The most intriguing matchups of the 2015 Women’s World Cup have finally arrived. The United States are minor underdogs against Germany on Tuesday, as they face off in Montreal at Olympic Stadium. The United States will need to play their best game of the tournament, if they want to advance to the Women’s World Cup final.
While the United States played very well against Colombia in the quarterfinals, they will need to be on a whole other level to beat this talented German team.
This game feels more like a final, as it pits the two best teams in the world, Germany, No. 1, and the United States, No. 2, against each other. The winner of this match will face off with the winner of Japan (2011 champion) or England (the cinderella team of the Women’s World Cup).
A live stream of the match can be found here. The game begins at 7 p.m. ET.
Here are the three things to watch for while viewing the highly anticipated match between the United States and Germany in the semifinals of the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
How Is Germany Moving The Ball Up The Pitch?
Germany is by no means a team that lacks athleticism, but nevertheless, the United States’ main advantage in this match is their size, strength, and speed. One way they can utilize their advantage is by forcing Germany to hit lobs in order to move the ball forward, instead of keeping it on the ground, which is something they have done so well in the games thus far in the Women’s World Cup. If the United States can cause Germany’s central defenders to hit long balls out of the back, instead of passing the ball to the midfielders, then the United States will have a much better chance of stopping Germany’s attacks and possibly starting ones of their own instead.
What Is The Right Midfielder Doing?
The right midfield position for the United States has been constantly changing during this year’s Women’s World Cup. Head coach Jill Ellis must figure out what she should do with it exactly. She has used many different types of players in that position, including a true winger, a striker, a defensive midfielder, and a defensive winger. It is anyone’s guess what her plans are for United States vs. Germany.
If Lauren Holliday, Carli Lloyd, or Morgan Brian play in that position, expect them to pinch into the midfield a lot. If Kelley O’Hara or Heather O’Reilly play in the right midfield position, they will probably create more opportunities by running down the sideline and beating defenders and looking for the chance to cross the ball into the box, creating a threat to Germany. If Christen Press plays in that position, things could get crazy — she could play like an inside forward or a true winger.
MVPs: of the #USA game: 1. Kelly O'Hara 2. Tobin Heath 3. Julie Johnston— em (@emily_doris) June 27, 2015
Kelly O'Hara doesn't get near as much recognition as she should— Lexi Barton (@Lexi__Barton) June 30, 2015
No matter who is played in right midfield, it will tell you what Jill Ellis is planning to accomplish and what she thinks the United States needs in order to come up victorious over Germany and advance to the Women’s World Cup final.
How Well Does United States Do In Containing The German Attack?
The striking duo of Germany, made up of Anja Mittag and Celia Sasic, have accounted for 11 of the 20 goals scored by Germany in the 2015 Women’s World Cup. What makes them so dangerous is their speed, finishing, and physicality. Both players play extremely well on and off the ball, and will be a handful for the United States defense, who have played amazingly during the Women’s World Cup. Nevertheless, Becky Sauerbrunn and Julie Johnston, who have been aggressive and outstanding defenders, will definitely have their work cut out for them.
Worth remembering that Julie Johnston was the backup to the backup at centerback just four months ago. Has had a fantastic tournament.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 27, 2015
Celia Sasic has scored her 6th goal of this #FIFAWWC - moving ahead of teammate Anja Mittag in the race for the Golden Boot— STATS Football (@STATS_Football) June 26, 2015
Germany is without super sub Dzsenifer Marozsan, who suffered a severe ankle injury in their last match against France. Marozsan has been invaluable in the midfield for this German team. She gives starting midfielders time to rest, while keeping a similar level of play to those whom she replaces. Not having her available will be a key factor later in the game, as German midfielders will become fatigued. However, the United States will need to play their part as well by having an effective and active midfield that forces German midfielders to constantly play on both sides of the ball.
[Image: Getty Images Sports]