USWNT vs. Germany
Date: Tuesday, June 30th
Location: Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Time: 7pm ET
TV: FOX (the main one), NBC Universo
The United States women’s national team meets Germany, the number one ranked team in the world, from Montreal on Tuesday night. While normal brackets would have Germany meet the U.S. (ranked number two in the rankings) in the Final… FIFA got creative in some ways not worth explaining in depth here and, well, here we are. Just ask France how stupid the bracket is.. they’ll tell you all about it.
Anyways, the tournament’s marquee matchup will take place in the semi-finals and if the USWNT defeats Ze Germans they’ll face either reigning WWC champions Japan or England (either way these ladies can go home and tell them men how to make it to the knockout rounds of a World Cup… burn!).
Germany, has, thus far, been exactly as any German side is… dangerously efficient and organized. Two things our ladies have been less so. France, however, gave them fits in the quarterfinals, showing that with speed and a bit of audacity, Ze Germans can be vulnerable. Luckily those are two things the USWNT do have.
Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday return from yellow card suspensions so coach Jill Ellie has her whole complement of weapons at her disposal. Amy Rodriguez, despite a truly awful miss early on against China, was very good. Tobin Heath was delightful as always. Will Jill Ellis stick with some sort of starting line up shake up or return to the tried and true? Returning Rapinoe is a no brainer, but sitting Abby Wambach or starting Rodriguez again or Leroux would be the wild card.
Tonight’s game is the moment of truth for what has been an underwhelming tournament for the USWNT. They certainly looked more impressive against China, but the real test will be against Germany. The biggest question is whether or not this team has another gear to shift into. So far they have not been truly tested to their limits. Ze Germans will most certainly push our stellar back line and goalkeeping to the brink.
They say that “defenses win championships” and this USWNT could be the epitome of that saying. For as mixed as the offensive attack has been the defense has been airtight; making stars out of Julie Johnston, Megan Klingenburg, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Ali Krieger.
Any triumph tonight will also have been replicated on Sunday, July 5th in the Final against, most likely, Japan.
Full USWNT Roster:
Goalkeepers: Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers) and Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC).
Defenders: Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC) and Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City).
Midfielders: Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City) and Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC).
Forwards: Sydney Leroux (Western NY Flash), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City) and Abby Wambach (unattached).
No matter the challenge… it’s the World Cup Final or bust.