• Tuesday Jun 30, 2015

    Three Points: USA v Germany

    Becky Sauerbrunn (pictured) has been in outstanding form for the USA throughout the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

    MONTREAL -- In a mouthwatering semifinal matchup, the United States will square off against highly-touted Germany on Tuesday at the Stade Olympique.

    Here are Three Points to consider ahead of the game:

    1) Behold, the top two teams in the world

    It’s a clash of the titans on Tuesday as the No. 1 (Germany) and No. 2 (USA) ranked teams (according to the FIFA World Rankings) prepare to do battle in a scintillating semifinal showdown. Both squads come in to the match on impressive runs of form with the U.S. having won 11 of their last 14 matches and the Germans unbeaten in their last ten. Die Nationalelf has taken the tournament by storm, posting an extraordinary +17 goal differential. The Americans, on the other hand, have managed to achieve similar success, while utilizing a more defense-minded approach. Indicative of each team’s rich history of tournament triumphs, the U.S. and Germany have combined for four World Cup titles and are the only two teams to have raised the trophy on more than one occasion. The U.S. tasted World Cup glory in 1991 and 1999, while the Germans took top honors more recently in 2003 and 2007.

    2) Can Germany crack the code?

    The American defense has been nothing less than superb. Led by world-class goalkeeper Hope Solo and the indispensible center-back pairing of Becky Sauerbrunn and Julie Johnston, the CONCACAF champion has allowed just one goal in 450 minutes of play so far in Canada. While Sauerbrunn and Johnston have seen their names in lights, also contributing to the Americans impressive defensive record are outside backs Ali Kreiger and Meghan Klingenberg. Against the Germans, the U.S. will see its defensive credentials put to the sword as Germany has scored 20 goals already in World Cup play, averaging 12 shots per outing.

    3) U.S. attack gaining speed

    The U.S.’s most recent outing – a 1-0 victory over China in the quarterfinals – was by far its most comprehensive performance of the tournament. While the scoreline may indicate a close match, the Americans appeared to be in full control throughout, dictating tempo and creating a plethora of opportunities. After struggling for traction early in the competition, the U.S. is on the verge of finding its stride. With Alex Morgan back to full fitness and Abby Wambach, Sydney Leroux and Amy Rodriguez all available for selection, which pairing will spearhead Jill Ellis’ attack?

    Bonus Points

    • Five U.S. players have played all 450 minutes of the tournament so far: defenders Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg and Becky Sauerbrunn, midfielder Carli Lloyd and goalkeeper Hope Solo.
    • The U.S. is the only team to advance to the semifinals of every Women’s World Cup (1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015).



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