High scoring juggernaut vs the great defensive wall of Hope and company.
- Kickoff: June 30th, 7:00 PM EST • FOX, NBC Universo
- Location: Olympic Stadium; Montreal, Canada
Currently in the world rankings, Germany is #1 and the US is #2. These two have met in World Cup play three times, with the US winning twice and outscoring the Germans 8-7.
To get here, US defeated China 1-0 with a goal by Lloyd (51’)
It’s a tired sports cliche that “defense wins championships.” This World Cup run by the USWNT validates that cliche. During the beginning of the tournament, many worried that goalkeeper Hope Solo and a youngish back line could be an issue. It would be hard to be more wrong. The defense has now gone 423 minutes without allowing a goal. Most of the credit goes to the back line, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Julie Johnston.
The 1-0 score line in the US/China game is a bit deceiving and without a doubt was the best showing by the team so far in the tournament. This was done without two starters—Rapinoe and Holiday. Alex Morgan wasn’t as strong in this past game, and it’ll be interesting to see if she gets the start. The biggest question remains for the USWNT is who’ll score the goals? The reality is that if the defense continues to stand strong, goals aren’t needed. Just one goal could do the trick.
To get here, Germany defeated France in penalty kicks after the game ended in a 1-1 draw with a goal by Sasic (84’). Also worth noting that Germany just like the US has two stars above their crests, signifying winning two previous World Cups.
The Germany/France game was the best match of the tournament to date. Stretches of beautiful soccer punctuated by very physical play, including a literal bloody nose for the French. Everyone that tuned ub was expecting an exciting game, and nobody was let down. The only true surprise was that it ended in a 1-1 draw. This also means that the German players have played an extra 30 minutes of intense emotional soccer, which could result in tired legs and minds.
The Germans have scored an amazing 20 goals so far in the tournament. That number gets a huge asterisk due to 10 of the goals coming against hapless Côte d’Ivoire. Still, 10 goals is nothing to sneeze at, and Sasic and Mittag will present the biggest threats. The other reason for the Germans’ bevy of goals is their willingness to shoot the ball from nearly anywhere and a reliance on just one or two passes before firing away. Quick sharp passes without a lot of buildup will be their game plan.
The X FACTORS
Weather the storm. German attacks are going to come swiftly and often, so the defense will have to hold strong. The US has a not so secret weapon in defender Ali Krieger. Krieger has played the majority of her professional career in Germany, so she knows and has played with/against many of the German players. She is also the only American fluent in German, so perhaps she’ll hear just enough to give the US an edge.
Gus’ Bar and Grill home of the Richmond Chapter of American Outlaws continues to be the go-to spot in Richmond. The hype train might be finally warming up as other locations are advertising watch parties for the biggest game in USWNT soccer in the past four years. The Answer Brewpub is having a KICK THE KEG special on Larceny, their single hop citra IPA and an additional special for anyone wearing a jersey or red, white, and blue, Kickers are hosting watch parties at Buffalo Wild Wings (Westchester Commons), Baja Bean, and F.W. Sullivan’s.