Road to the Cup: Team USA Faces No. 1 Ranked Germany
We've made it to the semifinals, but the road to the Cup isn't over. In order to play in Sunday's championship game, Team USA needs to win tonight's match against the top-ranked German team.
The game starts at 7 p.m. ET, and while it may not be the final match, it's definitely THE match you don't want to miss. Here's what you should know in preparation for cheering on our ladies.
Germany Wants the Win
Germany has always made it to the quarterfinals in the Cup, and won in 2003 (beating USA in the semifinals) and 2007. Our defense will have their work cut out for them — the ESPN expert panel is predicting that the German team will win. Oh, and to make things extra tense and awkward, the two teams have been sharing a hotel this week.
But, We're at the Top of Our Game
In Friday's game against China, key players Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday had to sit out because they received their second yellow cards of the tournament in the previous game. That was a major blow for us, but younger players like Kelley O'Hara stepped up and helped secure a victory. It even seemed to rejuvenate the stale offense we had going. Now Rapinoe and Holiday are back in action, and coach Jill Ellis will have plenty of fresh bodies and options against Germany. We can’t wait to see how the starting lineup shakes out.
Watch These Playmakers
Hope Solo (1) – Our goalkeeper is going to be tested against Germany in a way she hasn’t yet experienced during the tournament. We have a rock solid defense (led by standout defender Julie Johnston) that has keep up a scoreless streak of 423 minutes — but there's no way Germany’s technical footwork isn’t going to sneak by at some point. This will be a game for Solo to prove herself.
Ali Krieger (11) – This defender just bared her beautiful body for this year’s ESPN The Magazine’s annual Body Issue, and she's also gotten some press for her association with Germany. She played for FFC Frankfurt club team for five years and has the advantage of having played with many of the Germans before. She knows their style, so she should be a key player in this match.
Becky Sauerbrunn (4) – This experienced defender has over 80 caps (a term for appearances in international games) for the USWNT; she's a reliable cornerstone for our defensive line. Her cool, calm demeanor and leadership will help keep our team focused and relaxed as we face our biggest competition.
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