game is as big a deal for the U.S. as it is for Canada:

I think it's an important game from the perspective that a local derby is always an important game. It's certainly not important from any aspect of revenge or anything to do with the Olympics. Certainly from my perspective, it's just an important game in the sense that we haven't had that many games this year.

We're playing against another team that's highly-ranked in the world, we know it's going to be very competitive, and it's just another part of the process of getting prepared for 2015.

On finding the right balance between playing veteran stars in a big game and putting new, younger players on such a stage:

I think it all depends on performance. The balance is whatever the best team is. In reality, I couldn't care care less if a player's 18 or 38. If players are performing and doing the business, they'll be in the team.

Obviously, it's my job at this time to cast the net out there and try to see as many players as I can, and try to look to see if there's any other players who haven't been in the squad that I think are going to be good enough to either be in the squad or put pressure on established players.

But ultimately, when it comes to 2015, it's about putting the best team on the football field - not about putting a team of a particular age out there.