WWC Preview: Germany v. US

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The Women’s World Cup Final will be played on Tuesday June 30, 2015 at Olympic Stadium in beautiful Montreal.  Ok, it isn’t really the Final, but it sure feels like it, and whoever comes out on top of this match, will be the favorite to win the actual Final.

 

This match-up pits number one versus number two in the FIFA World Rankings, as well as the most potent offense versus the stingiest of defenses.  Germany has scored a total of 20 goals throughout their campaign, while the US has allowed only one goal since their first game in the group stage, and is riding an impressive streak of 423 consecutive shutout minutes.  If that wasn’t enough to make you want tune in, the two best goalkeepers in the world will be patrolling their respective boxes.  Hope Solo has allowed one goal for the entire tournament, and Nadine Angerer is coming off a tremendous game where she was called on to bail her team out of shootout with a very athletic and good French team.

 

This will be the fourth time these two powerhouses have met in the Women’s World Cup, all of which have come in the knockout stages.  In the previous three meetings, the winner of this match up has gone on to win the Final, and this time should be no different.  The US is undefeated since the last time they met in a World Cup; a total of 11 matches, going 6-0-5 throughout the series.  More impressive is the fact they have outscored the Germans by a total of 19-9 in those 11 meetings.

 

The US is known for their big names such as Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd and Abby Wambach within their attacking ranks.  However, the most important piece of this puzzle will likely be Megan Rapinoe, who missed the Quarterfinal match against China due to yellow card accumulation.  Her ability to spread the field, and accurately feed the ball into the box, is something that many teams try to emulate, but very rarely duplicate.

 

On the German side, Celia Sasic has a total of six goals in the tournament, and is capable of adding more.  She is much more than just a pure striker as she can draw multiple defenders and drop the ball off for a shot on goal.  She is feared by defenses, and rightfully so.  Unfortunately for the Germans, midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan is doubtful for tomorrows clash, and leaves a large void to fill.

 

This game is a much bigger test for the US than they have faced thus far.  The Germans have not only rolled over their opponents, but they beat a good Sweden team 4-1.  The same team that the US tied in the group stage, though that match was more emotional for both teams because of Pia Sundhage.  Even with their impressive record, the pressure will fall on Germany because they are the number one team in the world.  The US has its own pressure, but that is all internal, as they fight the ghosts of the ‘99ers, the last US team to win a World Cup.

 

Both teams are known for their physical play on the pitch.  Both teams have two stars over the crest on their jerseys.  Both teams will be looking to add a third.

 

Is this the year that the US finally exercises those internal demons, and wins another World Cup, or will Germany continue their offensive dominance and march straight to the Final?  Only time will tell, but whoever wins this game, should continue to win it all.