Canada's women will swap red and white for black and white as they head for St James' Park with Newcastle-supporting coach John Herdman. The Canadians face Sweden on Tyneside tomorrow in a game which will determine whether or not they make the quarter-finals.
But the day will be even more special for 37-year-old Herdman, who grew up in the nearby County Durham town of Consett as a Magpies fan. In honour of their manager, the Canada players will abandon their usual red and white warm-up tops for something more appropriate.
Herdman said: "The girls are planning to wear black and white tops in the warm-up because they are conscious they are wearing red and white, the Sunderland colours, in the game. Hopefully we can win over the Geordies and get them behind us."
Herdman's coaching career includes a spell at Sunderland's Academy, but his boyhood love of their arch-rivals has never left him, and he will have a large contingent of family in the stands tomorrow afternoon. He said: "It is a bit surreal to be standing in [Newcastle manager] Alan Pardew's dugout, but we have to make sure we stay focused during the game and not [get] carried away.
"It is one of those great moments and we must use it for the motivation it can bring. I feel a bit parochial on home territory and I want to come away with what we want. Sweden are coming into our den."