It is epic – No. 1 v No. 2 in the world, a heavyweight battle for the chance to play either the reigning champs, Japan, or Cinderella England in the Final on Sunday.
One of the most exciting games in the 2015 World Cup will be the U.S., who has a point to prove, versus the number one ranking team in the tournament, Germany. This battle of two superpower countries may produce the future World Cup winners for this year.
The U.S. is finally going to go up against a team that has a similar playing style as them. The game will be able to show the U.S. if their soccer program is going into the right direction or not.
U.S. and Germany are no strangers. These two teams have found themselves on the same field three times before. The U.S. has won 2 games and have outscored Germany 8-7. Based on that history and all the indications, it can be assumed that this next game will be equally as close as the ones before.
Germany has been leading the pack this tournament with 20 goals scored thus far. The U.S., on the other hand, has managed to only be scored on once. A game against the most offensive team and the most defensive team in this tournament will likely create an entertaining 90 minutes. Celia Sasic from Germany leads the tournament as top scorer with 6 goals under her belt. American goalkeeper Hope Solo has the most recorded saves in these games with 11.
The U.S. has traditionally played large and in charge against the majority of their opponents. With the help of players like Abby Wamach and Sydney Leroux, the U.S. front line has the ability to overpower the opposing defensive line on the ground and in the air. However, after a series of events thus far in the 2015 World Cup, the playing style of the U.S. has been going in an opposite direction. First off, Wamach and Leroux seem to have lost their starting spots in the attacking line. When the U.S. played China, Amy Rodriguez and Alex Morgan had the chance to start off the game strong, and managed to do it fairly well. Instead of long balls over the top of the back line towards the head of Wambach, the U.S. tried to possess the ball on the ground for combination players around the Chinese players. By holding a high line, the U.S. were able to force turnovers and ultimately gave China no chance to posses the ball off of their defensive half.
The U.S. will also have some advantages over Germany; Germany had to fight for 120 minutes to get a win against France just a few days ago. These German players may still be tired from this run in with a good team, and even midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan, a German impact player, may be out of this game from a twisted ankle she suffered against France. The U.S. looks to have luck on their side, since two key players, Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday, will be coming into the game with fresh legs since they missed the game against China due to yellow cards.
Germany still has an anchor in the back line that the U.S. may have trouble getting around. Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer not only has several World Cup experiences behind her, but she is even notorious of making important saves when her team needs her, especially penalty kicks. When Germany went up to the penalty spot against France, they were not worried because they knew that Angerer would be able to save at least one shot. Some critics would say that Angerer and Solo are the two best goalkeepers in this tournament. However way you spin it, this semifinal game will be one to remember, and it may have been saved for the final.